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Solar panel - Page 3

post #21 of 45

You are implying he has only 4 some odd hours a day that his cell can generate electricity, which is a ridiculous idea, he lives in Tennessee, not Barrow Alaska.


http://www.bigfrogmountain.com/SunHoursPerDay.html
http://www.bigfrogmountain.com/images/sunhoursyear.gif

Jerry, you should really learn more about the things you make comments about before you make them


You should follow your own advice

It would cost FAR less to just run power to the building than to build an elaborate solar system to turn any type of heaters


Edited by Bear Foot Farm - 12/24/11 at 10:13am
post #22 of 45

Jerry stated he has but 4.37 hours a day to generate electricity using solar cells. That is NOT what the DOE figure is all about. Not even close. I firmly stand behind my comment, and can see several people here should not be making comments about a topic they don't know anything about.
Merry Christmas!

-Geoff. Since 1960.-
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-Geoff. Since 1960.-
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post #23 of 45

Jerry stated he has but 4.37 hours a day to generate electricity using solar cells. That is NOT what the DOE figure is all about. Not even close. I firmly stand behind my comment, and can see several people here should not be making comments about a topic they don't know anything about.


No, that isn't what he said, and that's not what the chart said either:

This chart shows solar insolation in kilowatt-hours per square meter per day in many US locations.  For simplicity, we call this figure "Sun Hours / Day."


He's talking about the AMOUNT of electricity you can generate in the average day at that location with a square meter of cells.

It's barely enough to power a couple of big light bulbs for 24 hours without investing a lot of money, not just in the cells, but in batteries, inverters, and charge controllers.

Solar panels are only about 20% efficient, inverters about 90%, and you lose about 5% power in the wiring.
A good Deep cycle 100 AH battery will cost at least $150, and you'd need several

No matter how you spin it, the fact remains that it's not worth the money required to set up a solar system to run heaters 24 hours a day.

If all you need is some low powered lighting, solar can be cost effective.
Otherwise, it's better to run the wire and tie into the grid

You did make one comment in your first post (#6) that I believe to be accurate:

I've never done it


Edited by Bear Foot Farm - 12/24/11 at 6:30pm
post #24 of 45

Quote:
"being you are in Chattanooga the US DOE tells us that you will have, on average, 4.37 hours of solar production per day"

Apparently mr. Bear Foot, you can't read very well. Anyway I am finished debating with arrogance. You have now twisted my own words, you have me saying things and making arguments I never made. I have not said a thing about heating a brooder with solar power, my input to the original poster is simply that you can build a panel a lot cheaper than buying one. Then Jerry and now you come along and start putting words in my mouth. Learn to read.


Edited by geoff40 - 12/24/11 at 8:23pm
-Geoff. Since 1960.-
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-Geoff. Since 1960.-
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post #25 of 45
Thread Starter 

I appreciate your input everyone.  No need to ruffle feathers over it.  What baffles me is the inefficiency of solar panels.  Since moving to Tenn this past summer I hear alot about solar energy and wanted to look into it.  Obviously to run low wattage instruments its effective.

I guess I'll be running wire after all.  My biggest concern was power outage.  I know last year the area was with out power for over a week due to the tornado's that rolled throw the south last April. Just trying to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  I guess that's why everyone here has a generator!!

Moving on from solar panels what about wind turbines? Or a combination of both?

An understanding wife, 3 boys, Rabbits, Chickens, Ducks, Goats and 1 fat cat.
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An understanding wife, 3 boys, Rabbits, Chickens, Ducks, Goats and 1 fat cat.
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post #26 of 45

Right now we have an extension cord running out to the coop to keep the water from freezing. We have been talking about getting a couple solar panels to so we don't have to worry about the extenstion cord and also power outages like you have stated. We were planning on making our own because from what we have looked into in our area it shouldn't cost to much. Good Luck smile

Happy Chicken mommy of 16 EE, 3 BR, 3 Turkeys, 1 Ducks (RIP Mr. & Mrs. Quackers), 1 mystery chicken, and 1 crazy EE who thinks she is a superhuman!

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Happy Chicken mommy of 16 EE, 3 BR, 3 Turkeys, 1 Ducks (RIP Mr. & Mrs. Quackers), 1 mystery chicken, and 1 crazy EE who thinks she is a superhuman!

