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What Are the Different Types of Electric Gates?

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  • Written By: T. L. Childree
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2014
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Electric gates are a convenient way to enter and exit a fenced area or prevent unauthorized access. These gates typically open by swinging, folding, or sliding. Electric gates may be activated by a keypad, remote control, or automatic sensor. Their electric motors are usually connected to an electrical outlet, battery, or solar panel.

Motorized gates offer a convenient method of entering or leaving a fenced area. These gates are typically utilized for commercial, industrial, residential, and subdivision entrances. They may also be opened from the safety of a vehicle during inclement weather conditions and can provide added security in high crime areas. Certain types of electric gates are used for fences located close to busy roadways.

Electric gates may be opened by swinging, folding, or sliding. Swinging models utilize a powerful electric motor to turn a gate on its hinges. They may have a long single panel hinged on one side, or two shorter ones with hinges on both sides. Swinging gates are often constructed of ornate wrought iron, but may also be made of wood, aluminum, or galvanized steel. These gates typically swing outward and require a relatively long driveway apron.

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Folding electric gates are found in locations with limited space. These gates consist of several short panels connected by hinges. An electric motor is attached to the outer panel by a length of cable or chain. The interior panels fold into a single compact unit as the outer panel is pulled toward the fence. Folding gates are usually constructed of aluminum or galvanized steel.

Sliding electric gates move along a track and often have small wheels at their base. This gate variant utilizes a chain and pulley system powered by a small electric motor. Sliding gates are well-suited for locations with a short driveway apron. They are most often found at industrial and commercial entrances located close to busy roadways. A sliding gate is typically constructed of galvanized chain-link steel, but may also be made of aluminum or wood.

Many electric gates are activated by a driveway mounted, keypad device that requires a security code. Upon entering the driveway, a particular number sequence is entered into the device to open the gate. Other gates are activated by a remote control device carried by the driver. Automatic sensors may also be utilized to activate the opening and closing process. These sensors will allow any vehicle to access the gate and are not suitable for secure applications.

Electric gates require a source of electricity for their operation, and several methods may be utilized. Connecting the motor to a nearby electrical outlet is the most common method. A battery-operated motor is often used for gates located in remote locations. Some battery-operated gates are also equipped with solar panels to recharge the system during daylight hours. These rechargeable systems are sometimes employed as a backup in the event of a power outage.

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