If you’re someone who has mobility issues, has kids or animals running around the property, or is generally very tired after a long day at work, even the smallest conveniences can make a world of difference in your day-to-day life. One such modern convenience that you can greatly benefit from in your home are solar powered gates. They are powered by renewable energy, are cost-effective, and can be easily opened and closed from the comfort of your vehicle when you’re trying to get in and out of your property. If you’re new to the world of solar gates, here are a few things you need to get a grasp on in order to be equipped with the knowledge to make your first purchase with confidence.
Components of Solar Farm Gates
Let’s start with the basics. Before buying solar farm gates, you should know that they are comprised of a few key components – a control box, a battery, an actuator ram and solar panels. The control box is placed at the gate and it houses the power pack, battery, receiver and motherboard which is responsible for controlling various input devices that are required to operate the gate. The box is a durable and secure piece made of hard plastic, and while you can install it away from the gate, most people opt to have it on the gate itself. The battery powers the entire system, and most of the time, standard 12V DC batteries are ideal for the job. The solar panels power the gate opener, and what energy is left is stored in the battery for later use during low-light days or after dark.
The actuator ram ensures that the gate is held in place firmly, regardless of whether it’s open or closed. It can be bolted directly onto the gate, and the endpin can be replaced by a stainless steel lock and pin to increase the overall security of the gate. Actuator rams are usually heavy-duty, stainless steel, powder-coated, corrosion-resistant metal parts with a rubber seal. The inner workings of the actuator ram are grit and water-resistant thanks to their design. And solar panels are made up of cells that collect and convert the sun’s energy into usable electricity. In most cases, the panel is connected to the control box through a wire. It’s important to position the panels in a spot that gets a lot of sun to ensure the gate is powered at all times.
Solar is renewable energy that’s harvested from the sun. This means you’re completely independent and off the grid. Solar doesn’t create any harmful emissions and waste, making it the most environmentally-friendly power solution. The long-term savings are also not to be overlooked. Most solar gate openers come at the same price as standard electric gate openers. However, keep in mind that you might need to spend a few hundred dollars on solar panels and battery. But once you’ve made the initial investment, you won’t have to pay a dollar in the future, and this is where the cost-saving benefits come from.
Solar-powered gate openers are ideal for people who have a secondary property that they don’t visit regularly. When you’re away from your farm, vacation cabin or hunting lodge, you can keep your gate powered without having to rely on grid electricity. This also means that you won’t have to figure out how to plug in the power when you go to the property. Additionally, they’re easy to install. You just put everything together and you’re done. No running of power lines from your cabin or house, no need for an electrician, no digging, nothing!
Before you make a buying decision, always read the reviews about each item that you’re considering. Reviews can change from day to day, due to more people adopting the technology and installing the equipment on their property. Typically, reading reviews is just a small part of the research process, as you’d like to get a little more into the weeds than solely relying on online talks. However, for items like solar powered gates that have moving parts and need a high-quality build, it can be helpful to see the experience that different people have had with them. When looking at the reviews, don’t just look at the highest-rated reviews, but take a peek at the lowest rated reviews as well.
Then, you have to check the weight rating. Not all solar-powered gate kits are rated the same. Most of the time, you can see this information at the top of the product page. Furthermore, make sure you see what’s included in the kit. For instance, some gate openers come with solar panels, while some come without. The same applies to batteries.