Security is an important factor for many homeowners and rural property owners, which is why automatic gate openers have become an increasingly popular solution that adds convenience as well. For example, an automatic gate opener can come in very handy for when you’re coming home from a long day at work, as you won’t have to get out of your car to open the gate, get inside your property and then get out again to close it. Instead, you just press a button while still inside your car and the gate will open and close by itself.
Most automatic gates are solar-powered, allowing them to function even when there’s no electricity or a power mains nearby. Instead, all you’ll need is a solar panel for gate opener to give it all the power it needs, and a remote control to open and close it. Even though solar gate openers are pretty straightforward, there are still a few factors you’ll need to consider when buying one to make sure you make a selection that fits your particular needs. These factors include the type of gate, its length and weight and the frequency of use and available power source.
Type of Gate Opener
The type of automatic gate opener that will be ideal for your application will depend on the type of gate you have. There are two basic types – sliding and swinging gates. Swinging gates are just like your typical door and are the most common type you’ll come across. Some of them are compatible with gate openers with ram arms that either have jackscrew-operated or hydraulic-operated pistons. Swing arm operators that are fitted with an arm extending to the gate are also compatible with this gate type. Sliding gates, on the other hand, usually work with a gate opener that features a chain at the bottom of the gate and is attached to an operator which pulls it to open and close the gate. Most gate openers are only compatible with one or the other type, but there are some that are compatible with both.
Frequency of Use and Available Power Source
The type of power sources you have available at your disposal and your safety concerns will also play a role in determining the type of gate opener that’s best suited for you. As briefly aforementioned, a solar panel for gate opener is the most popular solution, but battery and AC options are also available. The right power source will also depend on how frequently you’re going to use the gate opener. The more frequently you use it, the more power you’ll need. This will also increase the mechanical wear and tear of the automatic gate opener. Hence, if you use it very frequently, you should look to invest in a heavy-duty gate opener that’s capable of withstanding damage and stress that’s a result of continuous use.
Gate Length and Weight
The weight of the gate plays a crucial role in selecting the right gate opener. Gates can be large and heavy, so to automatically open and close them requires a decent amount of power. Automatic gate openers are designed to work for gates up to a specific weight, so not all openers compatible with your kind of gate can handle its weight. The weight of the gate will mainly depend on what material it’s made from. The most popular materials gates are made of include aluminium (lightweight), steel, iron (heavier) and timber. For dual swing gates, however, the length is the more important factor to consider. Most swing gate openers are designed for dual gates that go up to a specific length. Luckily, measuring the length is far easier than the weight, so you’ll have an easier time figuring out the right gate opener for these gates.
Benefits of Solar Gate Openers
As aforementioned, the majority of gate openers are solar-powered, with some of them including batteries as back-up for the rainy days. Luckily, living in Australia means that there are few rainy and cloudy days throughout the year when there’s not enough sun reaching the panel to power the gate. That being said, solar gate openers are extremely convenient and can save you money on the energy bill every month. However, keep in mind that installing a solar gate opener may be more expensive upfront. But once installed, you won’t have to worry too much about maintaining it, and you can rest assured the opener will serve you for a number of years before any type of maintenance or repairs have to be performed.
Additionally, solar gate openers are an eco-friendly solution, and if you already have a solar system installed into your home, all you’ll need is to wire the gate opener and it will work just great. Make sure you get the solar gate opener from a reputable manufacturer or supplier that offers a lengthy warranty, service and has replacement parts readily available in case something breaks down.