Solar Fence Gate Operator Systems are just that, systems that are powered by the sun. They are simply solar powered batteries. Gate size and weight, and traffic volume needs to be considered when planning any installation of a solar operator system. If the gate is too large or traffic volume is too great, solar power may not provide a reliable solution for the gate system. Swing gates greater than 18 feet long and weighing more than 850lbs, as well as slide gates of 30 feet or more and/or weighing over 1000lbs are not good candidates for solar installations. In addition, high volume traffic areas tend to drain the batteries too quickly. The constant opening and closing does not allow time for charging between the gate uses.
Despite these solar operators limitations these systems have obvious benefits in financial savings and an ability to provide power to remote locations that do not have an alternate power source. If your criteria allows for a total solar installation you will need to consider an entry system for the gate. An entry system (one other than a key switch) will have some additional electrical draw on the batteries while the gate is not in use. This should be taken into consideration when planning access to the subject area. Your operator or access control provider can help you with this decision when you are planning your installation. Entry/exit, safety and emergency entrance operation devices will be covered at that time.
All locations including residential, commercial or industrial can benefit electrical savings from using solar power. Taking advantage of solar fence tax credits that are available for government certified solar operator is a great unseen plus. There is no specific number of gate openings or closings for any gate operating off of battery power. The operator manufacturer for the installation will be glad to give you an estimate for that particular gate. Swing gates and slide gates have been mentioned as having a solar option, but traffic barriers and most other automated gate operations can be configured to solar again depending on size and traffic volume. These products, with proper installation, have been very reliable and most have a limited warranty period of at least two years.
Location of the gate also needs to be assessed when evaluating the possibility of solar power. Climate and sun exposure are critical when planning for a reliable solar installation. Surrounding foliage must be maintained to allow the 'rays' to hit the panel. When considering the need to provide hard wired power, pay for that power on continuing basis, or a potential Zombie Apocalypse; choosing solar power is a “No Braaaaainer”.
Hah! But seriously... Solar systems are continuing to evolve and improve. The tax incentives provided to promote this type of energy system are a bonus to everyone. Check with your gate and operator provider for suggestions on all solar installations. Look at other installations in your local area and ask lots of questions. Solar gate operator systems provide financial, environmental and operational benefits that other systems cannot provide. Have questions regarding our Solar products?