Like I said I bought the three panel 45 watt solar kit and the inverter from Harbor Freight (on sale of course), the deep cycle battery from Auto Zone (105ah) and the garage door opener W/battery backup from Home Depot (I think). I have plenty of diodes, fuses, LEDs and wire on hand since I love building my own LED light systems.
I mounted the panels with the help of some home made braces to the south wall of my garage. I made a little shelf area just inside that wall where the charge controller, battery and inverter reside and connected everything up.
I ran wires to connect the big battery to the internal battery of the opener to allow the opener to run off the big battery as well charge the internal battery. I included an inline diode to protect the opener circuitry against "possible" reverse overload.
I made LED lights to run off of the battery and placed them around the garage just for general use. If I need better lighting then I turn on the inverter which will generally be on if I am doing any real work in there anyway.
Drawbacks. The Garage door opener is in constant battery back up mode so the opener lights don't work, it runs at half speed and at night when the panels aren't charging it beeps. I have it plugged into the ac from the inverter though so when the inverter is on it works normally. I guess if I took the time to study the main board controller of the opener I could modify it to eliminate those "drawbacks" but since they are insignificant I haven't bothered. Even if I did that I would still have to modify the internal opener lights if I wanted them to function since they are AC.
This has worked flawlessly for 2 1/2 years now and I don't foresee any problems in future. If you need any specifics just let me know.
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