Garage opener

Howdy,

I'm trying to buy a house that has a detached garage without electric service. I don't want to run electric and wondering if my little backup solar setup might be sufficient to power a garage door opener. Currently I have a 40 watt PV panel that goes through a morningstar 30 controller into a 55AH AGM battery.

Is the draw from the opener too much?

66merc

Comments

  • icarusicarus Posts: 5,108Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Garage opener

    What is the draw of the opener? How often do you open/close it? My intuition is that the battery is too small, probably the panel as well. With charging losses and inverter losses I think it would be a stretch. You might find if you could replace the drive motor with a high torque 12vdc motor. Also, the opener RC unit will draw power 24/7 unless it is unplugged.

    Or you could open it by hand!

    Tony
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,967Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Garage opener
    Or you could open it by hand! Tony


    Noooo!!!!


    There is a company that makes electric gates [Electric Mule?] that may have garage door openers, but because the door opener has 1/2 to 3/4 HP motor - you need a big inverter to power that up. it's likely a mod-sine inverter may work, because these are heavy motors with a short duty cycle. You will need a large battery, maybe 2, to handle the high start up surge in cold weather.

    http://www.mightymule.com/
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • BrockBrock Posts: 630Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Garage opener

    Someone who posted here had a 12v garage door opener. I think it was meant for backup, basically a 12v opener and 12v receiver and then it just trickle charged the 12v battery from AC it was meant to be a "backup" or always on instead of a regular door opener. I liked the looks of it because it didn't need an inverter, just 12v in and it would be pretty easy to swap that out to a solar panel to keep it topped off. It does use a bunch of power running, but then again doesn't run that often.

    Ok a quick look got me to this
    http://www.liftmaster.com/consumerweb/pages/productmodeldetail.aspx?modelId=838
    which looks like a 12v unit.

    Or this one

    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00953918000P
    3kw solar PV, 8 L16's, xw 5548, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Leaf EV, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Garage opener

    Cool, Brock

    The battery on those look pretty small. Supposedly will last 1-2 days for backup. Probably could hack in a larger battery and charge by a panel and cheap controller. Maybe upsize the system for garage lights and an inverter to charge all the battery operated hand tools. Keep my old system for its intended purpose---powering a couple of LED lights in the basement and charging a xantrex power pack for emergency backup.

    66merc
  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Posts: 370Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Garage opener

    No problem...

    I have a hurricane rated door (heavy) on a well balanced spring opener. I'm using a 1/2 HP opener, and an old MSW 1500 Watt inverter.

    garagedoorw.jpg

    6479.jpg

    6446.jpg

    6440.jpg

    http://www.2manytoyz.com/hardware/inverter/6445.jpg

    Pulled under 500 Watts. Easily opened the door as smoothly as if on grid power. Operated it from the battery in my SUV, with the engine off.

    I did not measure the standby current. This would be the only concern (to me) for running it from an alt-power setup.

    FWIW, the idle current for my Prosine 1800 Watt inverter is 22 Watts! This is why I leave it in the Standby mode, which is only 1.5 Watts, but takes a couple of seconds to come to life when a load is applied. This mode would not be suitable for a door opener as it needs power all the time.
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,967Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Garage opener

    I wonder if you could separate the radio power from the motor power, and use a small 25 or 50W "cig lighter" inverter for the radio, and a larger Mod-Sine inverter, in standby, for the motor. Otherwise, just eat the loss of a large inverter in idle, powering the radio.

    Of course, I forgot about about the transformer for the radio, it may smoke with mod-sine, or maybe not, you'll know in the first week.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • n3qikn3qik Posts: 741Solar Expert ✭✭
    Re: Garage opener

    I have a 3/4 HP Liftmaster opening a 16'wide door.

    Standby draw is 5 watts. Opening/closing is 320 watts w/o any lights.
  • stimpy17stimpy17 Posts: 8Registered Users
    Re: Garage opener

    In a nutshell I used a 2000 watt 12 volt inverter and 2- 6 volt(210 amps) batteries(Sams Club golf cart specials) to operate a double car door(new) @ 1/2 HP with temp. CFL lights. It lasted for maybe 10+ cycles. Note, I also have a "Man Door" on the side to use just in case. No recharging took place during testing and the inverter cut out @ 10.5 amps.

    My goal is to put my garage door opener + 16-60 watt(14watt) CFL lights on a 4 battery(440 amp) battery bank and charge with 3-115 watt @ 6.73 amp Evergreen panels(I'd like to buy another but they discontinued them!!!!)

    Just looking at the stats here I think the Man Door will come in handy.
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,967Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Garage opener

    > It lasted for maybe 10+ cycles.

    What lasted ? Battery charge ? Opener motor ? inverter ? What stopped ?

    > My goal is to put my garage door opener + 16-60 watt(14watt) CFL lights
    > on a 4 battery(440 amp) battery bank and charge with
    > 3-115 watt @ 6.73 amp Evergreen panels

    Depending on how much all those 16 lights are on, and how much sun you get, that may work
    The evergreen panels are
    http://www.xantrex.com/support/gtsizing/index.asp
    spece'd at 16.5V (20V open ckt) so they are borderline for running one of the new MPPT charge controllers. (as batteries charge up, and current demand goes down, MAYBE the MPPT controller will allow the panel voltage to creep up toward the 20V oc point. Heat will lower their voltage)
    If you had a 4th panel, or could find something else close, you could wire in series/parallel for a 24V array, and 12A, into a MPPT charger.
    http://store.solar-electric.com/mosumpsochco.html
    also, going to 24V will allow you to reliably get an EQ cycle in. (15V for 3 hrs), otherwise, there would NOT be enough system voltage, except in winter below 50F, to have enough voltage, to reliably EQ with 16.5V panels, as you loose about 2 volts thru the charge controller.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

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