Lithium battery selection

Picking the Perfect Lithium Battery for Your Gate Opener (After Checking Compatibility)

Thinking about switching to a lithium battery for your gate opener? Hold on a sec! Before you jump in, make sure it’s actually compatible with your motor. Head over to the previous article “Should You Use Lithium Iron Batteries for Your Gate Motor?” to see if your opener is a good match for these batteries.

Now, if compatibility checks out, let’s talk about picking the right lithium battery! The key here is how much juice the battery can deliver (called current) to get your gate moving smoothly.

Picture Your Gate Opener Like a Car

Imagine your gate opener is like a car engine. When you start the car, it needs a big burst of power (current) to get going, right? This initial burst is much higher than what’s needed to keep the car running smoothly (continuous operation).

Here’s a quick breakdown of some important current terms:

    • Amp-hour (Ah): Think of this as the battery’s petrol/gas tank. It can deliver current for a longer or shorter amount of time depending on how much power (amps) is used.
    • Maximum Discharge Current: This is the biggest burst of power the battery can safely deliver at once. It’s crucial for your gate because it needs enough power to get moving (startup).

Lead-Acid vs. Lithium: A Power Showdown

Now, let’s compare the typical current delivery of a regular 12V 7Ah lead-acid battery with a 12V 7Ah lithium battery:

Maximum Discharge Current:

    • Lead-Acid Battery (7Ah): Usually around 80 Amps to 100 Amps – that’s a lot of juice to get going.
    • Lithium Iron Battery (7Ah): This can vary depending on the battery, but it’s often much lower – from 5 Amps to 20 Amps!

See the difference? Same size Lead-Acid batteries deliver a much bigger burst of power, which is exactly what your gate opener needs to get going.

How Much Power Does Your Gate Need?

The amount of power your gate opener needs depends on a few things:

    • Gate Weight: Heavier gates need more power to move. A light gate (around 100kg or 220lbs) might need 10 Amps to start, while a heavier one could require up to 20 Amps.
    • Gate Opener and Voltage: Different openers uses different voltages, typically 12V or 24V and each opener has different power needs.

The Short Burst and the Safety Shutoff

Lithium batteries often have a built-in safety feature called a BMS (Battery Management System). This acts like a gatekeeper, making sure the battery doesn’t get overloaded. If the BMS detects the battery giving out too much current for too long, it might shut the battery down to protect itself.

However, the good news is that gate openers typically only need the full burst of power for a very short time (less than a second) to get moving. If the Lithium battery is capable of delivering the startup current it shouldn’t trigger the BMS shutoff before the gate starts moving.

Choosing the Correct Lithium battery then simply comes down to selecting a battery with the right specifications. It must have a big enough maximum discharge current to get your gate going (typically more than 12A for a 100kg sliding gate). Then it must be able to deliver a continuous discharge current to keep the gate moving (at least 8A for a 100kg sliding gate).


Picking the right lithium battery for your gate opener is all about understanding how much power (current) it needs. By considering the different current ratings and your gate’s specific needs, you can find a battery that provides the perfect amount of power for smooth operation, keeping your gate and your wallet happy! Remember, always check compatibility and your gate opener’s manual before making the switch.

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