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Using Solar to power Gate.


Mark M

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Hi All

This forum has been so useful to me in the passed, I thought I'll seek some profession advise again :)

I live in road that is secured by a security gate that is currently being powered by one of the residents.

Would it be viable and possible to have this powered exclusively by Solar/Battery?

The idea would be to free the resident from having to use his electricity and then have the other residents reimburse him.

I guess we would be able to keep that option open in emergency or when there's no sun for a few days.

 

PS. if there are any installers here that can do this, would be happy to chat :)

 

Thanks

Mark

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You could probably just replace the battery with a much bigger one and connect an MPPT with a panel directly to it and disconnect the AC. Just make sure to oversize everything so that you never run out of power. In order to do so, you probably have to measure the gate motor usage for a couple of weeks, and then you can use that with a calculator like this to determine the size of the battery and panel so that you have 0 days with an empty battery:

https://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pvg_tools/en/tools.html#SA

(go to off-grid section, azimuth is 180° for North)

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Advice from the centurion agent here in Zimbabwe is to use a 60W panel and just a PWM charge controller onto your standard 7Ah SLA gate battery. I know several people who are running on just this with no AC and no problems. Obviously with a housing complex/ road security barrier you will see more traffic than a household so a bigger battery might be better. We have companies here building lithium battery replacements for the 7Ah SLA batteries so you might find something comparable locally in SA.

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Just make sure you fit an alarm mag to the panel ... I noticed they fitted a solar panel to the gate motor were my son lives ... I laughed and said it wouldnt last ... it was stolen 3 weeks later. 

Make use of your wireless side of your alarm system to link gate covers  and panels etc ... or if you can run wires and fit wired mag switches ... set it to chime or silent and link it to the alarm app so that you get notifications if someone tampers with the stuff.

By the way linking your wall mounted TV to silent panic is a smart way to press the panic if you get cornered in the house and cant get to the panic button ... they always steal the TV. 

Another free tip ... find a code word you would never use in your daily routine ... but also not a word that will sound like a warning ... make sure you never use it unless there is a problem ... for example my wife takes the dogs for walk outside ... if she is confronted ... she will use the word to notify the rest of the house that there is a problem ... if the kids are cornered in a shop or get lost in a crowd  ... they will scream the word I know there problem ... if I get hijacked and my wife calls I will use the word ... I will use the word. 

Another important tip ... make sure you know the distress code ... just in case they know your silent alarm was activated by one of the connected devices. 

A bit off topic but very important. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by isetech
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  • 3 weeks later...

I installed a 40 Watt solar panel with a cheap charge controller mounted on the underside of the Solar panel. Placed the solar panel on my roof at a angle facing the sun for at least 70% exposure to the sun on a sunny day. Ran a 18 meter 2,5mm cable under my paving to the gate motor and connected to the charging port that would normally be the supply from the 220V 12Volt transformer and been running for the past 10 years on a standard gate motor lead acid battery supplied with the gate motor (Battery has been replaced 3 times in this period due to age.)

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Has anybody yet measured the true monthly 230v consumption run a gate motor? Is it really economically viable to change to solar in the OP's case? It really cannot be that much. 

A friend on a farm, wanted to install a motor on his access gate about 80m away from his house, my advice to him was to rip a trench and lay n roll of surfix to the gate. If he uses 4+earth he can use the extra strands to operate a light and maybe a limit on the gate. The voltage drop might be a bit of a problem over 80m running 14v dc but atleast the battery, charger etc would be safe inside his house. The cable was about R600 then and he was quoted about R2500 for a pv system, a lot cheaper and the risk of panel and battery theft was also a problem. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Install Solar panel 30/40W en Solar controller(If you want the load to run through controller to disconnect during low battery conditions , you will need a 20A one. The 10A unit will trip under start of motor.

Change battery to Lithium type.(There are drop in versions.)This will ensure that the gate will operate a lot longer during night and no sun conditions.

 

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  • 6 months later...
2 hours ago, DARKANUBIS said:

HI guys, all of this is interesting.

I have a question if you connect everything as above, what of the AC side charging the battery at the same time through the gate motor contorl board?

Normally no problem having both charge the same battery. Battery would just take the charge needed and both will then stop when full.

What is interesting to see how many people with just LS interruptions want to convert to PV only charging. This way you have a maximum of 5 hours good charging vs when charging from the grid you have about 16hrs for charging.

This does not apply where there seems to be long outings and power does not come back on after LS due to theft and equipment failures.

Edited by Scorp007
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3 hours ago, DARKANUBIS said:

HI guys, all of this is interesting.

I have a question if you connect everything as above, what of the AC side charging the battery at the same time through the gate motor contorl board?

I have paralleled my gate motor battery with my solar geyser circulation pump battery. The Solar geyser has it's own 10W solar panel that puts charge into the batteries in the day whilst I still have the AC gate motor charger also charging the two batteries. Being off grid that AC also comes from my main Solar system.
So yes, two chargers onto the two batteries which also provide the 12V for my security cameras.
Long term plan; to get one 50 or 100A/h battery that will then power all my 12V requirements

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  • 5 months later...

Hi all, 

I am new to this forum.  So like all users of Eskom power, my batteries powering my Centurion sliding gate (12V) and garage door (24V) have had reduced lifespans due to increased loadshedding. 

I decided to use a 30W panel and drip charge the batteries to see if their lifespans would increase.  So simply connected the panel to a 12/24V solar controller and connected that directly to the battery terminals.  So far it seems to be working! 

Your views please if i've stumbled onto something, or will i eventually damage the gate motor electronics? 

 

 

 

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