Solar-powered gate openers become more popular every year, and because their manufacturing costs have steadily decreased, they’re more accessible now than ever before! And though homeowners get to enjoy many benefits, solar-powered gate openers are not ideal for every property.
4 Sure Gates breaks down the pros and cons before you invest in a solar-powered automatic gate opener.
What are Solar-Powered Gate Openers?
In solar-powered gate openers, solar panels harness energy from the sun to charge the battery instead of drawing it from an outlet. This stored energy is then used to open and close your gate. Unlike conventional automatic gate openers, solar-powered gate opener systems are not dependent on your AC power source.
The amount of energy captured from the sun’s rays depends on the size of the solar panels. If you open and close the gate up to 20 times a day, you need only a 10-watt panel. But if your gates open and close about 100 times a day (usually in multi-family buildings), you might need a 28-watt panel.
To determine the right solar panel for your automatic residential gate opener, ask our expert technicians.
Benefits of Solar-Powered Gate Openers
You Minimize Your Energy Bill
A typical American home pays an average of $115 every month for electricity. Because a solar-powered gate opener isn’t dependent on outlets, it will not add to this bill. The only expenses it entails are the upfront installation costs and maintenance, of course.
In addition, a solar-powered gate opener doesn’t require costly pre-installation preparations. Unlike traditional gate systems that need electrical adjustments, their solar-powered counterparts only need a place to install the panels.
Power Outages Don’t Affect the Gates
If you experience frequent power outages in your area, solar-powered gate openers are your best choice. Reliable batteries store enough energy for up to 10 cycles, even during days with minimal sunlight. You won’t experience the inconvenience of manually opening or closing your gate.
Solar Panels are Scalable
Should you upgrade to a bigger, more powerful automatic gate, you don’t have to replace your panel with a bigger one. You simply add another panel to capture the energy the new gate requires.
Drawbacks of Solar-Powered Gates
It’s Not Ideal for Locations with Limited Sunlight
The solar panels require at least eight hours of unobstructed sunlight to charge a battery fully. If it doesn’t get enough sun rays, it can’t power the cycles sufficiently.
As such, homeowners in rainy locations or places with long winters might be better off with a traditional gate system. In the same vein, solar-powered gate openers aren’t suitable for properties surrounded by dense trees.
It Requires More Maintenance
While solar-powered automatic gates don’t add to your electricity bill, they do require slightly more maintenance. On top of routine maintenance, homeowners have to clean the panels at least twice a year to ensure adequate absorption of sunlight.
Additionally, homeowners need to prune the trees around the panels to prevent the branches from blocking the sun.
If you need professional advice for solar gate openers, contact 4 Sure Gates technicians. We’ll help you determine if a solar gate system meets your property’s requirements.