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post #27 of 45

Solar and wind are exciting technologies that get better all the time.
This is just my two cents worth as a former industrial electrician, power transmission and automation engineer and most recently, project manager for a solar and wind power company.

I only noted one feather ruffler.
I believe jerryb and Bear Foot to be good readers.
jerryb gave good information to begin your calculations and Bear Foot Farm correctly discussed AVERAGE solar energy per day and the added cost of inverters, controllers and batteries.

Solar day length isn't when the sun shines but when it strikes the panel within tight angles. That can be increased with solar trackers which adds more cost. Everyone has cloudy days that figure into total power available for charging. You get very little energy on a cloudy day.
Creating heat is the biggest energy hog so battery banks would have to be huge. Even larger if you don't want your chicks to chill after 2 days of rain.
You can eliminate the inverter but then you'd have to go with 24 volt heaters(slightly more cost than heat lamps).

Wind is a good supplement to solar because when you don't have sun, you often have wind. It is still very expensive.

The most cost effective use of sun for energy is solar thermal(hot air) and solar hot water. Since the thermal is only during the day that leaves you with a super insulated solar hot water tank and you could use that hot water to keep a brooder warm.

I'll be using solar for lighting in the coops but using it for any type of heat source is beyond my wallet at this point. I will be building my own panels and will save money doing so.

Another consideration for running electric is the voltage drop. The OP noted the brooder shed was 150 yards away. I haven't put pen to paper on it but I would guess at that distance you would need #8 or possibly larger wire to run that far. Has anyone priced wire lately? If you did all the work yourself, I'm guessing wire and material could be as high as $1,000. (still cheaper than the solar) More than likely, local code would require 12" minimum burial. If you don't have a trencher, that's a lot of digging.
I just ran electric to one of my new coops 100' from the closest building and dug it by hand - tree roots were a bear. I ran #10 in 1 inch conduit. I went that route because I already had the wire and wanted room to run additional cable for automation later. At that distance it would run a couple ceramic heaters, a small motor for automatic doors and all the flourescent/LED lighting I need.

In the final analysis, I suggest you build a small shed for brooding near your electric source for the brief 4 - 6 week periods when you need to run a couple heat lamps.
There is just no way, in the forseeable future, to generate heat in an isolated outbuilding with solar that makes financial sense for chickens.
ETA:
Another good option is broodies. No electricity needed.


Edited by ChickenCanoe - 12/28/11 at 11:25am

God bless the entire world - no exceptions.
Honey Bees, Black Penedesencas, among others

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God bless the entire world - no exceptions.
Honey Bees, Black Penedesencas, among others

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post #28 of 45
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot Chicken Canoe.  I do currently brood the chicks in our pole building which is 50' form the house.  I also raise rabbits in there and am wanting to expand the rabbitry thus the reason for wanting to move the brooders to the barn.

Me and my neighbor was discussing this a while back and he thought we could get away with #10.  I plan on hanging the wire. I have access to some 20' poles.  I don't really worry about ordinances.  I'm 20 minutes from the closest fast food joint.

I guess I'll either be keeping them in the pole barn or running wire.

Thanks

An understanding wife, 3 boys, Rabbits, Chickens, Ducks, Goats and 1 fat cat.
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An understanding wife, 3 boys, Rabbits, Chickens, Ducks, Goats and 1 fat cat.
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post #29 of 45

if your big concern is power outages, then take a look at some of the new small gasoline generators. you could get one that would handle your brooder lamps in a power outage for much less money that trying to go for solar.

Solar has its uses and it has some great potential for those who live where there is enough sunlight available. In my first post I should have written more clearly that in your area you can only expect, on average, the equivalent of 4.37 hours of maximum solar system production per day. I do not think a tracker will improve on this number, but not using a tracker will certainly reduce it. The reason (besides our latitude) that those of us that live in the northern half of the US have such low solar production is the weather patterns that we live with.


as a side note to chickecanoe's input on wire sizing, if you run your wire at 240 volts and put a small panel in the barn to split off your 120 v circuits you can use a much smaller wire gauge for the same distance. go look for a wire size calculator and see what it calls for.

cheers
Jerry

post #30 of 45

Wouldn't a small kerosene heater or wood stove be cheaper?  Just make sure there is real good ventilation.

Rufus

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