Australian solar glass technology tapped for off-grid greenhouse trial

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Clear solar glass of Perth-based ClearVue Technologies will be used to power a self-sustaining off-grid greenhouse demonstration in Israel.

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Australian clear solar glass technology will be used in the construction of a demonstration “self-sustaining,” off-grid greenhouse in Israel, as part of a joint pitch to the global sustainable agriculture market.

Perth-based ClearVue technologies said this week it had inked a deal with Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Limited to explore complementary sales opportunities within the greenhouse sector.

Under the agreement, the two parties will jointly pursue sales opportunities, leveraging each other’s industry-leading technologies to offer a unique combined offering within the greenhouse market.

As part of the plan, they will build a demonstration greenhouse using ClearVue’s solar generating glass panels to explore powering Roots’ Root Zone Temperature Optimisation (RZTO) and Irrigation by Condensation (IBC) technologies.

As we have reported, ClearVue’s nano-technology, developed in conjunction with the Electron Science Research Institute (ESRI) at Edith Cowan University, generates electricity from a flat, clear sheet of glass while maintaining transparency.

Since listing on the ASX in May of 2018 the company has made some significant achievements, demonstrating its technology via “smart” bus shelters and at a solar glass atrium at the entrance to a suburban Perth shopping centre.

It has also signed a manufacturing deal in Taiwan, and distribution deals in the US, parts of Europe and Singapore.

In this case, the company will use its multi-glazed integrated glass units (IGU) to both stabilise the air environment of the prototype greenhouse, and to power its Roots’ RZTO technology.

Roots’ self-sustaining greenhouse, which is intended to be off-grid, will be designed, developed and constructed at a research hub in Israel and will be available to both parties for customer demonstrations and display purposes.

Roots – which is a graduate company of the Office of the Israeli Chief Scientist Technological Incubator program – will operate the greenhouse year-round to conduct RZTO and IBC testing on various crops and plants.

The companies said construction of the demonstration greenhouse was expected to begin as soon as possible, and be completed within 12 months.

“Roots’ RTZO technology significantly reduces energy requirements by maintaining optimal root temperatures for crops and plants, rather than heating or cooling the air,” said Roots CEO, Sharon Devir.

“We see substantial opportunities for our greenhouse customers to utilise ClearVue’s solar products to power their RZTO and IBC systems off-grid.

“The collaboration will enable our customers to access a fully integrated, self-sustaining solution that improves crop yield and quality, lowers operational costs and improves profitability for growers.”

ClearVue executive chairman Victor Rosenberg said Roots were leaders in providing sustainable agriculture solutions to producers globally.

“Roots are a natural fit with our solar PV energy efficient glazing solution, and we are looking forward to working with them on the greenhouse demonstration and providing further benefits to our agriculture clients,” he said.

“An added benefit for ClearVue is that this collaboration represents our first foray into Israel, which we would also seek to leverage as a way to generate interest in our core sales focus area of high-rise architecture.”

In addition to the greenhouse demonstrator, Roots and ClearVue have agreed to work together where possible to deploy Roots’ RTZO technology into all, or a part of, the CRC-P grant supported greenhouse that ClearVue is currently developing at Murdoch University in Western Australia.

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