Brise Soleil (Solar Shading)
Brise Soleil is effective in reducing overheating through solar heat gain (or passive solar gain) to improve its climate and therefore increase the efficiency of a building. It consists of a bladed or 'louvred' canopy that is optimally positioned to prevent direct overhead (summer) sunlight from entering a window or glazed area whilst allowing ambient light, and useful winter sunlight to enter.
Blades are available in a number of sizes, typically domestic dwellings use the smaller blades (60 mm or 120 mm wide), whereas larger commercial applications tend to use wider blades – 145 mm, 200 mm or 300 mm wide).
Some bespoke designs use a combination of blade widths within a system. Usually the system has a polyester powder coat finish, with a very wide choice of colours, generally to match other aluminium components such as window frames or flashings.
Brise Soleil Horizontally Mounted Canopy
The most popular of all Brise Soleil configurations, horizontally mounted canopies are generally mounted immediately above the glazed area that they are shading. Most horizontal canopies have a projection of between 500 mm and 1,500 mm, which is generally more than adequate to shade the windows or doors below. Options include joining a number of canopies together to form a continuous run, corner units, and overhead support arms.
The brackets that fix the canopies to the wall can either be fixed to the structure before render is applied (generally the case on a new build) or in the case of retro fitting to existing buildings, can be fixed to the external finish. In both cases the brackets are powder coated to match the rest of the system.
Motorised Brise Soleil
Motorised Brise Soleil - when should motorised BS be considered?
For many applications, a fixed blade system provides all of the functionality required by the client. For example, if the system is being used primarily as privacy screening, or as an architectural feature, then a fixed blade system is almost always the preferred solution. Even when solar shading is the primary objective, this can still very often be achieved by the use of a fixed blade system. With lower costs, simplified installation and no moving parts, a fixed blade system offers most customers the best balance of functionality against price and ease of use.
There are however circumstances when an adjustable blade system provides more consistent solar shading across the whole of the day, and throughout the year. If such a system is required, then the blades are mounted on pivot points at each end, joined together with a connecting rod, and moved by means of an electric actuator (a motor that moves the connecting rod backwards and forwards). The amount of movement and the direction of rotation are usually controlled by a hand held wireless controller, rather like a TV remote control. However, if required a third party automated system, such as a BMS (building management system) can be linked in to control the motor automatically.
Sun-Tracking Photo Voltaic Louvres
Motorised Sun-Tracking Photo Voltaic Louvres
This product is specifically designed to perform two jobs. Firstly to offer solar shading throughout the day to glazing mounted underneath the system, and secondly to generate power by means of photovoltaic cells built into the louvre blades. The louvre blades are created from aluminium frame profiles which hold solar panels which are made up from the photovoltaic cells.
Vertically Mounted Ladder Screening
Vertically mounted systems offer a high degree of solar shading in certain circumstances, but can also offer security and privacy functionality. Although generally offered as a fixed blade system, vertically mounted ladder systems lend themselves quite well to being motorised, offering a more comprehensive level of screening, and allowing the customer to adjust the blade angle.
Vertically mounted ladder systems are quite often used to shade runs of curtain wall, particularly in commercial buildings that have large areas of glazing such as car showrooms, office blocks or in schools. The blade size, pitch and angle will determine the amount of shading in any given situation.
Fixing this type of system to a run of curtain wall needs to be planned well in advance, as the mounting brackets have to be incorporated into the curtain wall mullions before they are installed.
Vertically Mounted Screening Blades
In this configuration, the louvre blades are stood “on end” and built into a frame which stands off a little way from the building (this allows for access to the glass for cleaning). This type of shading is often used when an architectural feature is required to shade a floor to ceiling window, it is generally offered as a fixed blade solution. However a motorised version of this system has been successfully deployed across a number of branches of a high street bank in Ghana
Vertically Mounted Sliding Ladder Panel
A variation on the vertically mounted ladder system, this stand-alone panel is designed to sit in front of floor to ceiling windows. The panel sits within a frame that allows it to slide left and right across the window and is ideal when only partial shading is required.
This panel can be fabricated up to 3 metres in height, and at widths to suit the clients requirements. The panel can be moved to allow for glass cleaning, which means that it can be fitted very close to the face of the glass if required.
This system uses 60 mm elliptical blade, making this a very slim panel ideal for domestic use. The panel slides on high performance low friction pads which avoids the use of roller bearings or wheels, greatly increasing the reliability of the sliding gear.