What Are Gate Automation Photocells And What’s Their Function?

Automatic gates open and close when instructed by a variety of methods. Remote transmitters are carried by gate owners to operate their gates at the push of a button on the remote. Access control systems use gate release buttons inside the property to open the gates. And keypads or proximity readers installed outside the gates allow access for anyone with the code or programmed proximity tag.

A Typical Swing Gate Automation Photocell Set Up

With Swing Gate Automation, a pair of photocells should be placed just outside the gates (assuming they open inward) on opposite sides of the drive and facing each other. A second pair should be placed inside the gates across the driveway but just outside the reach of the fully open gates.

Arriving at Automatic Swing Gates from the Outside

If gates are closing and a vehicle arrives from the outside, the outside photocell beams is broken, and the gate stops closing and reverses to open the gates and prevent them hitting the vehicle.A vehicle that has passed through the outside photocells then breaks the inside photocells’ beam and prevents the gates closing until it has passed through and the beam is re-established. Then, after the appropriate time delay, the gates will close.

Arriving at Automated Swing Gates from the Inside

Vehicles approaching open gates from the inside as the gates are closing will break the inside photocell beam and stop the gates closing. They reverse and open fully allowing the vehicle to pass through.

Smaller Vehicles and Pedestrians

The time delay set to keep gates open after a beam is re-established is important where slow moving smaller vehicles or pedestrians pass through gates. This is because at some point the person or vehicle will not be breaking either the inside or outside beams. Where long gates such as a single 5-bar gate is installed, even a car can be in a position where it is breaking neither beam.

Positioning Photocells

Photocells are a vital part of gate automation safety and their positioning determines a large part of how safe Gate automation are. In all cases, a safety audit determining the type of gates, their environment, gate use, frequency of operation and user knowledge must be carried out at the design stage. This will determine possible risk areas and the types of potential risk. Safety photocells can then be positioned to cover danger areas. Their primary role is to stop gates continuing to move dangerously when someone or something has entered a risk area and broken an infrared photocell beam.

Another important consideration with photocell installation, is their height off the ground. Various posts and columns are available for photocells and many position the photocells at a height of around 600mm. Any lower than this and the beams may pass beneath taller vehicles such as 4×4 pick-ups. Any higher and the beams may pass through the windows of low sports cars or completely over the top of convertibles with their tops down.

If you want any advice or further guidance on installing photocells, call Linkcare on 01895 232 626.


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