The call for renewable energy sources is louder than ever, and many home and business owners have taken the steps towards the most accessible option – solar energy. Most of the grid homes and cabins are equipped with solar panels to harness the power from the sun.
Solar panels are more accessible and easier to install, and many people see them as the most effective source of energy for their cabins. Aside from being sustainable energy, it is also the solution for garage doors that have no power sources.
If you are looking to use solar energy for your garage, you should read this article first. Here is everything you need to know about the solar-powered garage door opener and its installation process.
What is a Solar Powered Door Opener?
Solar-powered garage door openers can also be called automatic gates where they can help in closing and opening the gates without manual help. These gates openers are worth the investment because they don’t add up to your utility bill (if you are connected to the grid).
It can operate your garage door even without electricity as your energy source is the solar panels. A unit can open and close the gate using a remote, a keypad, or a sensor installed in the door. Some units operate on dual power – electricity and solar energy. But for cabins and off-grid homes, it runs solely on solar energy. However, this, too, can have limitations, especially during the winter or when there is overcast.
These solar power garage door openers are perfect for sliding gates and swing gates. Some of these units can even open and close even wrought-iron gates and tubular gates, depending on their weight.
Automatic solar garage doors have many benefits. It is an ideal investment for homeowners to have control over who enters and goes out of their property. Thus, keeping your home and belongings safe from intruders even in the middle of the wilderness.
How Does Solar Powered Garage Door Works?
A solar garage door opener can automatically open and close any gates at your off-grid home or cabin, and as the name suggests, it runs on solar power.
It has four vital components:
- Control Box – This is the brain of the entire system and is attached to the gate. Most of it is made of plastic. The control box contains the battery, power pack, motherboard, and the receiver. The role of the control box is to receive the signals from the remote control, sensor device, or the keypad. This signal is sent to the appropriate tools in the system and controls it.
- Actuator Ram – The actuator ram is the component that keeps the gate in place when opened or closed. This is usually made from stainless steel as it needs to be resistant to water, grit, and corrosion. Some actuator rams are coated with rubber and have a powder-covered metal part.
- Solar Panels – These are connected to a control box with wire and are essential as it powers up the whole system.
- Solar Battery – The solar battery stores the excess electricity. Most solar garage door openers have the standard DC battery with a capacity of 12 volts. Without the battery, the solar door openers will not operate at night or during winter and cloudy days.
How to Install a Solar Powered Garage Door Opener?
Once you have purchased all the necessary tools and equipment, you can start installing the solar-powered garage door opener by following these instructions.
Step 1. Begin with the bracing. The kit includes a bracket where you will mount the solar panel. Find the place for the bracket. It should be adequately angled to the sun for maximum absorption of sunlight.
Step 2. Connect the opener to the cable. Strip the wire clips first before connecting them to the low voltage cables. (Remember: + wire = + wire and -wire = – wire). Secure them with wire caps.
Step 3. Connect the low voltage cables to your batteries. Run the voltage cable to where your battery pack is and make sure that the battery is in a secure location.
Step 4. Test your connection. Once you are through connecting the cables, plug the opener to reset your unit. Test your connection by running power to the battery. This will check if you have broken connections. If there is none, your garage door opener should be operating as it should.
Step 5. Run the wire from the battery to the controller. Clip a separate cable from the battery to the controller. This line will charge the battery through your solar power controller.
Step 6. Connect the solar panel to your controller. The last step is to connect the wires from your solar panel to the controller. Remember to mark the positive from the negative and connect the right cables.
Step 7. Test your system. To make sure that your connection is successful, you need to test the whole system. Wait until your batteries are charged. To know if you have installed the solar-powered garage door properly, it should open and close.
Some Installation Tips
Aside from installing your solar gate opener in the right place, here are some installation tips that can help.
1. Install the solar panels where you can have maximum sunlight. The place should have no obstruction so that the solar panels can absorb the maximum sunlight.
2. Know the workload of the solar-powered gate opener to know the right solar panel size. When you decide to purchase a solar gate opener, you need to consider the size of the solar panel. This size will depend on the workload of the gate (how many times it opens in a single day).
If your gate frequently opens in a day, it needs more energy, which means a larger solar panel.
Cabins and off-grid houses often have no available electricity, and they usually depend on renewable sources for their energy. Using solar power for the garage door opener is the obvious choice because it will utilize available resources to operate.
Knowing all the benefits of a solar-powered door opener, you know that it is the right choice. Now that you know how easy it is to install it, why not try it now.