Automatic blinds

This block is used for the advanced control of a shading device such as internal or external venetian blinds, roller shutters, roller blinds or awnings. 'Advanced' control means that this function block allows sun-optimised positioning of the shading device.

Get more information about blind control

Combining intelligent room controller with automatic shading

With intelligent room control, your customers will get exactly the temperature they want, at exactly the time they want. In summer, you'll also want to provide optimal shading. By combining the Intelligent Room Controller and Automatic blinds function blocks you can achieve this. Find out how in our online seminar:

Introduction

The block has manual control as well as automatic control for fully optimised sun shading. The goal of the automatic function is to have maximum brightness in the room but avoiding direct sunlight. 

When connected with the Intelligent room controller module you can cause the blinds to function as a result of the room temperature and sun position. 

Don't be put off by the number of inputs and parameters! Only a few are necessary for a basic setup.

Basic setup

First connect any wall switches that you may have next to your blind. Input Up drives the blinds up and input Dw drives the blinds down. The blind will move while the button is pressed and if the press lasts longer than 3 seconds then the blind is driven all the way down or up.

Next connect the two digital outputs that are connected to the motor contacts, Q↑ is for the motor up and Q↓ is for the motor down. 

The only parameters that you need to then set are Tu and Td. These are set using constants in the example below but you can also change them in the properties of the Automatic blind block (click on the block and look at the Properties window to the far left of the screen). 

The blinds can now be operated using any wall switches connected or via the user interface!

Further automatic settings

In addition to this basic setup you can quickly enable some automatic shading by setting the parameter D. This is the compass direction of the window in degrees. 

Then use the input AS to activate the automatic mode of the block. This is where you would connect the shading output from the Intelligent room controller so that when the room gets to hot the blinds close. 

Finally AD is the input you want to use to disable the automatic mode, for example in winter, or when a window is open.

Tubular Motor Solidline Air

If you are using a SOLIDline Air tubular motor then the "Command Output" of the motor can be connected directly to the AQpp output of the function block.

This single connection communicates all the required informaiton. 

For setting up the SOLIDline Air motor itself please refer to the documentation here.

Standard features

The inputs Up and Dw partially open and close the blind. Using the parameters Tc and Tdc, the blind can be made to open or close completely if the respective button Up or Dw is double-clicked or held down. The inputs Cu and Cd trigger the blind to open or close completely. The shading device is controlled by the outputs Q↑ and Q↓. The blind’s opening or closing can be interrupted by a signal from the inputs UpDwCu or Cd.

The input S triggers maximum shading, i.e. lowers the blind completely then sets the slats to a horizontal position.

 
This function is only available if you have venetian type blinds!

 
Another feature of this function block is the safety shutdown. This is triggered by a pulse at the input Sp - the parameter SO defines what the device does if the safety cut-off is triggered, for example in strong winds the blinds are driven completely up as Qs is set to 0 (SO off). 

The stop input St halts the shading device. When St is activated, the device is locked in a stationary position and will not move.
Example: The stop input could be triggered by a door contact switch.

The Trigger Disable Dis input locks the UpDwCu and Cd inputs and any new input signal pulses are ignored. This could be used, for example, as a child lock.

Q↑ is the output for the blinds being raised and Q↓ is the output for the blinds being lowered.
The output AQp gives the current position of the blind and the output AQl gives the position of the slats.

These are calculated positions which may be incorrect when the shading device is used for the first time. If the position on the user interface is not the same as the actual position of the blind, then move the shading device into the corresponding position (fully up / down) until they match.

Be smart and get your heating system to communicate with the shading.
Programming example can be dowloaded here.

Automatic functions

This function block is designed to adjust a shading device according to position of the sun. The goal of the automation is to maximise brightness in the room while avoiding direct sunlight in order to stop the room overheating.

A pulse at the input AS activates the automation. You can lock the automatic functions using the input AD, which means that a pulse at AS will not start automatic mode. This could be used for example to change between summer and winter modes. The status (active/not active) of the automatic mode is shown at the output QA.

