Solar Powered Gate Opener
The invention of solar power technology in the 1950s brought about numerous advancements. With solar power, scientists discovered that the light from the sun can be harnessed to produce electricity. Its heat, on the other hand, can be used to heat up water and liquids. Both of these technologies allow homes and industries to save on electrical costs. These innovative methods not only reduce utility expenses but also help preserve the environment and decrease the use of coal and fossil fuels, which are non-renewable resources that are commonly used to generate the world’s electricity. One other advancement that solar technology has brought is a reduction in manual work.
The rechargeable batteries in solar technology need not be replaced, and they will continue to work without constant maintenance. Solar calculators can work for years without ever needing to be charged manually. Gates that use solar gate openers do not need to be manually opened and closed every time because they can be operated automatically. This article will look at sun powered gate opener devices specifically, explain how they work, provide tips on choosing the ideal one for your needs, discuss the best brands out there, identify different types of solar gate openers, and list pros and cons.
What Is a Solar Powered Gate Opener?
What exactly is a solar gate opener? You may have already guessed that it is a device that allows for automatic opening and closing of a gate. It can be used for any gate type, whether it is a wooden or a steel one. This device makes sense as it takes great effort to open and close gates manually especially if they are heavy. If you live on a farm and need to keep your animals in an enclosure or allow them to go out, it can be tiresome to run back and forth just to reach the gate lock.
Because the gate is automatic, it is powered by electricity, but that electricity need not be coming from a wall outlet connected to the grid. The electricity is sourced from the sun through a solar panel, which makes this the eco-friendly and cost-efficient choice. The solar panel can be of various types and capacities, depending on how much watts the system requires to operate. However, the most efficient of the types of panels is the monocrystalline option, and it is often preferred for its output. The remote functionality is made possible with a sensor or a keypad and operated through remote control.
This device is great for swinging or sliding gates. The capacity of the device needed to push or pull the gate is dependent on the weight of the actual gate, so it is important that this is known. This reduction in manual labor can really assist individuals who have physical disabilities or who lack the physical strength to do it themselves. This can also save time in running back and forth to the gate especially if one is in a hurry.
Finally, it can provide security and peace of mind and will make sure to keep intruders out if the device is made with more sophisticated security features. After all, technology is invented to make our lives more comfortable and easier. This definitely ticks those boxes.
How Does a Solar Gate Opener Work?
Now that we know what they are, let’s next determine how exactly a solar powered gate opener works. As mentioned, the actual mechanism of opening and closing is made possible with electricity. One thing that differs from a solar one and a regular gate opening device is the source of the electricity. Both sliding and swinging gates can be automated, and the action is made possible through the gate opener’s essential components.
The control box is the brain of the system. Usually made of hard plastic, it is fixed on the actual gate. Inside this box are four other components: the power pack, battery, receiver, and motherboard. It is through the control box that a signal is received from the control device, which can be in the form of a remote control, a sensor device, or a keypad. Upon the receipt of the signal, the action is performed by the system.
The actuator ram is a device that supplies motion and force through a drive screw, which is a screw that can be either a ball, roller, or ACME type. This device is capable of high-level accuracy and reliability in movement, so it is perfect for keeping the main gateway to your house or building safe. It is responsible for keeping your gate secured regardless of whether it is open or closed.
The third component, which is the energy source of the system, is the solar panel. The solar panel is connected to the control box, so the energy gathered from it can be saved in the battery for storage and access. The final component is the power cell or battery, and it is located inside the control box. It is where the excess energy produced by the panel is saved, so that the solar gate opener can function continuously. These components altogether make up the system and allow one to have an efficient and essentially free system.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Solar Gate Opener
Now that you understand the components of a sun powered gate opening device, the next things you need to know are the aspects you should consider when buying one for your home or your business. Once you have decided on whether to use the device for your home or for a business building or private establishment you own or manage, you should look at the factors below.
Ask yourself the following questions. What type of gate do you have? Is it a steel gate or a wooden gate? What material is it made of? What is it guarding? The place it is guarding will let you know what level of security the gate must provide and help you choose the right brand for you.
Do you want to purchase known brands or are you okay with buying local brands? What do the customer reviews say about the brand? What features does the brand have? There are popular and trusted brands out there like Mighty Mule, Ghost Controls, TOPENS, and ECO-WORTHY, and it would be wise to check them when making a choice.
How big is your gate? Do you know how much it weighs? Is it difficult to open using just your hands? You want to consider the following questions when finding the right solar powered gate opener for your home.
What safety features could be valuable and required for your gate opener? You want to check out gate opener brands that have an automatic close feature so that the machine will automatically do this for you in case you forget to do it yourself. You can also check out brands with loop detectors (exit and safety) to easily sense any metal near your gate and alert you so that you can open it remotely.
Manufacturer warranty speaks of the quality of the product. The longer the warranty the brand offers, the more confident they are with the product. There are brands that offer a year or even 3-year warranties, so watch out for those.
You will want to match the power of your gate opener’s motor with that of your solar panel. This will ensure that your panel can sufficiently power up your system. Make sure to buy compatible and efficient panels to have a better experience with your system.
You want to look for deep cycle batteries that can keep your system going 24/7. Lithium-ion batteries are great for this function, so you want to check out systems with this type. If the brand does not provide this type, either buy it separately or look for good alternatives such as AGM, RV, or Marine types.
Top 5 Best Solar Gate Openers
Now that you know the factors to look for in your solar powered gate openers, let’s next look at brands you can choose from. The list below includes the best brands that we found so far, so check them out.
