Roots signs collaboration agreement with solar innovator ClearVue Technologies

By Jonathan Jackson. Published at Oct 14, 2019, in Technology

Roots Sustainable Agricultural Technologies Limited (ASX:ROO) and ClearVue Technologies Ltd (ASX: CPV) will collaborate to explore complementary sales opportunities within the growing greenhouse sector.

Roots is developing and commercialising cutting-edge technologies to address critical agricultural issues, including plant climate management and the shortage of water for irrigation.

The collaboration agreement comes just a week after Roots signed a 12-month Letter of Intent (LOI) with leading Italian agtech producer and nursery Cairo & Doutcher to install a commercial demonstration utilising Roots’ patented RZTO technology.

Roots has also recently received an $87,000 signed order of its RZTO technology combined with its newly developed heat exchange stub from Israeli cannabis producer UNIVO to control soil temperatures in pots and grow bags.

It sees further sales opportunities coming to fruition with this latest agreement.

Roots' aims are complementary to ClearVue, which operates in the Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BPIV) sector and develops technology that integrates solar technology into building surfaces, specifically glass and building façades, to provide renewable energy.

This pair of ASX listed companies intend to build a world-first demonstration greenhouse in Israel utilising ClearVue’s energy generating PV solar glazing glass panels to explore powering Roots’ Root Zone Temperature Technology (RZTO) and Irrigation by Condensation (IBC) technologies.

Construction is set to begin shortly and expected to take 12 months.

Roots CEO, Sharon Devir said, “Roots’ RTZO technology significantly reduces energy requirements by maintaining optimal root temperatures for crops and plants, rather than heating or cooling the air. We see substantial opportunities for our greenhouse customers to utilise ClearVue’s solar products to power their RZTO and IBC systems off-grid.

“The collaboration will enable our customers to access a fully integrated, self-sustaining solution that improves crop yield and quality, lowers operational costs and improves profitability for growers.”

Collaboration benefits all

ClearVue’s advanced glass technology incorporates Solar PV cells around the edges of an Insulated Glass Unit (IGU) used in windows, whilst the lamination interlayer between the glass in the IGU incorporates ClearVue’s patented proprietary nano and micro particles, as well as its spectrally selective coating on the rear external surface of the IGU.

Its window technology has application for use in the building and construction industry, but is also vitally important within the agricultural industry.

The agreement will open up sales opportunities for both companies as they leverage each other’s technologies to offer a unique combined offering within the greenhouse market.

ClearVue’s PV clear glass solar glazing solution for greenhouses utilises multi-glazed IGU panels to stabilise the air environment as well as generate enough power to operate Roots’ RZTO technologies, providing an added advantage for Roots.

The greenhouse will be self-sustaining and is intended to be off-grid. It will be designed, developed and constructed at Roots’ Israel-based research hub and will be available to both parties for customer demonstrations and display purposes.

Roots will utilise the greenhouse year-round to conduct RZTO and IBC testing on various crops and plants.

Roots’ RTZO technology in field trials.

ClearVue Executive Chairman, Victor Rosenberg said, “We are extremely proud to be working with Roots who are leaders in providing sustainable agriculture solutions to producers globally. Roots are a natural fit with our solar PV energy efficient glazing solution, and we are looking forward to working with them on the greenhouse demonstration and providing further benefits to our agriculture clients.

“An added benefit for ClearVue is that this collaboration represents our first foray into Israel, which we would also seek to leverage as a way to generate interest in our core sales focus area of high-rise architecture.”

Roots and ClearVue have also agreed to work with each other where possible to deploy Roots’ RTZO Technology into all, or a part of, the CRC-P grant supported greenhouse that ClearVue is currently progressing at Murdoch University in Western Australia.

Murdoch has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ClearVue Technologies to build the commercial-scale glasshouse, which will use ClearVue’s photovoltaic glass technology to generate renewable energy.

The MOU will see both parties work on the construction of ClearVue’s Cooperative Research Centres Project grant-funded glasshouse, which will be located close to other greenhouses within Murdoch University’s new agricultural precinct.

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