Sunday, January 27, 2013

Carl's Solar Powered Automatic Gate Opener

Probably the two most common reasons for people getting started in making their own solar energy is getting that quote from an electrician to run power to the new shed or out building on the back of the property or getting power out to the new electric automatic driveway gate opener.

Today's video comes from our forum member Carl Masters as he walks us through his set up using the Mighty Mule MM600ETPRO automatic gate opener and the Harbor Freight 45 watt solar kit.

Carl's original post......

I bought a 45 Watt Harbor Freight kit a little over two years ago to see if it would power a gate opener. It is very overkill for the application and I am extremely happy with it so I thought I would post.

My gate is a 2" square steel framed solid 6' cedar privacy fence panel that is 14 feet long on Bulldog hinges (like chain link gate hinges - no bearings). It hangs on a 6" steel tube post in concrete. The opener is a Mighty Mule MM600ETPRO setup that is cycled 6 to 8 times a day. The opener is way under powered for the weight of the gate and sometimes needs human help on windy days.

The Harbor Freight solar kit keeps the single RV battery charged to upper 12's to upper 13 volts at all times. The opener doesn't even seem to affect it. I occasionally hook my RV's batteries to the system to keep them topped up too. I am very happy with the kit. It has been trouble free even during light hail using the supplied controller. I literally haven't had to do a thing to it.

I have another one of the old aluminum framed kits (still in the box) in the garage. I am thinking about setting it up on to of a carport my tractor and mowers live in to keep batteries charged and power LED cameras and IR spotlights for our security system.


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