Thermocollect - Solar active facade system, using direct solar radiation for temperature conditioning of buildings

The new Thermocollect Energy-Facade System allows to utilize the solar radiation that hits the facade on a on-demand-basis. The system works with a mechanically active mechanism which selectively gathers the solar radiation and additionally can be used as a cooling and heating system according to the local requirements.

Short Description




Starting point/Motivation

Assuming that they prevent energy flow in building envelopes almost completely, existing insulation systems of ideally insulated buildings ought to demand only very little energy for heating. High insulation diameters are recommended, the building should be air tight and installed with a venting system for precise and well-controlled air-supply. Solar energy is only used through windows or collectors. Solar energy is radiated, even in cold winter conditions, useless onto the thick insulated surface.

Thermocollect attempts another approach. We develop an adaptive, active façade system to gain environmental energy and to actively control the energy flow in the building envelope.

Contents and Objectives

Our goal for Thermocollect is to make consequent use of the available solar energy in vertical walls, particularly in buildings with massive walls and high thermal conductivity and retention capacity. Our solar-collecting system makes use of the existing and required solar energy directly on the wall. The highly insulating and also tightly closing panels of the thermocollect system will automatically adjust to the ideal solar radiation angle where there is adequate solar supply on demand.

The content and goal of this scientific project is to develop, analyse, produce and install a "real-life-system", to get an idea of functionality and to experience the result in a real building.


Having successfully run various measuring boxes and already proven the expected effectiveness of the system in former simulations, the "real-life-system" gives a "look-and-feel" verification. The test series docu­ments the actually experienced results. With the close-to-production prototype construction, further insight is gained for serial production in the future.


Development/architect/preparation and setup/assembly/data-recording:

  • a detailed plan for the building-concept and prototype has been created
  • components have been build up
  • the prototype has been assembled
  • data have been recorded
  • the calculating model has been refined in parallel
  • system optimization
  • development and production of new panels (no available product in the market meets specifications)
  • modification of system
  • new data recording
  • user census
  • production and installation of improved authentic system of latest production modifications
  • process development for a 3rd version for panel production: New process with appropriate rigs and fixtures for technical feasibility of required qualities (visual appearance, stiffness, weight, durability) is approved.
  • improvement to actuating- and mounting-system

Marketing /sales /organisation /controlling:

  • participation in three different announcements
  • winning 1st price in IE:KU award from Umwelttechnik Cluster OÖ
  • nominated for "Austrian Baupreis"
  • ranked 41 of the best young entrepreneurs 2012 in Austrian magazine "Gewinn"
  • ranked 2nd in category Environment ("Gewinn")
  • various discussions with suppliers, prospective customers and resellers have been held
  • production of samples with different styling to be used for presentation of different design opportunities

Prospects/Suggestions for future research

Although the functional principle is pretty simple, the technical imple­mentation is very complex. Not only is the system actuated using certain logic to adapt to environmental conditions, but also the panels feature some characteristics that haven't been reached before.

All technical components have been developed, from controllers to mechanism and panels. With the gained insight and know-how on functionality and the feasibility of production, at basis has been created to prepare for the serial production process and market entry.

Project Partners

Project management

DI Rudolf Schwarzmayr

Project or cooperation partners

Thermocollect Team and Partners:

  • DI Rudolf Schwarzmayr
  • DI Andreas Zieger
  • DI Steffen Evers
  • Gerhard Schmitzberger
  • Ing. Martin Schmitzberger
  • LBT Schöftner Technik GmbH

Cooperation partner:

  • Mag. Arch DI(FH) Rudolf Berger, architectural office

Contact Address

DI Rudolf Schwarzmayr
Nonsbach 10a
A-4983 St. Georgen
Tel.: +43 (650) 423 4412