Anyone using solar energy in their coops?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ih66series, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. ih66series

    ih66series Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2011
    Altoona, PA
    I am thinking about getting electricity in my coop. The coop is about 30 yards from the house, so I decided it may be easier to put a solar panel on the roof. This sounds pricey but it isn't so bad. About $235 total from Northern Tool with all of the components such as panel, charge controller, battery and inverter. I want to run lights and a fan.

    Does anyone else use solar energy?
  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    I don't but this sounds like a good idea. Waiting to hear what others have to say.
  3. wsmoak

    wsmoak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not for the chickens, but we just installed it on the pony's run-in shed. We did not go with a kit, preferring to buy the pieces separately. With a 50 watt panel, marine battery, inverter and charge controller it was about $500.

    Be sure to do all the math first! In particular, look carefully at how much power your fan needs.

    I've got a 14" sealed motor fan (granted, probably more than you're going to want for a chicken coop,) and I'm having trouble with it running down the battery. We'll have to add a second panel.

    My ideal situation is to end each sunny day with a fully charged battery, which means the panels need to supply enough to run the fan _and_ charge the battery back up for anything that was used after the panels stopped working the previous evening.

    To get that to work, I'm going to have to put the fan on a thermostat so that if a storm comes along and cools things off (and blocks out the sun) the fan will turn off.

  4. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    Quote:What do you get for that price? I see a 60 watt kit for $300 without a battery. That would run a fluorescent lamp or a number of LED lamps for a while. I don't know about a fan, that would probably be a bit shy of powering even a 1/10 HP fan for any amount of time.

    This topic gets brought up often. Many find that it is too expensive to create a system to power what they want. Some LED lights are feasible at a reasonable cost, but anything that uses an appreciable amount of power is going to be very expensive to run on solar.

    Do I use solar energy? Yes. Our hen house is a large pole barn with an insulated ceiling and dark colored roof. I have air intakes installed in the ceiling that allows the ventilation system to pull warm air from the attic from autumn to spring when we could use some supplemental heat in there.
  5. uchytil

    uchytil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2011
    It seems to me that running a buried line 90 feet would be easy enough. A 220 from the main panel to a sub with a few breakers. Why not have an electrician give you a quote?
  6. hickchick55

    hickchick55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have electricity available in my coop, but only used it for the heat lamp when the girls were small. I like to leave some light on in there at night, so I just charge up those cheap solar landscape lights in the day and my husband made holders on the wall in the coop where I put them at night. Works great. Low, low tech.
  7. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    I've been thinking about solar, too. Here is an idea I want to pursue for a fan next summer: . As for lighting, I've been thinking about buying some of those solar yard lights, then adding lengths of wire so that I can mount the solar panel on the exterior of the coop and mount the light on the inside.

    I should say that at this point, it's all in my head; I haven't yet begun to see if these ideas are feasible.
  8. hickchick55

    hickchick55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:you can buy a solar light with remote panel and remote control. we got ours at menards and mounted it on the outside of the coop, but find that we don't use it much.
  9. Trixieflower

    Trixieflower Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 4, 2011
    East Quogue, NY
    We put a solar panel on our roof to power the motor that opens and closes the pop-door everyday. It works great!
  10. ll

    ll Chillin' With My Peeps

    I only use solar lights - outdoor garden spotlight type. Luv them.
    I am going to also buy solar rope lights for inside the coop.
    Good luck~!

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