Perth-based renewable energy company ClearVue has begun construction on a “world-first” clear solar glass greenhouse at Murdoch University south of Perth.
The ClearVue Greenhouse is being built alongside two other recently completed polycarbonate research greenhouses built within the University’s new agricultural precinct.
The ClearVue Greenhouse will consist of four glazed sections and one non-glazed preparation room at the rear. The four glazed sections will include one that uses normal glazing as a control while the remaining three sections will use three different iterations of the company’s solar glazing technology.
ClearVue’s patented advanced glazing technology is built into an activated interlayer and sandwiched between two panes of glass. The interlayer prevents heat and unwanted solar radiation from penetrating the glass pane. This energy is then redirected to the edge of the glass for controlled distribution and harvesting through conventional solar PV cells. As this happens, the natural visible solar wavelength is allowed to pass through the glass largely unaltered.
Partially funded by a $AU1.6 million Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) grant from the Australian Government, the ClearVue Greenhouse will serve as an experiment to measure the performance of ClearVue’s solar glazing against traditionally glazed greenhousing. The experiment will look at the expected reduced energy load due to the efficiency performance of the ClearVue product, as well as its power generation performance as an offset to the energy demands of the greenhouse.
“The commencement of construction of the ClearVue greenhouse at Murdoch University is a major milestone for the Company,” said Ken Jagger, ClearVue Chief Executive Officer.
“We expect the constructed greenhouse to lead to greater market awareness of our technology and product globally with a key focus of the company on key territories in Europe where protected cropping agriculture is a key part of a secure food supply chain such as in Spain, the Netherlands and Israel.”
In addition to the benchmarking of ClearVue’s solar glazing, upon completion of construction, ClearVue will work with Murdoch University’s Professor Chengdao Li PhD and his team under a collaborative research agreement to design, test, and conduct suitable plant science trials in the ClearVue Greenhouse to evaluate the effectiveness of the glazing for use in plant growth.
ClearVue expects that its patented solar glazing will more effective for plant growth as compared to traditional glazing and other greenhouse materials due to the highly controlled environment enabled by the glazing.
With major construction expected by the end of 2020 and commissioning expected for January and February of 2021, ClearVue expects performance testing and plant science trials to be conducted as soon as possible, with a winter crop cycle trial planned to commence in or around March or April of 2021.
“The constructed Greenhouse together with the results from the Murdoch University studies will provide a strong lead into a potentially lucrative opportunity to further monetize ClearVue’s technology and products,” said Jagger. “We look forward to updating the market as the project progresses.”