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These cutting-edge glass windows can generate free electricity: Revolutionizing clean energy

[Jan. 20, 2024: JJ Shavit, The Brighter Side of News]


22.8% reduction in cooling load, resulting in 7.5% overall energy savings including energy generation from ClearVue IGUs. (CREDIT: ClearVue)


In the ongoing global march toward sustainability, one company is shattering traditional views of renewable energy integration in architectural design. ClearVue PV, a trailblazer in smart solar solutions, has introduced a revolutionary solar glass, promising to transform building surfaces into energy-efficient power generators.


This groundbreaking innovation dovetails with the urgent global mandate to embrace cleaner, more sustainable energy alternatives, fundamentally changing how we perceive the structural and environmental role of glass in construction projects.


 
 

Specializing in advanced glass technology, ClearVue PV has leveraged cutting-edge nanoparticle and microparticle methodologies. The company's proprietary technology ingeniously diffuses, redistributes, and reflects sunlight to the glass panel's edges. Here, the captured light energy is efficiently converted into electricity by strategically integrated photovoltaic (PV) modules, the company explains in detail on its website.


This novel approach to energy harnessing is not just a theoretical advancement; it's a customizable solution adaptable to the specificities of individual construction projects, marking a significant stride in 'building-integrated photovoltaics' (BIPV).


 

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The energy yield of ClearVue's solar glass is compelling. According to the company's calculations, a 10-square-meter installation (equivalent to roughly 107 square feet) can generate an estimated 1.35 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green energy daily.


However, this output may vary based on installation specifics, such as the glass's angle to the sun. For instance, in a practical application in Perth, Australia, ClearVue PV projects an annual energy production of 605 kWh from just 18 window panels.


 
 

While acknowledging that their innovative installations require more surface area compared to conventional rooftop solar panels, ClearVue PV contends that the overall annual yield of PV energy can surpass that of traditional solar solutions. This assertion isn't merely speculative; it's backed by empirical data.




A comprehensive, peer-reviewed study, spanning two years, lends significant weight to ClearVue's claims. The research findings highlight that the company’s avant-garde technology can offset up to 40% of a building's energy expenditures. This substantiation is monumental, considering the burgeoning emphasis on green construction and energy conservation in the fight against climate change.


 
 

Clifton Smyth, Chief Business Development Officer at ClearVue PV, commented on the milestone: “Solar glazing solutions have been a topic of discussion for years. However, it's only recently that commercially available clear vision solar glass, specifically designed for commercial building façades, has undergone rigorous, real-world environment testing over an extended period.”


ClearVuePV solar window installation at Murdoch University R&D Greenhouse, Perth, Western Australia. (CREDIT: ClearVue)


Smyth emphasized the uniqueness of their technology's long-term installation, stating, “Our findings reveal that harvesting solar energy with ClearVue’s solar glazing solutions is not only viable on vertical surfaces but remains effective across all seasons. However, it's crucial to note that each installation is unique. Consequently, the results will fluctuate based on the energy demands of the specific building and the conditions under which the solar glazing is installed.”


 
 

The implication of ClearVue's technology extends beyond mere energy efficiency; it's a beacon in the global pursuit of environmental preservation. Transitioning to renewable energy sources like solar power is paramount, especially considering the significantly lower pollution footprint when compared to fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum. Harnessing solar energy through building materials represents a major leap forward in this direction, contributing to a greener, more sustainable future.



Victor Rosenberg, Executive Chairman of ClearVue PV, envisions a transformative impact on various industries: “Our technology instigates a paradigm shift in the utilization of glass across multiple sectors including building construction, automobiles, agriculture, and specialty products. Glass is poised to transcend its traditional role as a mere building component, morphing instead into a renewable energy asset.”


 
 

ClearVue PV’s innovation is a clarion call for architects, urban planners, and policymakers to reimagine urban spaces and their energy ecosystems. The integration of renewable energy solutions into building materials offers a twofold benefit: a tangible reduction in the carbon footprint of structures and a significant step towards global sustainability goals.


Peer reviewed paper concludes ClearVue clear vision solar glass delivers consistent energy generation performance and significant energy offset. (CREDIT: ClearVue)


As the world grapples with the exigencies of climate change, solutions like ClearVue's solar glass aren't just technological advancements; they are necessary evolutions. By redefining the functional capacity of construction materials, ClearVue PV is not only leading the charge towards a more sustainable future but also inspiring a new wave of environmental stewardship in the architectural realm.


 
 

Their work illuminates the path for eco-conscious construction, turning buildings from passive consumers to active energy contributors, and setting a new standard in the green revolution sweeping across our urban landscapes.


The notable outcomes from the real-world testing of ClearVue IGUs include:


Energy Performance of ClearVue Solar IGUs:

  • 22.8% reduction in cooling load, resulting in 7.5% overall energy savings including energy generation from ClearVue IGUs

  • Total building energy consumption (from cooling, lights, fans, and plug loads) averaged 6.1% lower than a conventional building façade excluding generation

  • In solar favorable conditions each window (1685x1265mm) can generate up to 170Wh per day.


Thermal Performance of ClearVue Solar IGUs:

  • Improved thermal comfort for building occupants based on the Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) index which is a thermal comfort standard within the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) comfort zone for 96.1% of the time.

  • Reduced cooling load through Internal glazing surface temperatures on the ClearVue Solar IGUs were up to 3.5°C cooler compared to control windows during daytime hours. Less solar heat gain reduces cooling loads.

  • Glare levels were also 75.2% imperceptible when looking out of the ClearVue Solar IGU façade—a major improvement over only 45.8% for the conventional double glazed unit (DGU) windows of the control. This enhances visual comfort.


 
 

Carbon Benefits:

  • Over the expected lifetime of 25-30 years, a typical installation could avoid over 9.5 tonnes of CO2 emissions from the grid.

  • When accounting for the emissions offset through solar power generation as well, the ClearVue Solar IGUs provide an estimated 4.75-year carbon payback period.


Energy Performance of ClearVue solar IGUs and Spandrel Solution:

  • 71% overall energy savings achieved when combining ClearVue solar IGUs and spandrel.

  • The Spandrel Solution delivered an average of 1.661 kWh per day during the test cycle.






For more science news stories check out our New Innovations section at The Brighter Side of News.


 

Note: Materials provided above by The Brighter Side of News. Content may be edited for style and length.


 
 

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