What Kind Of Power Should My Gate Have?12/07/2013 Back To Blog
The big question – where is your gate opener going to get its power? These days, most residential gate installations use low-voltage DC power with an attached, recharging battery. That battery needs its juice from somewhere, so where’s it going to be? Your two main options are: from your house, or from the sun.
Just plug it in!
Most modern systems – the kind that come with built-in intercom installation, for example – are outfitted to use 110 volts, which is compatible with a simple outlet connection. If your gate is within about a thousand feet of your home, you can literally plug your opener in with a long extension cord. Of course, you’ll have to hide it effectively; nothing spoils the visual of a pristine driveway like an orange power cord snaking down to the gate.
The other factor to consider is resistance. As the length of the power cord goes up, so too does the inefficiency of the power transfer. For something that’s going to be ‘plugged in’ for multiple years, a little spillage can go a long way. If you’re nearing the thousand-foot threshold, you should consider the money you’ll lose powering such a distant device. It could add up in the long run.
The sun is your friend!
Many door openers use solar power. Their advantages include low maintenance and a lower electricity bill. They don’t need gate service companies as much as others do. However, solar energy can be fickle. It’s dependent on the weather, of course. You also have to factor in the fact that when it does break down, it’s much harder to fix. You can’t just try another plug in your house.