Perth-based smart building materials company ClearVue Technologies (ASX: CPV) has made its first major step in helping to reduce the carbon footprint of new constructions in Australia, securing a breakthrough order in Melbourne for windows with its electricity-generating glazing technology.
ClearVue's insulated glass units (IGUs) include a nanoparticle layer that activates ultraviolet and infrared light as it passes through the glass, deflecting radiation to the edges of the window where it can be harvested by photovoltaic (PV) cells within the frame.
The order from construction company Kapitol Group for a new commercial building project from the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, and Employees Union (CFMEU) represents ClearVue's first Australian order for a solar façade, and comes just days after signing a deal with MS Glass as its local manufacturer.
The CFMEU will incorporate ClearVue's solar windows into the façade of its new Training and Wellness Centre in Carlton, with installation expected around April.
"This is a significant milestone for ClearVue as we have now commercially launched in Australia," says ClearVue's global CEO Martin Deil, who took on the leadership role in May after 22 years of management positions with architectural envelopes company Permasteelisa Group.
"We are thrilled this first order is with the CFMEU and that the building will be constructed by Kapitol, a group that’s leading the industry in engaging sustainable suppliers on their projects."
ClearVue's technology was selected and specified by architecture firm Hayball, which aims to receive a 5-Star GreenStar certification and a Gold WELL certification for the project.
Generating up to 30 watts per square metre, Deil says ClearVue's solar glass windows generate the highest energy of any comparable solar glass on the market with 'strong insulation and thermal performance which reduces heating and cooling loads and can be mass produced on a standard unmodified production line'.
"We are excited that Hayball and the CFMEU recognised ClearVue's potential as the best available clear BIPV technology from the project's inception," says the CEO.
"To have our IGU system written into the specifications is a true showcase for the viability of integrating solar power directly into new builds and retrofits.
"We are grateful for the opportunity to bring our products to the attention of forward-thinking Australian architects, façade manufacturers and construction specialists."
The company clarifies that revenue from this project will not be significant, but it is nonetheless a 'significant step forward'.
Listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in 2018 and now with a market capitalisation of approximately $131 million, ClearVue is headquartered in Perth but its key target markets are Europe and the USA, where it has a physical presence as well.
Speaking at the annual general meeting (AGM) in November, chairman Victor Rosenberg highlighted a demonstration of the technology's real-world performance, benefits and mass manufacturing capability over the preceding 12 months, entering the North American, South Asian, African and Australian markets with initial commercial activity and new manufacturing and distribution agreements.
Since then the company has also appointed H T Glass as its manufacturer for the Singaporean and broader Southeast Asian market.
"The demonstration of our ability to integrate into existing IGU manufacturing lines and to produce at scale has been a significant milestone for the company and has made execution on the company’s commercialisation model of licensing manufacturers and distributors of insulated glazing products, and the negotiations for the same, into a very simple process," Rosenberg said at the AGM.
"This is starting to be reflected through our recently announced signings of new licensees in South Africa, Israel and most recently with 8G Solutions in the US."
Alongside Mikhail Vasiliev and Kamal Alameh, Rosenberg was among the original patent inventors, and is still the leading shareholder. Vasiliev also works with the company as its lead scientist.
Rosenberg was instrumental in establishing Tropiglas Technologies in 1995, which changed its name to ClearVue two decades later. In the 90s, the company was dedicated to producing the world’s most efficient low-e coating to save energy in buildings, but the core of that intellectual property (IP) was reused in the design of a luminescent solar concentrator that could be used to redirect the unwanted UV and IR light wavelengths and harvest those wavelengths for power generation.
The patented technology that underpins ClearVue's offerings is the result of a research and development program in collaboration with the Electron Science Research Institute at Edith Cowan University over more than 10 years.
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