ASX-listed ClearVue Technologies has completed the construction of a “world-first” clear solar glass greenhouse in Western Australia that will demonstrate both the Perth company’s integrated solar glass product and its potential to advance agricultural research.
The solar greenhouse was officially launched on Monday afternoon at its site at the Murdoch University’s new grains research precinct at its South Street campus, south of Perth.
The facility will use three different versions of ClearVue’s transparent solar PV glazing panels to power two research fronts: new plant breeding technologies and solar greenhouse energy generation.
On the latter front, the ClearVue greenhouse’s area of 3000m² is expected to generate roughly 0.25MWh of solar energy a day, which is the equivalent to installing a 60kW solar farm, or enough to power around 12 average households.
The technology works by using nanotechnology to internally diffuse and reflect elements of sunlight towards the edges of an integrated glass unit’s frame, where it is collected by silicon-based PV modules. The current efficiency of the IGU is 3.3%, measured at standard test conditions.
On the agricultural front, the clear glass will let in natural sunlight, while using the unwanted UV and IR light wavelengths – which can be harmful to plants – to convert into power and thus allowing the plants to put all of their energy towards growth, rather than sun protection.
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