How It Works

InSpire system how it works schematic
system overview

In this schematic of the InSpire Solar Air Heating Collector, the yellow area represents the outside wall of a building.  First, horizontal hat sections are attached to vertical z-channels to create the framing structure used for attaching the perforated panel.  These girts and sub-girts also serve the purpose of creating an off-set, or plenum, behind the panel. 

Sun shine warms the solar collector (gray portion in picture).  A thin boundary layer of warmed air begins to accumulate on the surface of the panel. Then, an intake fan pulls this warm air through the perforations, into the plenum, and then into the normal air handling system.

  • Panels are installed 4-8” from wall
  • Can be installed over or around existing wall openings
  • Can be installed over any non-combustible wall material
  • Easy installation – no special skills or tools needed
stand alone system
Solar Air Walls- how it works
  • Collector is linked to a stand-alone fan with modulating dampers to maintain constant air supply temperature and air flow
  • Often found in industrial buildings and warehouses

An intake fan creates a pressure drop inside the plenum, pulling the warmed air through the perforated panel and into the fan.  From there the warm air travels through a perforated sock or duct, distributing the air throughout the building.

Make-up air preheating system
  • Collector is located upstream of air handling unit to directly preheat incoming outside air
  • Often found in schools and institutional buildings
  • Perfect for spray paint booths, driers, 100% outside air systems, clean rooms, etc.

If a building requires outside make up air and it’s located in a climate that has a heating season, this system aids in lowering a portion of the energy that normally would go towards heating the outside make-up air. This system does not replace the primary heat source but acts as a supplement, reducing the workload of the normal heating system. 

The make-up air preheating system can also be utilized for industrial processes where large volumes of warm air are required for drying purposes.

additional system benefits
summer Daytime usage

During the summer season, solar-heated air may not be necessary.

Collector bypass vents then open, allowing fresh exterior air into the system directly from outside.

In addition, the Inspire wall cools itself by natural convection and prevents solar heat gains through the building’s skin.

summer nighttime usage
Solar Air Walls- how it works
Solar Air Walls- how it works

During summer nights, using Inspire Wall can help cool the building. This is an important bonus to the system.

During nighttime, thanks to a phenomenon called ‘’nighttime sky radiation’’, the InSpire collector cools below ambient temperatures by 4°F to 7°F.

When outside air is pulled through the Inspire collector, it is cooled below ambient temperature for free.

Cool air can be pulsed into the building all night, cooling the inside space for free, giving the air conditioning system a head start for the new day.

building without inspire

Unit or radiant heaters produce heat to reach thermostat setting at a person’s height.


  • Naturally, warm air rises and stagnates at ceiling level
  • Ceiling air has already been paid for and is a lost investment
  • Heat losses through roof and upper wall sections are high
  • Exhaust air is warm
  • Expensive to operate, unhealthy for building (thermal bridges, condensation, etc.)
building with inspire

Unit or radiant heaters produce heat to reach thermostat setting at a person’s height, and ATAS InSpire system pushes fresh air into fabric duct.


  • Warm ceiling air is mixed with solar fresh air
  • Air temperatures become even from floor to ceiling
  • Reduced heat losses through upper walls and ceiling/roof
  • Exhaust air is tempered
  • More comfortable, less expensive system, healthy building environment