Buildings as renewable energy hubs in clear view of smart window company

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Perth headquartered smart building envelope solutions company ClearVue Technologies has received a repeat order from large-scale commercial greenhouse solutions provider System USA for a demonstrator showroom.

It follows another USA-based collaboration signed in early 2024 with glazed window company LuxWall to develop and commercialise a window that marries ClearVue’s photovoltaic solar energy-generating glazing with LuxWall advanced vacuum insulated glazing.

The Zero Window™ is expected to deliver lower heating and cooling costs and offset building energy requirements by providing on-site renewable energy generation.

ClearVue Technologies Global Chief Executive Officer Martin Deil said combining the respective technologies will create an exemplary solution to revolutionise the way buildings are designed and constructed.

“The Zero Window will truly be a net zero focused window, reducing operational carbon through both thermal insulation and energy generation,” Deil said.

In April 2024, ClearVue secured its first commercial order in Australia from construction company Kapitol Group to incorporate their second generation building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) windows into the façade of the new Construction, Forestry, Maritime and Employees Union (CFMEU) Training and Wellness Centre in Carlton, Victoria.

Also, the first installation of its kind in Australia, ClearVue’s technology and product generates up to 30 watts per square metre on across nine units installed there.

A unit of glass features a layer of micro and nanoparticles that reflect the sun’s ultraviolet light (down converted to near infrared) and infrared light towards embedded solar cells.

The rays are converted to energy while allowing up to 70% of the visible light to pass through and offers a significant 22.8% reduction in solar heat gain.

ClearVue’s building integrated photovoltaic technology.

Image: ClearVue

Of the CFMEU installation ClearVue says it will produce a 94.8 kg saving of carbon per annum based on flash-testing results that showed nine solar windows produced energy generation of 400 Wp (watts peak).

Tests conducted at Perth’s Murdoch University confirmed consistent power output sufficient to offset costs, reduce need for air conditioning and power internal services such as fans, alarm systems or equipment battery charging systems.

Deil said the CFMEU project shows the technology can be integrated easily into project designs, and the value of the unique solar glass and solutions for forward thinking architects, façade manufactures and construction specialists.

ClearVue’s Solar Vision Glass product has also passed fire safety tests which is another first for BIPVs.

“Fire performance and combustibility of building materials has long been a major impediment to the construction industry adopting BIPV, as BIPVs have been unable to meet the same fire safety criteria as non-solar building materials,” Deil said.

In June 2024, the company announced it has expanded its solar product range to include solar spandrel, solar cladding, and architectural BIPV skylight and balustrade glass.

ClearVue has also developed new sales tools including a thermal modelling software called High-Rise Archetype-3 which demonstrates how the company’s Power Façade products can improve a 40-story office building’s thermal performance, energy creation and energy usage.

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