Electricity Needed for Out-Building - Need Suggestions!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mamashea, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. mamashea

    mamashea Out Of The Brooder

    32
    0
    32
    Aug 19, 2012
    East Chatham, New York
    The chicken coop is about 100 feet from the house, but isn't wired for electricity. We want to hang a 100-watt bulb in there now that the days are starting to get shorter. We also would like to put a heating pad under the waterer once the temperatures REALLY drop to prevent it from freezing. Is there a solar-powered energizer or other way to provide electricity to the coop (without running an extension cord from the house to the coop?
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    224
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: Only if you want to spend at least 10 times what it will cost to simply run 100 ft of wire to the coop.

    Forget "extension cords" and buy 100-150 ft of Romex made for underground service, and bury the wire.
     
  3. MarineCorpFarmr

    MarineCorpFarmr Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,767
    35
    153
    Mar 9, 2012
    AL/TN Stateline
    My Coop
    Agreed Bear Foot, romex underground the way to go.
     
  4. mamashea

    mamashea Out Of The Brooder

    32
    0
    32
    Aug 19, 2012
    East Chatham, New York
    The only problem is that our land has a great deal of shale in some areas (specifically, between the house and the coop) that would prevent burying Romex to the required 18"-24" depth. Is the solar method really that expensive? I haven't found any sort of system of any kind, so can't determine expense.
     
  5. Wenham Hens

    Wenham Hens New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Sep 16, 2012
    I am in the same boat, and I almost have it figured out.

    My coop is in the garden about 80 feet from an outdoor outlet. the problem is that some large trres with roots and 2 fences are in the way. i don't have time to dig a trench, or rent ($100 from home depot) a trench digger, so i researched how to configure a 15 watt solar trickle charger with a 12 v old but good car battery that i got for free from my mechanic who was just going to recycle it.

    i went ahead and bought a 12 volt electric motor kit $100 to go with a home made door, and i built my own wooden "guillotine" door.

    the 12 v motor is weatherproof and is mounted on the outside wall directly above and centered over the door. the 15 watt solar panel (1' x 3' for $170) is roof mounted, and the (12 v car battery, with the controller, battery condition indicator and charger components) are all mounted in a wooden box up under the eave.

    Now to the problem of a 12 v dc timer that I have not yet overcome. I spent a lot of time on line looking for a 12 v dc timer, and thought i found one, so i ordered it $15 and it came last week. i installed it today, but it doesn't work. I have 2 friends who are more electrically inclined than me, and both generally smarter as well. The problem appears that I bought a timer that runs on 12 volt AC input power, so I'm back to a new search.

    Any idea where to buy a timer that runs on 12 v DC power?

    I hope this is helpful.
     
  6. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    224
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: If you want HEAT it is.
    If you want a couple of small LED lights, it might work, but still won't be "cheap" if you buy a good battery
     
  7. Wenham Hens

    Wenham Hens New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Sep 16, 2012
    the cost of cable, conduit and fittings to go about 80' was going to be about $110. Plus the $100 rental of the trench digger from HD and the hours of labor and sweat., nNo thanks.

    Instead i spent $100 on the electric motor kit, I built the guillotine door, the 15 watt panel, controller, charger and battery condition indicator cost $170. I got a 12 volt caqr battery from my mechanic for free.

    now i just need a 12 v DC timer. any ideas?
     
  8. RaspyRoosterFarms

    RaspyRoosterFarms Out Of The Brooder

    35
    0
    24
    Apr 9, 2011
    Indiana
    Harbor Freight has a solar system for around 200. Then you need another hundred in 2 deep cycle marine batteries. You'd be better off going with a led bulb if you go with solar. Lasts longer and wont draw as much from the batteries.
     
  9. McGobs

    McGobs Chillin' With My Peeps

    121
    3
    81
    Jun 13, 2012
    What about trying something with those garden lights that are solar. Might be something to look into. I picked up 8 of them at the local "dollar store" for $3 a piece. Might be able to rig something with those.
     
  10. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    224
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: So you spent more already and it's still not working

    Your battery will do good to survive the Winter if it gets cold where you are.
    A few cloudy days in cold weather, and your battery will requre a REAL charger to bring it back up.
    When the nights get longer than the days, you will likely need to bring the battery to the house to charge it.

    In the end, you will spend a LOT more in both money and energy trying to get solar power to handle your tasks, and I'm betting you'll find it's just not up to it
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by