Walking on sunshine

Solar power is moving from the rooftops to the streets at the 2022 FIFA World Cup – thanks to our research. 

Dr Azmy Gowaid and his team devised solar tiles that will allow outdoor pedestrianised areas to double up as renewable energy makers. The tiles can be used in virtually any outdoor pedestrian walkway that is exposed to daylight. 

Dr Gowaid was awarded $100,000 by Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022’s organisers to build a prototype to help make the tournament as environmentally-friendly and sustainable as possible. 

Epoxy based and supported by a recycled plastic frame with an embedded concentrator lens and photovoltaic cells, the tiles also have an innovative cooling mechanism that allows them to function in a hot climate. In Qatar, surface temperatures can reach 80°C.

Should our tests prove successful, it is our dream that this product can eventually be installed at mass scale anywhere in the world – even in rainy Glasgow. We want to see the tiles contribute to the energy supply mix of stadia, other sporting facilities and beyond to public squares, pavements, schools and university campuses.

Dr Azmy Gowaid
School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment