Solar Panel Tests

Solar panels can be tested as well using a multimeter. We recommend you test the VOC & ISC twice per year and adjust your solar panel towards the sun for best results. 

Gator power Source

Battery

12 Volts

20 Amp Hours 

​Cycle Use 14.4 - 15.0 Volts

​Standby Use 13.5 - 13.8 Volts

Initial Current Less than 5.10 Amps

Deep Cycle Gel Cel

Battery Voltage

Using a multimeter, test the voltage reading on your battery. A full charge will indicate 12.9-13.8 volts. It's important to keep your battery above 50% charge so that battery is not discharged. We recommend charging your battery at 12.4 volts. See chart on the left for voltage reading matrix.

Solar Panel

10 Watts

VMP 17.56 Volts

IMP .56 Amps

VOC 21.96 Volts

ISC .67 Amps


Like A Reservoir 

Think of your Gator Power Gate battery as a reservoir of water. The battery holds power in your Gator for when you need it. As you use power to open and close your gate the power leaves your battery. Just as reservoirs need to be replenished from rain & stream water your battery needs power replenished from the sun or optional ac outlet. 


Battery

The 12 volt battery is rated for 20 amp hours. This is a gel cell deep cycle battery. Gel cell deep cycle batteries are best for solar applications due to the fact they are always re-charging from deeper levels of usage.


The 20 Amp Hour rating is how many amps the battery can deliver for how many hours before the battery is discharged. 20 amps divided by 20 hours is 1 amp per hour for 20 hours. However, you never want to get below a 50% charge. Keep in mind that your Gator will only take 10 seconds or less to open or close your gate.


Solar Trickle Charge

Typically, the solar panel is enough to maintain a charge on your Gator. Gators use a standard 10 watt solar panel that should be mounted towards the sun at noon day for best solar performance. Our solar panels are VOC (maximum voltage available from a solar cell with no load) rated at 21.96 volts. The ISC (short-circuit current) is rated at .67 amps. 20 and 30 watt solar upgrades are available for those applications that require more sunlight. What does all this mean? Basically, that the solar panel will maintain a full reservoir of power for your Gator in normal residential use with good access to the sun.


The region which you live can have an impact on the amount of hours your solar panel can access the sun. Southern States will have better performing solar trickle charge due to the amount of sun over the Northern Sates.



Optional AC Plug-In

Some applications may need to have their batteries charged to full capacity due to various reasons like lack of sun and/or greater than normal usage. 


The Gator has a charger built within the unit. An optional transformer (Purchased separately) with approximately 16 feet of DC wiring, and transformer housing is available for convenient plug-in charging. The 1 amp trickle charge will fill battery to 13.8 volts which is a maximum charge. This is a great option for low sun regions or heavily tree shaded entries.


Testing Power Supply

Keep in mind that your battery is a reservoir of power. There's a balance in power usage and power replenishment. Check your battery charge and solar panel once a week with a multimeter until you get a feel for usage and replenishment. Have a plan to adjust your solar panel and/or charge your battery as needed.