Solar highway noise barriers to be deployed across North America


Mitrex, a buildings-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) provider based in Toronto, announced it is teaming up with noise barrier industry leaders Durisol and Silentium Group to create photovoltaic highway noise barriers.

The made-in-Canada barriers are designed to improve highway aesthetics, while offering a noise reduction coefficient of up to 0.7 and emissions-free electricity production. Both transparent and opaque options are available. Three design types include a retrofit option, a vertical unitized system, and an angled design for increased production and aesthetics.

The integrated PV has a capacity of up to 22W per square foot on a single face, and up to 37W per square foot in bifacial applications. On average, each kilometre would become a power plant generating over 1.2MW of electricity.

Rather than using conventional absorptive sound barriers dissipate the sound with low density porous materials such as concrete and foam, the PV noise barrier panels are designed with a proprietary acoustic interlayer that minimizes sound transfer.

Mitrex said the product has a low carbon backpack, and a negative carbon embodiment of –1000kg of C02 per square meter.

Semi-transparent vertical PV noise barriers.
Image: Mitrex

The three companies have partnered with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario to establish product approval guidelines and create a pathway to retrofit the BIPV technology into existing highway noise barriers. As the guidelines are developed for the new technology, Durisol and Silentium Group have selected several existing highway barriers built for government entities to run pilot programs. The pilots will capture data and analyze the PV noise barriers performance.

“Partnerships like these allow us to decentralize energy and change the way we power our cities,” Mitrex cheif executive Danial Hadizadeh said. “We won’t stop here, we will continue to push the envelope to produce the next generation of solar-integrated products. Cooperating with companies in other fields is where we can truly make a difference, and it’s essential to developing better, more efficient products and allows us to bring this technology to North America and beyond.”

Mitrex has a wide set of BIPV products including building facades, roofs, railings, windows, and more. The company said it has a mission for every surface touched by the sun to become a renewable energy producer.

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