The energy consumption in buildings is a huge challenge in realising the energy transition. The Interreg project Sunovate focuses on smart heat management in windows and solar panels, with a strong focus on the development of new materials that actively contribute to the heat management of buildings.


In order to achieve the European energy and climate targets, with the ultimate goal of an energy and climate neutral built environment by 2050, it is necessary to reduce energy consumption in buildings as much as possible. The effective use of sunlight and solar heat can have a major impact on the energy efficiency of buildings. The Interreg project Sunovate focuses on smart heat management in windows and solar panels. Within this project, new materials are being developed that actively regulate solar heat in smart energy-efficient windows and heat-resistant solar panels. The aim is the unique development and integration of infrared light-regulating, pigmented polymer films.

Smart window technology

​​Within the Sunovate project, a new type of energy-efficient "smart Sunovatewindow" is being developed using thermochromic films. This technology makes it possible to make optimum use of incoming sunlight (solar heat) for heating a building in winter. At the same time, the technology in summer prevents overheating of the building by an excess of solar heat. This keeps the room temperature lower and reduces the demand for cooling.

Heat blocking films for solar panels

Solar energy is the largest and most widely available energy source. Project Sunovate develops solar panels which are protected against heat radiation with increased power and a longer lifespan. The pigmented encapsulants in the solar panels block long wavelength solar radiation, which cannot be converted into electricity, while not impacting the wavelength region that is used by the solar panel to generate energy. This reduces overheating of (BI)PV and thus increases the annual power and lifespan of the solar panels.

Heat blocking films for solar panels

SunovateThe results of the Sunovate project will be used in different ways after the project. Developed materials and technologies will be implemented in smart windows to reduce energy consumption in buildings for heating and cooling as much as possible and in (BI)PV panels to cover the remaining energy needs with increased yield of locally generated renewable electricity.


Sunovate is a project of TNO, EnergyVille, Universiteit Hasselt, IMEC, KU Leuven, Yparex, Everlam, Glass for Glass and Soltech. It was initiated by TNO. Sunovate is financed by the Interreg VL-NL programme, the Dutch government and the provinces Limburg (NL / VL) and Noord-Brabant (NL). The demonstrators that are developed will be tested on the facilities of SolarBEAT (NL) and EnergyVille (VL).

Want to know more? Contact our experts:

foto michael daenen


Michael Daenen

Professor EnergyVille/UHasselt
Marlies Van Bael


Marlies Van Bael

Professor at EnergyVille/UHasselt

Or visit the SUNOVATE website