SPF – Ecuador

Swiss Partners

SPF Institut für Solartechnik, Rapperswil
Andreas Häberle

Local Partner

Project Type:

Pilot project


Solar thermal



Project Status:


Project Start:


End of Project:




Swiss Contribution

The Institute for Solar Technology (SPF) at the University of Applied Sciences of Eastern Switzerland (OST) is the competence centre for solar thermal energy.  It was founded in 1981 and has been conducting research and teaching in the solar thermal energy field ever since. The know-how which has been built up during this time, as well as by the current staff of approximately 40 people, is largely made available to the University of Cuenca. In the past, the SPF was significantly involved in the development of various quality standards within solar thermal energy, including in new systems development and in sharing them. Among its other commitments, SPF leads Task 64 on solar process heat within the International Energy Agency Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC TCP).


The project’s overall goal is to decarbonise Cuenca’s economy.  For this purpose, it is planned in the future to provide part of the required process heat in a food processing company by means of a solar thermal system and thus reduce the use of fossil fuels. This pilot project is intended to demonstrate both its technical feasibility and financial advantages. In parallel, a know-how transfer between the SPF and the University of Cuenca is ongoing. There, training and further education courses on all aspects of solar thermal energy, i.e. system design, installation and operation & maintenance are to be set up.  As a final step, the public sector is to be supported in creating suitable market incentives.


The detailed planning of the solar thermal system took place in the first half of 2023. The system was then installed with a total of 58 collectors and 3 storage tanks connected in parallel with a volume of 3,000 liters each from July to September 2023. At the same time, the first  training courses were prepared and successfully carried out. The 3 different courses are aimed at the general public, students from technical courses and technical staff from the food and beverage industry, i.e. the potential owners or operators of such systems. The high level of interest is reflected in the high number of participants in the 3 courses (67, 78 and 22 respectively).