If the automatic shading is activated, that does not mean that the shading device will immediately start to move- the movement of the device also depends on the parameters DDT and AT1 and the position of the sun.

 
In order to make as little noise as possible, the automation is designed to minimise movement of the shading device. You can change the time between adjustments of the blind with the parameter AT. For example if AT is set to 30, then the position of the slats will be adjusted every 30 minutes.

Once automatic shading has finished (which depends on the parameters DDTe and AT2), you can specify what the shading device should do- e.g. open completely. To do this, adjust the parameter AX.

AX = 0   No action
AX = 1   Completely open
AX = 2   Completely close
AX = 3   Set slats horizontal

If, whilst in automatic mode, the shading device is operated manually i.e. one of the inputs UpDwCuCdSp or St is triggered, automatic shading is turned off for that day – i.e. the shading device will no longer move automatically for the rest of the day. If you want to re-enable automatic shading for that day, then input AR must be triggered.

For further information on the parameters, please see the parameter descriptions.

Example Use: You could use automatic shading if the room temperature or level of sunlight went above a certain threshold.

The shading finishes when the sun leaves the shading area.
When automatically shading, the inputs Up, Dw, Cu, Cd, Sp, St or AD are not used.

Inputs

Up Blind up The motor will drive up for a short period if briefly pressed, if held will drive up when pressed.
Dw  Blind down The motor will drive down for a short period if briefly pressed, if held will drive up when pressed.
Cu  Blinds completely up  The motor will drive up completely.
Cd  Blinds completely down  The motor will drive down completely.
Shade Drive the motor fully down, then back up briefly to angle the slats.
AS  Enable automatic shading  Automatic shading is activated by being permanently on at the begin of the shading period, or can be activated by a single pulse during the shading period.
AD  Disable automatic shading Prevents the automatic shading from working.
AR  Enable automatic shading again  With a pulse automatic shading will be reactivated (AS has to be ON at the same time).
Sp  Safety shutdown  Shading will be stopped, for example in the case of high wind speeds.
St  Stop  Stops the blind motor.
AI  Analog input position Puts the blinds to the desired position (0-100%).
AIp  Analog input slats Angle the blind slat to the desired position (0-100%).
Reserved for future Reserved for future.
Dis Disable  Disables the inputs Up, Dw, Cu, Cd, S, but the user interface will still work.

Outputs

Q ↑ Digital output up Connect the motor up output here.
Q ↓ Digital output down Connect the motor down output here.
AQp Position of blinds Current position of blinds: 0 = top, 1.0 = bottom
AQl Slat position Current slat position: 0 = horizontal, vertical = 1.0
Qa Automatic shading status On if automatic shading is active.
Qs Safety shutdown status On when the Sp input is active.
Ql Lock status On when the St input is active.

Parameters

Parameter T

Type of blind:

0 = Blinds or venetian blinds
1 = Shutters, rollers or roof blinds
2 = Curtains
3 = Schlotterer Retrolux

Parameter So

Position on safety shutdown:

0 = When a pulse occurs on input Sp the blinds drive all the way up
1 = When a pulse occurs on input Sp the blinds drive all the way down

This is useful with for external blind protection in high winds.

Parameters Ax

Action after the end of automatic shading:

0 = No action (remains in the position at the end of shading)
1 = Drive completely open
2 = Drive completely closed
3 = Set the slats horizontal

Parameter Times

Tc Minimal time [s] of the input pulse (Up, Dw) to trigger complete opening or closing of the blinds. If you would rather use a double click enter a very high value in this field.
Tu Duration in [s] of the output pulse to move the blinds fully open.
Td Duration in [s] of the output pulse to move the blinds fully closed.
TI Duration in [s] during which the motor is locked between direction changes, please check the blind manufacturer datasheet.
Tdc Double click interval [s] on input (Up, Dw) to trigger complete opening or closing of the blinds. If you don't want to use a double click enter a 0 in this field.
Tdt Delay duration [s] for motor lock with a direction change (slat orientation).
Tot Delay duration [s] for motor lock with no direction change (slat orientation).
M Duration [s] of output pulse if using a short press on the inputs (for trimming the blind position).

