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ClearVue delivers savings with innovative solar glass

ClearVue Technologies’ panel units have surpassed the Singapore Building and Construction Authority “Greenmark Platinum” rating. Credit: File

Testing by the Singapore Building and Construction Authority has found that ClearVue Technologies’ second-generation photovoltaic insulated glassing unit (Gen-2 PV IGU) reduces both energy use and costs, while enhancing thermal comforts for occupants.

Conducted at the BCA SkyLab in Singapore, ClearVue’s innovative solar glass technology outperformed its own “Greenmark Platinum” certified double-glazed windows.

The BCA SkyLab is a state-of-the-art testbed facility capable of testing energy-efficient technologies in facades, air conditioning, lightings and controls. The 132-square-metre facility has more than 200 laboratory grade sensors with high accuracy and granularity for comparison testing across two identical test chambers. The sensors measure performance metrics such as energy performance and indoor environmental quality.

Conducted during a four-week period in Singapore’s monsoonal months of July and August, BCA Skylab directly compared the performance of a west-facing test cell fitted with ClearVue’s Gen-2 PV IGU system, against a control cell fitted with Singapore’s BCA Greenmark Platinum certified double-glazed low-e windows.

ClearVue’s high-energy output clear solar glass technology reduced cooling load by about 23 per cent, with an overall energy saving of 7.5 per cent, after accounting for energy generation. It also improved thermal comfort for building occupants 96 per cent of the time and reduced imperceptible glare by 75 per cent – above the control cell levels.

The company says the 7.5 percent reduction in total electricity usage equates to annual savings of about 0.37 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per 100 square metres of Gen-2 PV IGU façade installed.

Projecting that saving in a product lifetime of about 30 years, ClearVue believes that a typical installation could cut almost 9.5 tonnes of carbon emissions from the grid. Tallied up with the emissions offset through solar power generation and the Gen-2 PV IGU demonstrates a carbon payback period just shy of five years, operating in the realms of carbon neutrality after that period.

The Gen-2 PV IGU façade also generated an average of 0.38kWh of electricity per day from the integrated solar. Interestingly, when the company’s “Spandrel Solution” energy generation unit is added to the building façade, power generation increases to 1.7kWh per day and the overall electrical energy consumption is reduced by a whopping 71 per cent.

The company’s technology revolves around a thin transparent film made of a proprietary formulation of nano and micro particle it describes as “magic dust”, which sits between two or more panes of glass in a window. The film absorbs the sun’s rays and radiates the energy to solar strips around the window edges.

The solar energy is then converted into electricity that can be used, for example, to open and close the window to adjust the building temperature and aid air circulation.

We are thrilled the benefits of the Gen-2 PV IGU products have once again been confirmed. Excitingly, the technology is expected to deliver even better energy performance in more favourable climatic zones and we anticipate improved carbon outcomes in cities with higher grid emission factors, providing greater potential CO2 savings and accelerated carbon payback from ClearVue’s PV IGUs. ClearVue Technologies chief executive officer Martin Deil

Testing at Singapore’s BCA SkyLab follows on from a successful two-year trial at Murdoch University of ClearVue’s first-generation PV IGUs, which showed a reduction in building energy use of up to 40 per cent in the campus’ greenhouse when compared to a conventionally-glazed equivalent. It was accompanied by an average daily harvested energy of about 19kWh.

As ClearVue scales up mass-production of its Gen-2 PV IGUs, the company has given key assurance to glass manufacturers of its ability to easily incorporate its units into standard production facilities with minimal delay. The company previously reported it was in discussions with several manufacturing licensee partners across multiple territories to manufacture its PV IGU products at scale.

Demonstrating real-world performance benefits in significant energy saving and power generation, coupled with the added advantage of carbon neutrality, ClearVue is peering through the looking glass in its quest to meet the demands of a carbon-conscious building sector with its innovative solar glass technology.

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