Revolutionising office cooling with automatic sunshades

Revolutionising office cooling with automatic sunshades

According to a report by the Carbon Trust, it’s estimated that UK businesses spend around £2.8 billion per year on heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for their offices. This includes both the installation costs as well as ongoing maintenance and energy usage. As the weather heats up, many office spaces need to cool down. Here, Dave Walsha, sales manager at DC motor supplier EMS, explores the sun shading systems that can keep offices at a consistent temperature this summer.

Dave Walsha

Many office buildings are not properly ventilated, often leaving them too cold in winter, and too warm in summer. Working in the heat can be difficult, especially if the office space is not effectively ventilated or installed with air conditioning units. Besides this, too much sunlight can increase screen glare, which can make it difficult to work and hinder productivity.

Not only is it costly to run these systems, but the energy usage for maintaining building temperature can be exceptionally high. If the systems installed are old, and therefore less efficient, this can further boost the running and maintenance costs. In fact, one study found that a fifth of UK office space fail energy performance certificate (EPC) rules.

With billions being spent on heating and ventilation, how can businesses cut back on costs and energy consumption, whilst improving the employee experience?

Automated heat control

Automated sunshades can offer an efficient alternative. The automated systems can help to keep offices at a comfortable and consistent temperature by blocking out direct sunlight and reducing the heat that enters the building through windows. They work by automatically adjusting in response to changes in sunlight intensity, which help to minimise the need for HVAC systems and reduce energy costs. A 2023 study from the Illinois Institute of Technology has found that automated sun shades can cut energy usage by up to 25 per cent.

Additionally, automatic sunshades can help to prevent glare and provide a more comfortable working environment for employees. By keeping out excess heat and reducing the need for artificial cooling, automatic sunshades can help to maintain a more consistent temperature inside the office and improve overall energy efficiency, while reducing costs associated with running other ventilation systems and the resulting utility bills.

Behind the scenes

Powering these sunshades are highly powerful, precise drive systems. Small gear motors are important for automatic sunshades because they provide the power and precision needed to move the shades smoothly and quickly. The small size of the gear motor allows it to fit neatly within the housing of the sunshade, making it less obtrusive and more aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, gear motors produce a high level of torque, allowing them to easily lift and lower the sunshades, even with strong wind resistance.

Depending on the size of sunshade, searching for a motor that can meet these requirements can be difficult. EMS exclusively distributes Bühler Motors to the UK and Ireland, which provides an array of motor options created with the needs of the building automation sector in mind. Specifically, Bühler’s 22mm gear motor is a suitable choice for automatic sunshades thanks to its compact size, power and reliability.

The sun can greatly impact employee wellness and mood, but without sufficient control of heat being let into the space, it can instead have the opposite effect. With billions being spent on keeping offices cool, automatic sunshades powered by micromotors offer a more cost effective and reliable solution this summer.

To learn more about the products and services EMS provides, and to stay up-to-date with the latest company news, visit

About EMS: Founded in 1985, EMS has established itself as the leading supplier of high-quality precision small DC motors and linear actuators in the UK. It is a bespoke product manufacturer and is the sole UK distributor for the FAULHABER Group, as well as MPS and Piezomotor. EMS supplies a wide range of industries, including the medical device, aerospace, defence and military sectors.