ClearVue Technologies - transforming glass into a renewable energy source
Updated: Aug 21, 2021
ClearVue Technologies Limited (ASX: CPV; FSE: CKJ) is an Australian based company operating in the Building Photovoltaic (BPIV) sector. The patented technology involves the integration of solar photovoltaic cells into building surfaces, specifically glass and building facades, to provide renewable energy. The company is in a significant growth phase, with European presence established, completion of a JV agreement and receipt of first order for the company’s PV glazing in the public space. According to the CEO, Victor Rosenberg, “glass will no longer be just a component of construction, but also a renewable energy resource.”
The patented technology sits within an activated interlayer between two planes of glass. Visible light (VIS) passes through the glass. Micro and Nano particles interact with Ultraviolet (UV) adiation which is down converted to longer wavelengths and scattered along with the infrared (IR) light to the edges of the glass. IR is collected by Photovoltaic (PV) cells to produce electricity. The benefits include more than just power generation – reduced heat, reduced damaging UV and IR radiation and a reduction in heating and cooling costs.
In June 2021, the company announced it had received its first order for the use of its solar glass in an outdoor public open space. The solar glass panels will generate power to provide light for the covered area. The order consists of 42 panels covering 104 square metres. This project demonstrates the enormous potential for the ClearVue technology and products. Also, the triple glazed e-aspects of the glass are being used to provide health benefits for park users by stopping the harmful impact of ultraviolet rays.
In May 2021, a JV term sheet was signed eLstar Dynamics – a company based in the Netherlands, and which develops and industrialises smart glass applications in the building and transport sectors. A recent trial confirmed the practicality of using ClearVue’s technology to power and operate eLstar’s products. The CEO of eLstar highlighted the significant opportunities by saying “the idea we can combine technologies with such enormous long-term potential to address the ecological efficiency of both existing and future building stock is, to say the least, compelling.” The products developed through this JV will be truly revolutionary. They can be automatically controlled or can integrate with smart control or IoT building control, whilst at the same time be highly energy efficient, generating power and offer maximum comfort through control of lighting levels
Richard Lunt, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Material Science at MSU says that using transparent solar cells to generate power represents the “wave of the future”. Professor Lunt noted that the USA alone has 5 to 7 billion square metres of glass surface at present. If the majority of this was converted to solar powers generating electricity as much as 40% of United States annual energy demand could be supplied.
The sector is becoming increasingly attractive for new entrants given the addressable market. In the United States Ubiquitous Energy is partnering with leading glass manufacturer NSG Group to integrate transparent solar cells into architectural glass windows. Ubiquitous state their technology results in an electricity conversion efficiency of 9.8%.
In the Netherlands, Physee has a vision to bring their core technologies to entire smart cities by transforming buildings into power plants and reducing their energy consumption. They have developed a product called a PowerWindow that has already been installed in a Dutch bank building (covering around 100 square metres). The PowerWindow uses small solar panels installed along the windowpane edges to generate power.
The next six months for ClearVue promises to be exciting with a demonstration plant in New York city, an installation at Fujisan Winery in Japan and Sydney Park installations, securing additional licenses in target geographies and conversion of showcase projects, licenses, and marketing efforts into purchase orders.
ClearVue has strong tailwinds with massive addressable with the North American market for installed glass estimated to be worth USD $120 billion annually. ClearVue’s target market represents more than 2.1 billion sqm2 of glass per annum. In Europe, the tailwinds supporting ClearVue’s growth strategy are particularly pronounced.
The European Green Deal sets out one of the most ambitious road maps for an entire continent, outlining a series of key initiatives to bring greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Collectively buildings in the EU are responsible for 40% of the energy consumptions and 36% of the greenhouse gas emissions. 97% of existing buildings require major upgrades (including window retrofits) to meet 2050 decarbonisation targets. ClearVue is positioned to offer retrofit solutions for existing buildings and next-generation photovoltaic glazed windows for new construction.
The company has seen strong shareholder returns over the past 12 months to 18 August 2021 with the stock price up over 216% during this period. The top twenty shareholders own over 43% of the company and over 15% of the capital is help by the board and management. The shares are traded on Frankfurt Stock Exchange and Tradegate here in Europe with increasing liquidity over the past six months.
A copy of the July 2021 investor presentation can be downloaded here