5. ECO-WORTHY Automatic Gate Opener Kit Solar
If you are looking for a gate opener that is eco-friendly and worthy of investment, go for Eco-Worthy’s kit for dual-swing gates weighing up to 1322 pounds. This 11-watt, 24-volt system is a heavy-duty system that is perfect for your heavy gate. It comes with a 2-piece motor and a 202 stainless steel arm. It is IP66-rated waterproof, so it can withstand rain without malfunction.
It has a 433-MHZ 2-piece remote control that has a 5-meter reach. Its 11-watt solar panel is hooked to its two 7-Ah batteries that are 110V/220V-AC compatible. The batteries are already included as part of the kit, so you do not have to purchase them separately. At an affordable price, you have a great system at your fingertips.
- Great for heavy gates
- Offers a good remote range
- Battery included with purchase
- Slightly low powered for its capacity
4. USAutomatic 020320 Sentry 300 Commercial Grade Automatic Gate Opener
Another great brand for your gate is USAutomatic’s Sentry 300. If you wish to get a tax incentive for going solar, this can get you qualified. It includes a 3-year warranty, which speaks of good quality, and it can operate gates of up to 20 feet in height. This device comes with 2 12-volt batteries.
It also has an awesome plug-and-go feature that makes the system wire-free and allows for quick and intuitive installation that can be done in under an hour. This gate opener provides universal mounting brackets for bolting onto your gate and a linear actuator that can supply 400 pounds of thrust and 1000 pounds of compression rating. With this device, your gate can open or close within 16 seconds.
- Universal fitting
- Comes with a 3-year warranty
- Easy install through its plug-and-go feature
- Chargeable through AC transformer or solar panel
- ON/OFF switch to keep the gate open if needed
3. TOPENS AD5S Automatic Solar Gate Opener Kit
Whether you have a swing gate or a driveway gate, Topen’s Automatic Gate Opener can be great for you. It has two especially efficient DC motors that can handle 16-foot gates that weigh up to 550 pounds. Its durable aluminum arms make for easy handling of medium-weight gates.
It is compatible with various gate types including steel, wood, and vinyl gates that have a panel, tube, or chain-link design. It can be installed with just simple tools, so there may be no need for professional help in connecting it to your gate with its pull-to-open and push-to-open installation. It requires a 24V battery to be connected to its included 20-watt monocrystalline solar panel.
- Compatible with various gate types
- Perfect for medium-weight residential gates
- Easy install and durable product
- Comes with solar panels
- No battery included
2. Mighty Mule MM560 18′ 850# HDTY SGL Opener
Best for gates of an 850-pound weight and 18-feet in height, Mighty Mule’s solar operated automatic gate opener can be the one for you. This easy-install device is powered by dual-sense technology for increased safety whether you have a single or a dual gate that is of an ornamental, chain-link, tube, panel, vinyl, or wood type.
Included in the purchase are a single-button remote (Model # FM135), AC transformer (Model # RB570), 12-volt 7-amp-hour battery (Model # FM150), control box, all necessary hardware, and a comprehensive installation guide with an interactive DVD. It does not include a solar panel, although it can be purchased separately. It is also ETL certified and definitely delivers in terms of quality with its 18-month warranty.
- Compatible with various gate types
- Perfect for hefty gates
- Comes with batteries and control box
- ETL-certified product
- Comes with an 18-month warranty
- No solar panel included
1. Ghost Controls TDS2XP Heavy-Duty Solar Dual Automatic Gate Opener Kit
Ghost Control’s 20-foot capacity gate opener does an excellent job of automating this task for you. This DIY-installed kit is perfect for dual gates of up to 900 pounds in weight. The manufacturer provides a lifetime motor and gear assembly warranty and 18 months for the remaining parts. This is a testament to the product’s good quality and the manufacturer’s customer service. It is also ETL listed in the 2018 UL325 7th Edition Standard.
Since it is made of durable materials, it can be used for years even when it is exposed to all kinds of weather. The package comes with a 10-watt solar panel, tube brackets, 3-button remote transmitter with a 1000-foot reach, resettable transformer, battery harness, warning placards and documentation, and installation manual. Its easy-install functionality makes it convenient for residential installs. Finally, it is equipped with SafeForce Technology.
- Excellent warranty
- Comes with a solar panel
- ETL-certified product
- Quick install feature
- Perfect for huge and heavy gates
- No battery included
Pros and Cons of Solar Gate Openers
There are more upsides than downsides with the solar gate opener device. Here is a list of the pros and cons of getting a sun powered gate opener.
- Mainly, it is eco-friendly, and you are doing a great service for the planet by going solar. This means you do not consume extra electricity for your gate because its power depends solely on solar energy.
- Solar gate openers are also relatively inexpensive compared to regular electric ones.
- You may get tax credits from the government and utility savings from not needing to pay for electric expenses associated with the device.
- It is incredibly convenient, and it will save you time in opening and closing your gate manually. This is especially true if you have a big company with the gate a kilometer away from the main building.
- It guarantees safety for your property without requiring additional personnel to manually operate the device.
- The only downside to this technology is that it will not be very productive on especially dark days like during winter storms in the Arctic. The panels will also have to be placed at an optimal angle for the device to work properly.
The gate is the first level of defense of property against intruders. It also provides peace of mind to the owner of the property. However, constantly opening and closing a manual gate can be tiring and time consuming most especially for huge properties. Automating a gate using an electric gate opener can also be expensive.
Luckily, there is a way to save yourself from the hassle and to save a few bucks while keeping your property safe. Solar gate openers operate through the help of the sun’s unlimited energy, and these devices are easy to install and safe to use. Whether you have a swing gate, sliding gate, or dual swing gate, you can take advantage of this eco-friendly choice. Select from the brands above, and you can go solar by taking the first step.