Remote access specialist Solar Gate Systems has recently expanded its range of automatic farm gate openers with the development of a much more powerful unit, for single gates up to a maximum width of 7m.
“Advanced, solid state electronics combined with brushless motor technology has enabled us to push the power up from our standard 24-volt gate opener, up to 36-volts,” explains Mike Yeats, md of Oxfordshire-based Solar Gate Systems. “And a more powerful system means we can now handle much wider, single gates.”
Where the firm’s existing 24-volt unit can be used to handle gates up to 5m, the more powerful 36-volt unit is capable of operating a single, heavy duty gate from 5m to 7m (16-23ft) wide.
“This opens up more possibilities for land owners who want to improve on-farm access and security, but were unable to find a suitable solution for wider entrances, in remote locations, where mains power is unavailable,” he says. “And now we can meet that need.”
He says that a large single gate is also easier to manage than two smaller gates.
“A single gate does not need to meet with a central stop, so it can be secured more effectively,” says Mike. “And because our gate closer uses an encoder, we can slow the gate down as it shuts to prevent it from thumping the post.”
The firm has over five years of installing proven solar-powered gate systems to many farm drives and remote property entrances around the UK, where mains powered installations are simply too cost-prohibitive to install.
Efficient gate operation is achieved with a high-tech approach. Firstly, Solar Gate Systems uses brushless motors for their low power consumption and maintenance-free criteria. Secondly, the firm has invested heavily in research and development to establish the optimum solar panel position to collect enough free energy to power the gate mechanism on the dullest days, in the depths of winter.
A clever charge controller also manages electrical energy collected by its solar panel, and then regulates energy storage within the battery packs. It will also dump excess energy to prevent over-charging of battery packs.
“We are confident of harnessing, storing and converting more than enough power to run our solar gate mechanisms all year round,” says Mike. “Our brushless motors are designed to make 1,000 openings every day. And because our gates can operate successfully in winter, then the longer, brighter days are very easy to manage.”