ClearVue develops the world’s first clear solar glass greenhouse
ClearVue is developing the world’s first clear solar glass greenhouse with transparent solar PV glazing panels. ClearVue Technologies Limited (ASX: CPV) is an Australian technology company that operates in the Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BPIV) sector which involves the integration of solar technology into glass and building surfaces to provide renewable energy.
This project is the first commercial-scale demonstration of ClearVue’s PV IGU technology in an agriculture setting and the company is confident it will perform well. Their advanced glass technology preserves glass transparency to maintain building aesthetics whilst generating electricity.
Solar PV cells are incorporated around the edges of an Insulated Glass Unit (IGU) used in windows. The lamination interlayer between the glass in the IGU incorporates ClearVue’s patented proprietary nano and microparticles, as well as its spectral selective coating on the rear external surface of the IGU, which allow much of the light to pass through but redirects infrared and UV light to the edge of the IGU where it is converted into electricity, thus offering the promise of clean and renewable energy. It allows windows to convert ambient light into useful electricity without impacting aesthetics and performance.
ClearVue’s solar PV IGU product has been rigorously tested over last 12 months to meet UL 61730 and is now UL certified. The new design with nano and micro photonic interlayer technology has shown a 33.3% increase in ClearVue’s power performance to 40 watts per square metre.
When work began on the greenhouse in December, ClearVue CEO Ken Jagger said the project marked a “major milestone for the company”. The installation of glazing is going on now and is expected to be over in a month’s time. The plant trials will be in March or April.
Jagger said the trial results would not only help facilitate the commercial application of the technology across protected-cropping agriculture markets but also across high-rise commercial buildings.
The company has worked closely with leading experts from the Electron Science Research Institute, Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Perth, Western Australia to develop this technology. Its window technology has application for use in the building, construction and agricultural industries.
Ken Jagger said, “We are starting to see strong interest globally for the ClearVue product from greenhouse suppliers, growers and other protected cropping end-users. We expect the fully constructed greenhouse to lead to an even greater market awareness of our technology and product.”
The greenhouse is being built adjacent to two recently completed polycarbonate research greenhouses that form part of a larger research precinct.
Clear solar glass greenhouse is said to have an added advantage over the traditional greenhouse as they can provide an increased growth rate of up to 20-30%. It provides a temperature range of +/-2° from the optimum temperature compared to the +/-6° from optimum temperature provided by traditional greenhouses.
Rooftop installations dominate Australian PV market with more than 2.56 million installations. With its multifunctionality, building-integrated PV modules (BIPV) are expected to drive increased market penetration of solar energy. The Australian PV Institute (APVI) this week declared the business case for BIPV is stronger than ever, identifying it as one of five key avenues for increased market penetration of PV.