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Modelling showcases green building cred of Australian solar glass technology

Written by corres2

New modelling has demonstrated how the integrated solar glass technology of Australian company ClearVue can boost a building’s energy efficiency and thermal efficiency standards to world-leading levels – and help to supply a good chunk of its electricity.

The modelling, commissioned by ClearVue, is based on an “archetype” office building located in in Canada, named ‘ClearZero,’ developed by energy efficiency and sustainability specialists, Footprint.

The brief was to build the Archetype to the Toronto Green Standard (TGS), which is ratcheting up to become one of the toughest energy efficiency and thermal efficiency building standards in the world by 2030.

Footprint modeled a 15,000m², six storey office building, envisioned with low carbon construction assemblies including mass timber and reduced concrete use, as well as ClearVue’s patented solar glazing technology.

ClearVue’s triple-glazed solar windows cut heating and cooling costs and improve building energy efficiency by preventing unwanted solar radiation from entering a window, and instead converting it into electricity using photovoltaic cells.

Footprint used ClearVue’s photovoltaic glazing solution across the total building design, and as the primary façade material for the Archetype, including the use of higher glazing to wall ratios on the facades with higher solar exposure.

Artists impression of ClearZero Archetype (rear view). Image supplied

With the solar glass, and regular PV panels on 50% of the building’s roof, the modelling found that solar was delivering approximately 40% of the energy needs for the building during its in-use phase.

It also showed that net zero energy use could be easily achieved by covering just 37% of the mandated car parking spaces for a building of the Archetype’s size and scale with additional roof-based PV.

ClearVue’s exectuive chair, Victor Rosenberg, said the modelling would be used by the ASX-listed company as a key sales tool and educational resource when working with architects, engineers, developers and builders.

“The developed Archetype model clearly shows how the ClearVue PV product can play a significant role in the design of Net Zero and Near Zero Energy Buildings of the very near future,” Rosenberg said.

“Through its energy efficiency and energy generation [the technology] offers a solution for these architects, engineers and developers struggling with how to design buildings to meet these new codes while maintaining expansive views and maximising building daylighting.

“The Archetype we have developed sets out a very clear and compelling template for how a building can be designed that already meets the most stringent standards for 2030 building energy use targets now,” he said.

Perth-based ClearVue has been making steady progress with its technology both in Australia and abroad since making its debut on the stock exchange in 2018, and its first commercial demonstration in 2019 – a solar glass atrium at the entrance to a suburban Perth shopping centre.

Last year, the company completed construction of a “world-first” clear solar glass greenhouse in Western Australia, to demonstrate potential for the technology to advance cutting edge agricultural research.

Just a few months later, in August 2021, ClearVue Technologies took an order to supply a greenhouse at a high-profile eco-tourism and “wellness” project in Japan.

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