DIY 12VDC water warmer

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by BMaverick, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. BMaverick

    BMaverick Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 29, 2012
    Cross Plains, TN
    My mom's coop is off the grid, so a DIY 12VDC water warmer is needed for the winter here in Nashville, TN.

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    OK, it took some doing with input from a few others here to successfully put the plan together.

    Parts List:
    - Automotive 1157 dual lamp & brake light bulb 27W. RockAuto.com $1.60+s/h for 10.
    - 6-inch diameter X 3-inch deep round cookie tin. 0.36 cents holiday clearance from walmart.
    - 50ft speaker wire. Big Lots for $3.
    - Automotive 1157 socket with foam seal. Advanced Auto/Auto Zone/Napa ~$5. Doorman p/n 8520
    - Scrap wood from projects or 2X4 to frame the cookie tin. Lowes one 2X4 ~$2.79. one picket fence rung ~$1.29. one 1/4-inch thick piece of wood to adjust the cookie tin height.
    - Finish nails & screws. 6-finish nails for the 1/4-inch wood to tack down. 10 2-inch deck screws (nails will work as well). If you are like me, there are always spare screws/nails from other projects. :)
    Under $20 basically.

    Making the frame to support 3 to 5 gallon water feeder:
    Cut the picket fence single rung board to make two 15-inch pieces. This is the base.
    Cut the 2X4 for the 2 left side pieces 6-1/4-inches
    Cut the 2X4 for the 2 right side pieces 9-1/2 inches
    Cut the 2X4 for the top and bottom pieces 11-1/2-inches
    Depending on your acquired cookie tin, the rectangle section will need some wood plank to raise the tin so as to allow the tin top to be flush to 1/8-inch higher than the frame. The inside area to house the 6-inch diameter tin with protruding 1157 socket is: 6-1/4X8-1/2 inches. Note, if you have a larger tin, make the adjustments to sizes. However, the 6-inch tin is IDEAL for the 12VDC power and heat generated in a concentrated area.

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    Using the screws and nails, frame everything together.

    For the cookie tin, use a 1-inch spade drill bit to make the hole. Ideally, a corded high speed drill works the best. A cordless drill may give so-so results. Also, make sure the point on the spaded drill is very sharp. A dull tip will skip and slip really bad on the circular tin surface and make you very fustrated. Once the hole is in, use a round drill grinder bit to smooth down the sharp edge if any. Lastly, these 1157 socket are 3-pronged locking to a rear tail light assembly. So, using a 1/4-inch width drill bit create a knotch at the 12 noon position of the hole . No need to make 3 knotchs since a little wiggling of the two slips in and the top third one falls into the cut area. Then make a twist with the socket.
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    One the frame, drill a 3/8-inch hole on the side the socket wires protrude (right or left, your choice). This will allow the wires to sneak out of the enclosure. ;)

    The 1157 bulb wires are black = ground and yellow = positive full brake 27W. The brown = positive lite at 11W.

    FYI --- if your climate area is colder, you can wire both the yellow and brown together for 38W for a warmer. This will take more battery juice to run.

    Talking about the juice to power the device ...

    Now, there are several options to power this water feeder warmer. Battery, wallwart plug to house outlet, generator, etc. Another item to know about, keep the 12VDC battery close to the warmer since power loses can happen over the power wire. About 25 feet of speaker wire would be about the maximum from a battery to have several days of run time before charging.

    As for my charging needs, a 20W solar panel works best with the thermo-cube. Typically, the automotive solar trickle chargers come with a PIV diode (peak inverse voltage diode or known as a Bypass Schottky Barrier Diode). If you go solar with a bigger panel make sure the PIV charging diode comes included with your panel. This way, you will not need to do the scientific math formula to have the power only go one-way in the circuit. Also, the trickle chargers have a mini-circuit that works as a charge controller too. Check out Harbor Freight or other online sources for solar solar panels (http://www.unisolar.com.au/Catalogue.html US-21 is mine). If you live up north with less sunlight, wind power works the same. Get ideas from Gotwind.org The For Sale / Election signs work great as the rotation blades to a 12VDC motor that can work as a generator. ;) (Rotary Sign generator, scroll down to the AVI file on the page http://gotwind.org/diy/latest_experiments.htm )

    Hope this gets some ideas in your head. The project is very cost effective. The power source may not be. However, the option to be off grid with a battery source is attractive. A deep cycle trolling marine battery runs about $89 at Advanced Auto. Their AutoCraft is rated very high for reliability and longer life. This baby can power many 12VDC products since it's 160Amp/hours and has around 800CCA. :) For marine or RV boondocking, this is the battery of choice.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  2. BMaverick

    BMaverick Out Of The Brooder

    99
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    Oct 29, 2012
    Cross Plains, TN
    More images ...

