August 19, 2020 - Glare, solar heat gain, and direct sunlight diminish the comfort of interior spaces, making it more difficult for people to perform basic work functions. A 2003 study showed that the greater the glare potential from primary view windows, the greater the impact on office worker performance. All other things being equal, productivity decreased by 15 to 21 percent.
While specifying a shading system is a key element in addressing these concerns, the shades are only part of the solution. Motorization adds efficiency and ease of use, but adding automation truly allows you to get the most out of a shading system.
Adding automation can seem like a scary, complicated step, but it doesn’t have to be. There is a range of solutions from basic sensors to full building control, depending on each individual project’s needs and goals.
Draper® separates automated glare control into three categories. None of our solutions require a PC or external software—setup is accomplished through integrated human-machine interface controls.
Basic sensor-based control.
Technically, this category isn’t really automation. It is a mostly reactive approach that mimics automation, but it is a good first step for small projects or tight budgets.
This approach combines the IntelliFlex® I/O Sensor/Schedule Interface (SSI) and up to four sensors. Built-in features support brightness, wind, and precipitation sensors, as well as pyranometers, in up to four different zones. You can also schedule override events that can be configured to run on any combination of days of the week.
Simple automated glare control.
Some areas, such as atriums, reception and waiting areas, wellness center, and school gathering areas require a more automated solution. This approach is also helpful when shades on an entire floor of an office or mixed-use building need to be automated.
Our solution is the IntelliFlex I/O Sensor/Schedule Interface + (SSI+) with Automated Glare Control. The SSI+ utilizes a model of the building’s orientation and geographic location to calculate where shades should be and adjusts them accordingly. This allows us to control solar depth penetration—how much sunlight you want to enter the room.
In addition, you can integrate up to four sensors—by third-party or Draper®—and schedule up to eight override events to run on any combination of days of the week.
Full automated glare control.
We use a complete automation solution when shades throughout multiple floors or an entire building need to be controlled.
As with the SSI+, we are looking to limit the solar depth penetration. But for whole building control, we offer the IntelliFlex Central Network Controller (CNC). The CNC uses an algorithm-based software to determine the sun’s location in the sky. By using a formula that includes building coordinates and time of day/year, the software automatically moves the shades to a position that is based on the parameters set up for the solar depth penetration for each project. For example, if we set the standard at 3 feet, the automation system will adjust the shades throughout the day so more than that predetermined amount of sunlight penetration never occurs.
The CNC acts as a router between control and IP networks. It allows communication between networks and IP integration with other systems for whole building automation. In addition to automated glare control, the CNC allows the logging of shade movements, sensor readings, and user overrides.
Let Draper take the consternation and complexity out of automated glare control. Learn more about our shade control and automation solutions here, or click here for our contact page and select “Window Shade Automation Specialist” from the department dropdown menu on the left.
by Terry Coffey