Hello! My first 10 chicks are "due" on April 20th and I should have them on the 22nd!!! Can't wait. We are trying to make our coop solar powered. I have the chicken door and the light figured out. Now, I just have to figure out the waterer. I live in Northern Wisconsin and would need the heater to run for anywhere from November through March (depending on the winter). Does anyone have any experience with this? I have found some threads on success with the lower wattage aquarium heaters, so that seems to be the way to go. Just trying to avoid running an extension cord 100 feet through the snow!!! Thank you! Any help is appreciated!!
Aquarium Water Heater in bucket with horizontal nipples run by solar power?
Solar and electric heater do not go together. Electric heating elements take a lot of power, going to take a substantial solar system to run one and aquarium heaters try and keep the water much warmer than necessary so while the wattage may be low I suspect they will use a lot more total electricity than a 250watt stock tank heater than has a thermostat for just above freezing. That is what I use and I live down near Appleton. I just ran an extension cord, and didn't run the snowblower near it.
Bet you find it cheaper and easier to trench a line to the coop than build a big enough solar system.
Thank you. I was planing to put it on a timer, just like the LED light in the coop will be on a timer, so it will not be running constantly. The coop will be in an area that gets lots of sunlight. Not sure if that will make a difference or not. Well, at least it would be worth a try! Not going to run power out for the first several years as the coop will be getting moved around as we complete various projects, so the final destination has yet to be determined!
You won't want your heater on a timer you want the heater to work whenever it needs to in order to keep the water thawed. Also an aquarium heater is going to run your water up to 70 degrees or whatever a tropical fish requires that is going to mean the heater will run a lot, the stock tank heater will only run enough to keep water thawed not actually heat it much beyond that.
I would lean toward a pond heater that is designed to simply keep water liquid and stay away from an indoor heater designed to keep water at 70 degrees. While you [i]could[/i] put it on a timer, the pond heater should actually turn on/off with its lower range thermostat which might make the timer redundant except to guarantee charging batteries during certain hours if you're committed to solar on this thing. My concerns would be running out of power especially on cold nights.
I kept 8 goldfish in a 70 gallon agricultural tub on my deck two years ago through winter and when it finally thawed I had 10 INCHES of ice floating above the fish except where my deicer pump was circulating water.