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Solar charger on electric gate

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  1. #1
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    Default Solar charger on electric gate

    I have a solar panel that charges the battery to run our electric gate, this works well until the hours of 10am-3pm on hot days. The charger has a regulator on it that Is rated to 14.5v and at these times it is charging at that. There must be some form of over voltage shutdown in the gate controller I assume as the gate opens and shuts about 300mm-1m when it is charging at those rates. It functions correctly early and later and during darkness. Is it likely to be an over voltage shutdown? If so what could be the problem? Is there some simple way to regulate the power to a max of say 13v. I have replaced the battery as it wasn't holding charge and I thought this may of been causing the overcharge problem, but it is still occurring.
    Any advice will be greatly appreciated, my words might not of made total since but I can try and clarify if needed
    cheers cam

  2. #2
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    Seems likely to me that it is an overheating issue perhaps? I don't know much about solar, but you suggested it doesn't work in the hottest part of the day on the hottest days. That doesn't provide a solution though

  3. #3
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    Perhaps adding a voltage reg just to the power supply into the controller (leaving the battery connected to the gate motor via relay contacts - ie not trying to run high current through the v-reg) would be a wise option?

    Adjust it to give 12.5V or so when the solar is producing 14+ volts. When it's purely on battery, with a nominal 12V, it's likely to drop that to about 11V, but that should still be more than enough to run the controller.


    EDIT: somthing like this:
    DC DC Adjustable LM2596 Step Down Module Buck Converter Voltage Regulator LED | eBay

    Is capable of supplying 2A (more than enough for the controller) and can be adjusted, with the advantage of an onboard voltage display - showing the output voltage.
    When set higher than the supply voltage, do drop between 0.9-1.3V or so off the supply voltage, so even if it's set at 12.5V, when the battery drops to 11.5V, you'll see only around 10.5V out of it.

  4. #4
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    You are assuming the solar controller is faulty but the gate controller is also exposed to the heat at the same time so you have to isolate the problem. What I would do is to use an external battery supply to see if the gate will operate during this time of the day that will tell you if it is the battery or the controller.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bros View Post
    You are assuming the solar controller is faulty but the gate controller is also exposed to the heat at the same time so you have to isolate the problem. What I would do is to use an external battery supply to see if the gate will operate during this time of the day that will tell you if it is the battery or the controller.
    I did replace the battery and actually currently have just hooked a car battery onto it and it's sitting on the ground under a box to try and keep it out of the heat to see if that's the problem. But it still occurs. I might put a bigger cover over the controller box and see if that helps

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by commodorenut View Post
    Perhaps adding a voltage reg just to the power supply into the controller (leaving the battery connected to the gate motor via relay contacts - ie not trying to run high current through the v-reg) would be a wise option?

    Adjust it to give 12.5V or so when the solar is producing 14+ volts. When it's purely on battery, with a nominal 12V, it's likely to drop that to about 11V, but that should still be more than enough to run the controller.


    EDIT: somthing like this:
    DC DC Adjustable LM2596 Step Down Module Buck Converter Voltage Regulator LED | eBay

    Is capable of supplying 2A (more than enough for the controller) and can be adjusted, with the advantage of an onboard voltage display - showing the output voltage.
    When set higher than the supply voltage, do drop between 0.9-1.3V or so off the supply voltage, so even if it's set at 12.5V, when the battery drops to 11.5V, you'll see only around 10.5V out of it.
    that does sound like a good idea, I think I'll see if I can get a regulator locally if not I'll order one and try it

  7. #7
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    Thank you everyone for your assistance, it has given me a few more things to try. Sorry haven't replied earlier had a computer meltdown that has only just been repaired

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