When it comes to big ideas, we often hear the sky’s the limit.
But for solar power stock ClearVue Technologies Ltd (ASX:CPV), it’s the whole market.
This ASX-lister is out to change the game when it comes to powering the places we work, sleep and play.
Amid the global energy revolution and the race to adopt zero-emission solutions, ClearVue is bringing a new kind of solar glass to market.
Its flagship invention is the ClearVuePV: a patent-protected, clear glass pane that acts as a transparent solar panel with multifaceted applications.
And it’s commercialising the tech from the sunniest city in the world: Perth, Western Australia.
As ClearVue sets its sights on the world stage, executive chairman and founder Victor Rosenberg sat down with Proactive to talk more about this emerging technology and its implications for infrastructure around the world.
The future is clear (and green)
ClearVue’s vision is simple: to create greener, more efficient buildings through the power of the sun.
At its core, the company has developed an energy-efficient, energy generating, clear glass building material that can help residential, commercial and agricultural buildings such as greenhouses, move towards net-zero targets and reduce their carbon footprints.
For Victor Rosenberg, the goal has been to develop a product that can deliver on some of the key targets lauded at global summits like the United Nations’ COP 26 Climate Change Conference.
“ClearVuePV products can help create buildings today that will take them to 2030 and further 2050 net-zero targets,” he explained.
What’s important to note is ClearVue is not just putting the wheels in motion: it has a tried and tested product that is certified and is already an integral part of several building structures.
The panels were first introduced in a solar bus stop in Melbourne, but have since been used in a shopping centre façade and even in a solar glass greenhouse at Perth’s Murdoch University — something Rosenberg describes as the company’s biggest achievement to date.
Murdoch’s solar greenhouse officially opened its doors in April 2021.
The solar windows can also help businesses and homes meet some all-important emissions standards.
A building prototype, designed by the ClearVue team, is on track to meet and beat one of the world’s highest metrics for sustainable building design: the Toronto Green Standard.
CPV’s archetypal building, which is 70% glass and 30% building material, has been shown in early modelling to deliver net-zero performance with no greenhouse gas emissions.
ClearVue is also finalising a lifecycle analysis that will assess the environmental impacts of the solar windows through all stages of their existence - from raw material extraction to the end-of-life recycling process.
In turn, that will help generate an independent Environmental Product Declaration, which will set an important benchmark for the ClearVue product in three key markets: Australia, Europe and the US.
How a ClearVue window compares to other infrastructure on the market.
We’re familiar with how solar panels work: they absorb the sun’s rays and convert them into electricity that powers our abodes.
But what if you could mimic that effect in the windows, skylights, atriums or doors of your own home or office?
ClearVue’s patented solar glazing prevents solar radiation from entering a window and converts it into electricity using photovoltaic cells — just like a solar panel on a roof would.
It does this by separating the ultraviolet and infrared rays from the visible light before turning them into electricity.
Meanwhile, most of the visible light still makes its way through the pane, meaning it can act as a light source and solar panel in one.
Inside, a ClearVuePV panel looks a little bit like a sandwich, resulting in a window with highly insulative properties.
Two layers of glass surround a nanoparticle section, known as an inorganic PVB Interlayer, while a very thin, spectrally selective film coats the underside of the second glass layer.
This is key: first, the film sifts out the visible light from the ultraviolet and infrared rays.
From here, up to 70% of the visible light passes through the glass pane and into the home or office, while more than 90% on the non-visible rays are bounced back into the inorganic layer.
It’s scattered by the nanoparticles to the edges of the glass, where solar cells within the pane’s frame can convert the rays into electricity.
What else can it do?
For ClearVue, its leading, clear, solar glass solution is more than just a window.
The Perth-based team has taken things one step further, packaging its ClearVue PV solution with a myriad of smart components.
The manufacturer can team the transparent solar panels with LED lights, blinds and shutters, surveillance cameras and even automatic tinting and electrochromic properties, meaning they can be adapted to work with a range of home or office facades.
You can even charge your phone on the windowsill!
Best of all, the solar panel’s functionality can be monitored from the palm of your hand.
Furthermore, the ClearVue solution will utilise artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things technology, ensuring the window can be remotely controlled by a smartphone or similar device.
For Rosenberg, AI is an integral part of this emerging building solution.
“We’re going to be working with a firm in Sydney who will help us to develop the AI capability, the software and the programs to further extend the application of our technology into new products that will meet the growing demand for smart building solutions,” he explained.
ClearVue panels can be used in a number of window configurations.
Someday, this kind of glass could even make its way into your vehicle.
“If it’s good enough for a motor car, it’s more than good enough for a building or a room.”
All eyes on the Big Apple
When it comes to bringing this innovation to market, ClearVue is determined to make its name known on a global stage.
For Rosenberg, who views New York as the world’s capital, the Big Apple represents a key launching point: here, ClearVue can show off its glazing technology from one of the most prolific cities on earth.
ClearVue was recently invited to participate in a significant demonstration project in NYC that will see builders come together to consider how they can lower the carbon emissions in some of the city’s oldest structures.
Rosenberg stated: “Buildings have become a target for regulators in the US who are applying increasing pressure to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings. In New York alone, roughly 55,000 buildings have been mandated for energy-efficient refurbishment.
“With building emissions estimated to contribute to approximately 39% of greenhouse gas emissions globally, creating building products that perform to create more sustainable buildings will be key to meeting emission reduction targets.”
Sustainable buildings become even more critical as the number of structures across the globe continues to rise.
Zero Code — an initiative from green building firm Architects 2030 — reported that by 2060, the world is projected to add 2.5 trillion square feet of buildings, or an area equal to the entire current global building stock.
“This is the equivalent of adding an entire New York City to the planet every 34 days for the next 40 years.”
As New York looks for building solutions that can bring its infrastructure closer to net-zero, ClearVue’s offering could represent a prime opportunity for this and other cities.
Rosenberg: “In New York alone, roughly 55,000 buildings have been mandated for energy-efficient refurbishment.”
What lies ahead?
As the world comes back online (post-COVID-19), ClearVue is eager to advance its endeavours across the US, Europe and the Asia Pacific.
The company already has another agricultural structure in the works: a strawberry greenhouse in Japan that forms part of what stands to be a popular tourist attraction.
As part of a recent manufacturing deal, the ASX-lister is also working with US firm Graboyes to create, sell and market ClearVue windows in Pennsylvania.
Speaking to the partnership, Rosenberg noted: “They are interested in energy efficiency and sustainability, which is exactly our prime function and main interest.”
On home soil, a Sydney council park project — using ClearVue glass — is well underway, with work set to complete sometime this month.
ClearVue’s global outlook is seeing it penetrate international markets. Even still, Rosenberg believes they’ll always have an office in the world’s sunniest capital.
“Our global commercialisation phase is well underway,” he stated.
“ClearVue is a leader in a market characterised by minimal competition and high barriers to entry.
“With a presence in Europe and the US, we are focused on deploying our patented glazing in international markets as a genuine solution for reducing the energy consumption and carbon footprints across the world.”
“I personally believe we are operating in an industry that will continue to grow for the next 50 years.”
Story by ProactiveInvestors
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