Windy Alberta: A place for retractable awnings?

Posted on 15 February 2017

With few natural wind barriers, Alberta is prone to windy conditions. Calgary is one of the windiest of Canada’s large cities. On average, 28 days a year have strong winds (at least 52 Kph). The wind blows at an annual average of 14.2 Kph in Calgary with wind gusts upwards of 100 Kph, and much more at the top of the highest buildings.

Lethbridge gets more days of strong wind than any other city in Canada. Other towns of Southern Alberta get their share of wind too. Claresholm, Stavely and Pincher Creek have all experienced tremendous winds.

Canada’s most famous wind is the Chinook. This is a mostly welcomed event, with temperatures quickly rising from cold to comfortable. One of Canada’s most infamous winds was the Edmonton Tornado of 1987. At that time, it was Alberta’s worst natural disaster.

With almost 20 wind farms, Alberta has close to 1,000 megawatts of wind power capacity. As wind technology improves, this capacity will be increased by current and future wind farms.

Given that Alberta is such a windy place, is it foolish to consider buying a retractable awning? The answer is no, not at all.

Awnings from Solaris are specifically designed and manufactured with strong wind in mind. The Sunesta manufacturing plant, in Florida, meets strict stands set by TÜV, the world’s leading product tester. Sunesta is the only awning manufacturer in North America to meet TÜV standards. Additionally, Sunesta is the only wind resistant retractable awning to meet Miami-Dade County and Florida building codes – the strictest codes in the United States. These awnings have been validated to perform reliably, without damage, at 72 Kph when extended, and 241 Kph when retracted.

While it’s good to know that your awning can withstand strong winds, it’s not likely that you will be using it in such conditions. Typically, people become uncomfortable with much of a breeze. Awning owners are most likely to retract their awning and head indoors to escape the breeze long before the wind is strong enough to test their awning, but there are those sudden wind gusts that seem to come out of nowhere. You can rest assured that your Sunesta awning from Solaris will pass the test.

For extra peace of mind, a wind sensor is an easy addition to your awning. If the wind does come, and there is no one around to retract your awning, the wind sensor will do it for you.

So, go ahead, enjoy the beautiful and comfortable outdoor space you’ve created with your retractable awning. Not only have we begun to harvest the wind in Alberta, we’ve been learning to live with it for a long time. Sunesta awnings from Solaris help us do that. Contact us and let’s talk about how a retractable awning can improve your home!

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