Vicinity Trial – Q and A

The trial at Vicinity Centre’s Warwick Grove Shopping Centre was built and paid for by ClearVue for the purposes of demonstrating, trialling and measuring the performance of the ClearVue IGUs in a real-world setting, at mostly sub-optimum geometric orientation and shading conditions. The Vicinity Group was kind enough to make the entrance atrium in its Warwick centre available for this purpose on the basis that the already in situ glass entrance atrium was replaced in a form and format the same as or as close to the original existing structure as was possible.

To achieve this, required installation of a new steel structure, installation of the ClearVue IGU panels onto this structure, wiring and interconnection of these panels to inverters and connection of these to a battery with connection from the battery back to devices connected to the battery including lighting and signage. This installation was never designed to pay for itself in a realistic timeframe due to its small size, the fact that the structure is completely open (and the HVAC savings could never be measured), and due to the costs of the steel structure employed but instead was designed to demonstrate the power performance over time and learn where best to place the PV IGU technology going forward– which it has successfully done.

Limitations of the Trial

The structure itself is set away from the main building and is free standing, it is not enclosed in any way, is completely open at the front with no doors and has large gaps at the sides and rear. Accordingly, the installation is not a true demonstration of the ClearVue product as the design of the structure does not and cannot demonstrate the energy savings benefits of the triple glazed low-e glazing used in the ClearVue product.

No framing system was used for this project as the intent was to focus only on the IGU modules themselves in the trial. In this regard, the finish for the project is not optimum from aesthetic or economic perspectives.

How big is the Vicinity system and setup?

The system size compares roughly with a traditional 1kW solar PV roof array. The Vicinity system comprises 18 active 30w (peak) IGU panels that are connected in 4 arrays each connected to an Enphase microinverter (see: as follows:

  • North front face – 8 panels (at least 2 strongly shaded);
  • East side face – 2 panels (both strongly shaded);
  • West roof – 4 panels;
  • East roof – 4 panels;

Is the System affected by increased heat?

As is the case with all conventional PV module types, the generated electric power reduces by about 0.5% per each 1°C of solar-cell surface temperature above the 25 °C, at which the standardized power rating is measured.