I believe Electrical Engineering is the best place to ask this question since it concerns engineering and electrical components. I am trying to design a simple system (like a mini garage) that protects a car using a foldable awning like so:

enter image description here

However, my problem is that I am not so experienced in electrical components and am having a hard time choosing an ELECTRIC MOTOR required for my design. I am looking at catalog's from SDP/SI and McMaster Carr, but the specifications of the electric motor are beyond my comprehension.

  1. http://www.sdp-si.com/eStore/CoverPg/Motors.htm

  2. http://www.mcmaster.com/#electric-motors/=vm4c2x

Which motor do you guys suggest for this type of job? I need something to be able to lift the awning bar and the awning itself. I need information on specifications on the motor I should use, and this motor will be attached to a mechanical transmission. You can give me a specific model number, but I prefer knowing what type of specifications I'm looking for such as RPM, Torque, Size, Power, etc. And why? There are so many to choose from...

  • \$\begingroup\$ Size, mass, speed? \$\endgroup\$ – Russell McMahon Jan 25 '15 at 9:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your question is lacking necessary data, like Russell said. Without knowing the speed you want, and which weight your contraption has, no one can help you to choose a motor that is not oversized. Also needed would be length of the lever arm of the force on the motor, etc. \$\endgroup\$ – Andreas Wallner Jan 25 '15 at 13:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ The lower bar arm has a length of 2.5 meters. I do not know about the mass of the whole awning nor the lower bar. Also, the speed is irrelevant as long as it is safe for the awning to lower itself and lift itself without injuring the client or damaging property. \$\endgroup\$ – Mechanical Engineer Jan 25 '15 at 15:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a preliminary design. The motor doesn't have to be perfect but using a motor from MICROMO wouldn't be feasible . Unfortunately, I don't have the mass of size or the whole system because I've been tasked to design the transmission mostly but I need to know what the motor will look like and how big ( approximately) \$\endgroup\$ – Mechanical Engineer Jan 25 '15 at 15:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ give us some numbers: weight of the bars, waight of the canvas. I could reccomend a 500Kg winch and be fairly well assured that it would be capable of lifting the awning, \$\endgroup\$ – Jasen Jan 26 '15 at 6:42

Were your application is basically turning a shaft on a pivot of 90 degrees - the easiest solution may be to look at damper actuators. These are usually used to rotate the shaft of a damper within air handling ductwork. They have gearing built into them and some of them have integral brakes built in so when the position is obtained the brake will hold the system in that position. The brake will be helpful in holding your position 2.

You will need to calculate your torque at the pivot point. The highest torque in your system will be the initial movement from position 1 to position 2.

The link below has a list of the actuators I would recommend researching.


  • \$\begingroup\$ there;s no centre of rotation \$\endgroup\$ – Jasen Jan 26 '15 at 6:51

To give you an accurate suggestion we would need to know dimensions and weight of the awning. However, In general for this application I would suggest a gear motor with a lot of torque and/or have it utilize a pulley system and mount the motor at position II.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd also reccomend a motor at position 2 possibly driving a winch that lifts the awning, perhaps with a counterweight, \$\endgroup\$ – Jasen Jan 26 '15 at 6:27

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