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Motorized Sliding Sunroof


Contributors: Hendrik Hagala

Project video link: 


Skylight location 

Our building’s roof is made of plastic framework where the skylight should be fixed between plastic beams, not on top of the roof. See the picture below:

The Shape of the Skylight

The roof opening is in a ring shape with diameter of 1600 mm (marked with blue) and the skylight should be big enough to cover it. See picture below: 

Since the roof is curved like an umbrella then the skylight cannot be rectangular because it wouldn’t fit into the roof construction. For that reason we have to cut skylight’s corners (marked with red) like on the picture below:

Skylight glass: laminated glass with the thickness of 2x3 mm. We are laminating smart film between glass layers to make it smart glass. You can get an idea about smart glass here:

Smart glass is coming with different colors and transparency.

Since smart film doesn’t bear high temperatures and Panama has hot weather then we need to use low E-glass to keep the glass temperature as low as possible.

Bug screen and blackout screen

There might be several opinions for bug net and blackout blinders but below is one potential solution.

Rollers should have some sort of mechanism where they close automatically if there is no force that would keep them open (like regular roller blinders). 


Motors should be connected with some sort of pole that if you start the motor then it rotates and screws the string on top / off what then opens / closes the blinder or bug roll.


Sliding Motorized Skylight

It’s a challenge for engineers to work out a solution where the skylight is sliding and motorized because of the semicircular shape. Following links below you can see how rectangular sliding motorized skylights are working. 

As you could see from the videos the most common gear system for sliding motorized skylights is something like you can see on the picture below:

Since our construction doesn’t have enough room to fit the motor at the end of the skylight then we cannot use this kind of solution. One option would be to fix it on the side of the skylight like on the picture below:


Material of the skylight: It should be as light as possible. Since SeaPods are located in areas where there's salt air then corrosion-resistant materials should be used.  

Color: white


This project is being developed as an open-source project with the following licensing: