# Alternative power source for garage.

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
If there are a number of buildings involved, maybe you could put in a shared solar power system; paid for by everyone. Then you could all have a limited supply of power for other things as well.

One interesting note on remote micro-solar installations. In California, the state parks use solar for remote emergency phones, lighted signs, weather stations, etc. People have caught on to this fact and steal the solar panels.

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GENIERE
To the OP:

Buy a 12vdc golf cart battery, a set of jumper cables and a 12/240-ac inverter of sufficient wattage to power door opener. Twice a week or whenever use your car to charge the battery, i.e. let idle or a tad more revs for about 20 minutes. Read voltage of battery during door opening; needs a charge if voltage drops below 10 volts. No-load voltage of battery is a useless measurement.

Ebay UK – 1000 watt inverter – 94 pounds

Golf car battery about 100 pounds

I realize this is an ancient topic, but I wanted to add an important tip for anybody who stumbles across this in the archives, like I did.

I have a solar powered garage door system, and one thing I can tell you is that I needed a pure sine wave inverter to run my garage door. The system worked perfectly with a ProSine 1800 ($900 US), but when I replaced it with a cheap ($170) Vector 2000 Watt inverter, the garage door went crazy, stopping at odd times, the lamp blinking on and off, closing and reopening all in one push of the button. http://www.roadtripamerica.com/dashboarding/Power-Inverters.htm" [Broken] have confirmed that this is a general requirement of garage door openers.

Unfortunately pure sine wave inverters are significantly more expensive. In the end it may be cheaper to buy a DC garage door motor, and certainly more efficient. In addition, the boost in efficiency would allow you recharge the system with a smaller solar panel as well.

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Danger
Gold Member
Welcome to PF, incircuitous.
I didn't realize how old this thing is until you pointed it out. It's probably been resolved, but I have a suggestion for anyone contemplating 12VDC for such a thing. Rather than solar, I'd be inclined to use a small windmill connected to an automotive alternator/regulator/battery assembly. You can make a windmill out of sheet metal or even wood, and the rest (except for the battery) can be had at a scrap yard for next to nothing. In fact, you could even use a surplus auto fan for the mill itself. While wind might not be as consistent as solar (depending upon climate), this application doesn't need it to be.