Two years after Murdoch University opened its world-first clear solar glass greenhouse, researchers have revealed the building has offset nearly 40 per cent of energy consumption.
The state-of-the-art facility, constructed by ClearVue Technologies, used three different versions of transparent solar photovoltaic glazing panels in order to optimise solar energy.
Results of a two-year-study, co-authored by Murdoch University Adjunct Associate Lecturer David Goodfield, showed that the building both generated consistent energy and significantly offset facility energy costs and consumption.
This result was due to fluorescent particles in the clear glass solution designed to spread solar energy towards optimally positioned solar cells, allowing solar energy to be captured even with the sun not directly shining on the glass.
Knowledge gained from the study will contribute to advancements which are expected to expand the utilisation of solar energy, which is in line with Murdoch University’s strategy to become a recognised centre of excellence for sustainability.
Murdoch University’s Pro Vice Chancellor of Sustainability Dr Martin Brueckner said the greenhouse made a “vital contribution” to the university’s objective of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.
Dr Brueckner added that the greenhouse also had wider implications, demonstrating how innovative materials could help improve environmental performance of buildings and structures.
"While technology alone without behavioural change will be insufficient in our quest for future sustainability, it is a critical aspect of our sustainability journey," Dr Brueckner said.
I am excited, especially in the materials space, about future possibilities and applications."