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Old 05-12-15, 01:29 PM   #1
gasstingy
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Default Battery Operated DC Garage Door Opener Anyone?

My never-ending garage workshop project needs a garage door opener (GDO). It has a 12'w x 8't insulated four section overhead door. It could be argued that the tension isn't set correctly, but we want the door to be easier to open. Therefore, a garage door opener.

I Googled it and came up with a couple of YouTube videos where people did a nice hack on standard GDO. Then I used the search feature to look for any hacked openers on this site that I could attempt to duplicate. I found none.

Back to the hacked versions then. There were two different trains of thought on the subject and both had their merits.

First one I looked at was a standard GDO that someone plugged into a small inverter and powered it from a 12v battery. This one featured a small sealed battery charged from a 15w {I think} solar panel and a small charge controller. The inverter was hard wired to the battery and the standard GDO simply plugged into the inverter and everything operated normally.

Second one was also a standard GDO that came with built-in Battery Backup. This person added a new bigger battery than the one provided with the opener, in series with the small original battery that came with the GDO from the factory. To keep it as a 12v model, he just left the AC part unplugged. He had a solar panel setup similar to the first guy to keep the battery charged. Except for the mismatched battery setup part of this one, it seemed the easier route.

BTW, if you actually know of a simple 12v DC GDO, by all means chime in, that would be my first choice!

Questions / Comments? I'm needing to do something to make the wife happy and haven't decided which way to go yet. {I suspect I'll be on a ladder this evening with my Kill-A-Watt meter to see how much power my 9'x8' door takes to open.}

Mark

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Old 05-12-15, 02:12 PM   #2
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Sounds like a cool project. I'd probably go with the #2 route, its simpler and likely cheaper.

Why do you need a solar/dc garage door opener though?
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Old 05-12-15, 02:27 PM   #3
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It has nothing to do with "need" as we wired the garage for an electric GDO when first roughed in the wiring.

It has everything to do with want. I do not want to give the local electric cooperative any more of my money than is absolutley necessary. Plus, there is just something awesome about saying it is powered by the sun.
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Old 05-14-15, 01:19 AM   #4
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Chamberlain makes a gdo with battery back up.
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Old 05-14-15, 08:44 AM   #5
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I saw more than one GDO with built in battery backup and am keeping that thought in mind. I did go into my attached garage with a ladder and Kill-A-Watt meter and found that my garage door opener uses up to 526 watts to open the 9'w door {minus 8 watts if I remove the CFL} and up to 501 watts to close it {minus 8w less CFL}.

I already have a 500 watt inverter, it surges to 1000 watts, so I am thinking I need to verify that it will open and close the 9'w door from a 12v battery. Of course this door is 9'w and the garage / workshop door is 12' wide, but I think the spring tension could be adjusted to even the score if the 12'w door is too "heavy."
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Old 05-16-15, 11:00 PM   #6
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I imagine you could probably go yard saling and find a halfway decent gdo for a song. Then go to northern tool or harbor freight and find an inverter. If you were lucky, you might spend less than a hundred bucks for both.

I am a big fan of solar panels and power inverters. They have great bang for the buck, are recyclable to use on multiple projects, and are pretty efficient at what they do.

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