Solar Gates


In this section, I will discuss the economic and environmental advantages of choosing to go "green" with a solar powered gate installation.


But first, perhaps the best way to illustrate how NOT to install a solar gate, is by showing you an example of an installation performed by a local automated gate company, who really had no clue what they were doing...

This photo depicts the sub-standard level of quality and service the "licensed" contractor provided in exchange for his more than generous amount of compensation.

This jumbled mess of wires and components (including amouse nest) was discovered inside the main control box! The loop detector module (with exposed copper wires at the terminals) can be seen resting not more than a 1/4" away from the positive (+) battery terminal - a fire waiting to happen...


Apparently, the contractor didn't spend much time doing homework in regards to "sizing" the solar array properly either. This photo depicts the original 5-watt solar panel, along with a second 5-watt panel added sometime later. Little regard was given to angle of inlcination (tilt) or Azimuth.

Unfortunately, the system had been underpowered from its inception, and the situation worsened as daily traffic to and from the facility grew, resulting in erratic gate behavior and periods of complete system failure.


After taking over this particular solar gate project, the first order of business was to address the wiring nightmare in the main gate control box and to restore some order!

I have replaced the original enclosure. Additionally, I have mounted the loop detector module to the back of the enclosure (seen to the left), replaced radio receiver and mounted it next to the conrtol board, and mounted the Free Exit module on the right side of the cabinet.

The original battery was replaced with a properly sized Deep Cycle marine battery, and all wiring entering the cabinet was routed through cord relief strains and properly sealed. Excess wiring was neatly coiled and secured to the right of the battery.