    [​IMG]

    11W @ 12VDC low power brown wire used ...

    [​IMG]

    27W @ 12VDC high power yellow wire used ...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    the water feeder is in the photo sitting against our coop access door.
    My sister is watering the goats. haha


    Hope this helps some of y'all.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: What is the total cost counting the solar panels and batteries?

    Have you tested it to see if it actually puts out enough heat?
     
  4. BMaverick

    BMaverick Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 29, 2012
    Cross Plains, TN
    A 20W solar pv panel "new" and charge controller is about $90USD if searched out on Amazon.com with bypass diode and charge controller as a complete kit .... http://www.amazon.com/HQRP-Mono-cry...&qid=1353030317&sr=8-22&keywords=20w+pv+panel

    The battery is mentioned above being the Autocraft Gelcell RV/Marine Deep Cycle trolling battery. My dad is a ham radio operator, so the solar and battery are part of his off-grid energy to help supply the power. :)

    Yes, the heat is very hot after 3 mins in the tin. Enough that your hand will not stay rested on the tin cover for more than 30 sec.s

    With the 20W PV panel, you can also setup LED lights to keep the chickens happy at night. Right now Lowes and Big Lots have 12VDC Christmas lights available in green, red, blue and white strings for about $6 per box. A good deal.

    Total cost of DIY water feeder warmer = $20 See build list in the first post
    Total cost of Solar PV complete kit = $90ish http://www.amazon.com/HQRP-Mono-cry...&qid=1353030317&sr=8-22&keywords=20w+pv+panel
    Total cost of battery from Advanced Auto = $90ish http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/we...ce-battery-550-cca-autocraft-marine_2080060-p
    Full cost is $200 for SOLAR. The good thing is, this will power more than just the warmer. Or if you tend to fill the water feeder up to leave for a long period of time, the setup will run well.


    As for WIND, the cost is lower. The wind is more active in the winter time and at night.
    Take an automotive HVAC blower motor for about $25 to use as a generator.
    http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/we...factory-air_3910539-p?searchTerm=blower+motor
    Then add a For Sale / Election sign as a rotary two blade that the wind can move. Or form one out of galvanized sheet metal. $10
    Get just the solar charge controller for $20.
    Get the battery for $90ish
    Build the DIY water feeder warmer = $20
    Full cost is $175 for WIND
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  5. BMaverick

    BMaverick Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 29, 2012
    Cross Plains, TN
    OK, got a few more pix to share.

    Here is the warmer before turning it on and the room temp being 68F degrees in the basement.

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    Now with the unit running only 5mins ... temp reaches 110F

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    The complete setup of the DIY water feeder warmer, solar panel, charge controller, and battery. :)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    So you're only heating a quart of water, and it hasn't been tested at freezing or below?
     
  7. BMaverick

    BMaverick Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 29, 2012
    Cross Plains, TN
    The pixs only show the 1-liter size since that was available at the house. The last pix shows the larger water feeder. The setup does show the temp of the tin rising from 68F to 110F (via single filament). About 40F increase. How this translates to warm the warter will be the next step. If you read in the first posting, the 1157 bulb can run at 27W (single filament) or at 38W (dual filament). Many people have had success with the 40W appliance bulbs on 120VAC. So, basing the 38W at 12VDC the setup should work fine. The plan is to run with the 5-gallon /19-liter pn this setup. :) Dad has to build a platform box for the power hardware to keep dry and out of the cold winds.

    We got a thermo-cube today, hope to have the project down over the holiday. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  8. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    But keep in mind that a 40W incandescent is going to put out more heat on the same amount of watts as a dual filament 1157 bulb.

    Chris
     
  9. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
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    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: That won't necessarily translate into an increase of 40 degrees in the WATER temperature.
    You're basically reading the temperature at the bulb.

    There will be radiational heat loss that won't ever get to the water

    I don't see it as being cost effective, if it even will work at all since things will change a LOT with actual cold temperatures
     
  10. BMaverick

    BMaverick Out Of The Brooder

    99
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    Oct 29, 2012
    Cross Plains, TN
    Well, some people like us are not too worried about the "cost effectiveness" since there is no grid to support the farm; everything is self contained. So, a solution needs to be done, else the birds are dead.

    As for the 110F degrees, the temp probe was between the tin and the plastic base of the water feeder. Of course that was the 1L size. With the probe in the 1L water lip wet, the temp was 24F difference over the ambient. So, the plastic base of the water feeder was taking about 16F as a barrier. We can either up the bulb wattage to 38W or thin out the base of the water feeder or both. Another option is to use the older metal water feeders, just using the base part. Thus, no heat loss so to say.
     

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