 

Parameter Tr

Automatic blind parameter Tr

 

Description Unit Range
Tr

Venetian Blind Mode: Time taken for slats to move from the vertical to horizontal position. This is important for the slat angle adjustment.

s 0.8s (Preset)
Tr

Roller Blind / Shutter Mode: When shading mode is active, this value defines how open the blinds / shutters will be (0.8 = 80%)

  0.0 - 1.0

Parameters D, DT and DTe

Automatic blind parameter D, DT, DTe

Parameter

Description Unit Range
D

Orientation of the shading device relative to true (geographic) north (0 = North, 90 = east, 180 = south, 270 = West).
This parameter is important for calculating the sun’s position relative to your shading device.
For example, a window facing due south would be set to 180 degrees.

...° 0° - 360°
180° (Preset)
DT Directional tolerance of incoming sunlight for automatic shading.
The tolerance angle is given relative to the normal (shown on the above diagram).
A protruding part of the house may block sunlight from reaching the shading device at a certain time of day; the directional tolerance parameter lets you allow for this, and disables the automatic shading when there is no sunlight falling on the shading device.
...° 0° - 90°
85° (Preset)
DTe Directional tolerance in the other direction (see description for DT and the diagram above). ...° 0° - 90°
85° (Preset)
Example:

From the diagram:
Orientation of the shading device, D = 30°
Directional tolerance, DT = 60°
Directional tolerance, DTe = 85°

Note: To determine the required parameters, use building plans or contact your architect.

Parameters Lw and Ls

Automatic blinds parameters Lw Ls

Parameter

Description Unit Range

Lw

Slat width mm 70mm (Preset)

Ls

Slat Separation mm 60mm (Preset)

Parameter Ma

Automatic shading mode:

Ma = 0
Optimal brightness (no automatic shading when open)
In the shade, the slats are made so that as much light comes into the room, but direct sunlight and glare is prevented. The slats are angled flat compared to the optimal cooling mode. If the blinds at the beginning of shading (when AS is on) are fully open, the blinds are not moved.
Ma = 1
Optimal cooling (no automatic shading when closed)
The slats are angled so that the sun is blocked as well as possible and thus the heat is kept away from the area. The slats are at a steeper angle compared to the optimal brightness mode. If the blinds at the beginning of shading (when AS is on) are fully closed, the blinds are not moved.

Ma = 2

Optimum brightness
In the shade, the slats are made so that as much light comes into the room, but direct sunlight and glare is prevented. The slats are angled flat compared to the optimal cooling mode.
Ma = 3
Optimal cooling
The slats are angled so that the sun is blocked as well as possible and thus the heat is kept away from the area. The slats are at a steeper angle compared to the optimal brightness mode.

Parameters AT, AT1 and AT2

Automatic blinds parameter AT, AT1, AT2

Parameter

Description Unit Range
AT

Tracking interval
The tracking interval defines how often the slats will be adjusted during automatic shading.
Example:  If the parameter is set to 30, every 30 minutes the shading device is adjusted to block the sun.

min 30min (Preset)
AT1

Start time for automatic shading
The start time for automatic shading usually depends on the orientation of the shading device (D) and the directional tolerance (DT) parameters; but using the start time parameter, you can delay the start time by the time - in minutes - given by parameter (AT1).
Example:   AT1 = 30 Minutes: The automatic shading starts 30 minutes after the calculated time that the sun would hit the device.

min 30min (Preset)
AT2

End time for automatic shading
The end time for automatic shading usually depends on the orientation of the shading device (D) and the directional tolerance (DTe) parameters; but using the end time parameter, you can bring forward the end time by the (negative of the) time - in minutes - given by parameter (AT2).
Example:   AT2 = -30 Minutes: The automatic shading finishes 30 minutes before the calculated time that the sun would no longer fall on the device. This could be used if you wanted to watch the sunset out of a west facing window (if AX were set to 1).

min -30min (Preset)