Resource

When Is Solar Charging the Right Option for You?

Updated Sep 27, 2023

When choosing between solar charging and AC charging, two of the most important factors to consider are where you live — which in turn means how much solar radiation you receive — and how many cycles per day your gate opener will likely perform.

Sunrise Over Solar Panel

Estimating the Daily Solar Radiation

Region 1 covers the area of the country receiving the least amount of solar radiation. On average, the amount of charge time is 1.5 hours in region 1 and 3 hours in region 2 and 5 hours in region 3. These are conservative numbers and the Patriot opener should have no problem performing as stated in the chart below. These numbers are based on a basic system and adding solar friendly accessories will not have any great affect on the numbers stated.

Daily Solar Radiation Region Map

Average Daily Cycles

These are conservative numbers and the Patriot opener should have no problem performing as stated in the chart below. See Region Map below to determine cycles that can be expected. These numbers are based on a basic system and adding solar friendly accessories will not have any great affect on the numbers stated.

Average daily cycles for each solar zone

About USAutomatic Solar Charged Systems

The system design and the accessories recommended are all solar-friendly meaning that they require the least amount of energy possible to perform the job they were designed to do. The solar option allows you to install the gate operator in remote areas or in applications where you prefer to be solar charged. Solar charging does provide isolation from lightning that might damage the unit via the AC power needed for the transformer.

USAutomatic solar charged gate operators are designed to provide enough cycles a day for most installations without needing more than one solar panel. Care must be taken to ensure the solar panel has full sun throughout the day. Partial sun will give partial results. If no sun is present, a solar system is not practical no matter how many panels might be installed. Solar panel must be kept clean and in full sunlight. The design of the system must pay particular attention to any accessories that might be added, use only solar-friendly accessories to help avoid premature battery failure.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) have updated the National Solar Radiation Database (NSRDB).The 1991–2005 NSRDB contains hourly solar radiation (including global, direct, and diffuse) and meteorological data for 1,454 stations. This update builds on the 1961–1990 NSRDB, which contains data for 239 stations. The update includes the conventional time series for NSRDB ground stations as well as a one-tenth-degree gridded data set that contains hourly solar records for 8 years (1998–2005) for the US.

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