Exactly How Do Retractable Awnings Work?

Electric awnings might be extremely easy to operate, but the technology which makes them work is a little more complex. Here’s a simple explanation of what happens when you push that button.

 

The Motor

The awning motor fits neatly inside the barrel.

The awning motor fits neatly inside the barrel.

The motor is what powers your awning. The latest technology is is capable of driving even the largest awnings, while still being compact enough to fit neatly inside the barrel (the roller which the cover winds onto). This means all you’ll see is the awning itself (unless you choose to add heating and lighting accessories - in which case your installer will add a small receiver box onto the wall beside it). They are sometimes called integrated tube motors because of their shape and built-in design. The wire which connects the motor will pass through one end of the awning, ready to be connected to your power supply by a trained electrician.

When operated the motor will wind the barrel, opening the fabric cover. The arms work because of a spring tension system or gas pistons. Many people assume they push the cover open, but the arms simply automatically follow the cover as it opens or closes. The tension from the springs or pressure of the gas ensures they open and close softly.

 

 

The Arms

The Markilux 5010 has twinned arm chains

The Markilux 5010 has twinned arm chains

Most of Roché’s awnings have aluminium frameworks for strength and resilience. The standard patio design will have two arms, although larger models may have three or more. Each arm will comprise two main sections, connected by a jointed section.

A 'bionic tendon arm' is the latest technology

A 'bionic tendon arm' is the latest technology

When the motor is operated the elbow joints move in a way which is similar to a human arm extending. One or two chains connect the parts of each arm together and protect them from the wind.

The first electric awnings used flyer chains similar to those on bikes. These were then upgraded to the sturdier steel link chains which are used in most awnings today. Weinor use high grade, non-rusting steel to ensure they’ll last the awning’s entire lifespan without needing to be replaced. Markilux promise to have ‘perfected power transference’ through their rounded steel link chains.

Markilux have also developed a ‘bionic tendon arm’, which is a standard feature on the 6000 and available as an upgrade on other models. This new technology has a specially developed Kevlar mix instead of a metal chain. There’s less friction produced by extending and retracting the awning, so the only sound you’ll hear is the slight whir of the motor.

 

If you have any further questions on how your new awning will work, please give our team a call on 01691 650600.