Perth-based building-integrated solar PV company ClearVue PV has announced this week a landmark step forward for the commercialisation of its technology, revealing it has developed the ability to build its technology into the glass unit itself, removing the need for specific frames that would have limited the viability of the technology.
ClearVue has had a long history, dating all the way back to 1996. However, after self-proclaimed “early setbacks” the company shifted gears during 2010 and describes itself “at the vanguard of micro and nano-photonic photo voltaic technologies producing building integrated photo voltaic (BIPV) solutions.”
Or, in other words, the company aims to provide “highly energy efficient, clear glass that generates electricity.”
Or, in other words again, solar glass.
Earlier this year the company announced that it was gearing up to sell its product around the world, starting with a float on the Australian stock market.
A couple of months later, towards the end of May, the company successfully closed $A5 million as part of its initial public offering (IPO).
Less than a fortnight later, ClearVue signed an exclusive deal with eco-home builder Mirreco to supply its clear solar glass technology for use in the company’s industrial hemp-based “micro homes”.
Announced on Tuesday, ClearVue upped the ante on its rivals, announcing that it has developed a frame-independent Insulated Glass Unit (IGU) which can house its technology, and remove the need for a specialised frame.
Previously, ClearVue’s technology captured solar energy in PV cells built around the inside of a window frame, and then converted it into electricity.
Now, however, the company has managed to ditch the need for a specialised frame and can capture within solar cells built into the IGU structure itself – all of ClearVue’s technology can now be housed in the IGU windows rather than the frame.
The immediate benefits of this are striking when you consider the new opportunities. Instead of relying on a product that requires a specific and proprietary type of glass frame, ClearVue can now use industry standard glass frames produced by the majority of manufacturers.
“The move away from dependency upon any specific frame design to an industry standard IGU that can be supplied to innumerate framing companies and window fabricators will significantly increase ClearVue’s potential to reach a global market faster,” explained Victor Rosenberg, ClearVue’s executive chairman.
“This simple step has widened our scope for even greater licensing opportunities.”
Unsurprisingly, ClearVue has already placed an order with its contract manufacturer for 100 of its IGU units for placement into early trial locations, including for supply to Mirreco’s micro-homes.