Should You Install a Solar-Powered Gate Opener?March 12th, 2013

First of all, you have to make a decision based on your personal preferences. In some cases, thought, you absolutely cannot install solar-powered gate openers.

Let’s take a look at a few considerations you’ll have to make:

How Important is Being Green to You?

So that’s one of the most obvious choices anyway. Instead of taking power off the grid, you get it straight from the sun. That reduces your carbon footprint, so you get the peace of mind you’re doing everything possible to be energy-efficient.

Do You Like Saving Money on Your Electric Bill?

Automatic security gates do use a good amount of electricity. By using solar energy, you will save on your electric bill. And you’ll save a lot if you have many visitors.

You Can Get a 30% Tax Credit

If you install a solar gate opener, you may be eligible for a 30% tax credit off the installed cost of the opener. The “installed cost” includes the cost of the:

  • Solar panel
  • Access control device
  • Obstruction detection device
  • Remote control
  • Opener
  • And other related devices
  • If you want to get the credit, make sure you ask if the particular solar gate opener you want to install qualifies first.

You Won’t Have to Pay for Additional Wiring and Labor

That could save you quite a substantial amount of money, depending on how far your gate is from the nearest power source.

They are Becoming More Affordable

Photovoltaic (PV) panels, which actually collect the sun’s energy, used to be very expensive to manufacture. Now, they’re much more affordable, and the price comes down a little more each year.

You Must Have About 8 Hours of Unobstructed Sunlight Each Day

Do trees block the sun from shining around the location of your gate? If so, you probably won’t be able to install a solar gate opener.

They Can Open the Gate about 8-10 Times Daily

This is the standard right now – until the technology improves. If you have a lot of traffic coming and going, solar gate openers may not be right for you.

They Do Have Extra Maintenance Costs

You will have to trim trees and shrubs growing around the PV panels so the sun shines on it. With these PV panels, you basically become your own mini power company.

You’ll need to clean dirt, grime, debris, and bird droppings. Frequent professional inspections are also recommended.

If you’re thinking about solar gate openers, that’s the list of what you need to consider.