Off-Grid Incubator-Brooder-and Coop heater... RECYCLED HEAT

Quailguy728

Songster
Mar 3, 2019
62
148
116
Southern Ontario
**Reposting/starting a thread for this here.

Hey folks!

Long time no post. I'm sure we can all agree; Life gets out of hand sometimes...
I digress... I've returned today with a crazy concept I plan to implement myself soon. I figured it would be a great idea to share the idea with this community, as well as take feedback from you guys. (After all, you folks know your stuff!)

So here it is... Let me start with some background info:

I live off grid in Southern Ontario.. winters here can get pretty nippy. However that has never really bothered the quail. (even not having the power to run a heat lamp) I currently keep 2 coveys of quail (6 female and 2 male per covey) and they faced up against some pretty harsh weather this year already. Shortly after i got them this fall, I began thinking how I would run an incubator living off grid with limited amount of power. I came across some great off grid concepts such as: A broody hen, Hot water bottles, and the less popularly known, The oil lamp incubator.

The oil lamp incubator really peaked my interest, and its concept design has given great encouragement behind my big design plan. (Which doesn't use oil lamps). Even if you don't think youd ever use one, I'd take the time to look them up, there are even some tutorials on YouTube on how to make them very economically.


As the winter set in, it was boldly apparent that the small, poorly sealed woodstove that was heating my abode simply wouldn't cut it... It would take too long to start, and after finally getting it started, it would burn too quickly to keep me warm while i slept during the day. ( I work night shifts 4 days a week in town). Lucky for me some very gracious coworkers told me about an amazing invention... THE "Chinese Diesel Heater". I was skeptical at first, but after doing a lot of research: I convinced myself, and ordered one. ( i got mine for 195$CAN on ebay canada from a user named Keygiver-1 or something similar to that.. and no this isnt a promotion. I was very thrilled with the product quality and shipping time though, and am happy to recommend this to folks all on my own).

So i bought this amazing diesel heater at a great price, found that it heats my 6x12 off grid shack AMAZINGLY....(and power and fuel efficiently i may add.. Costs about 3-5$ to run for 24 hours, and really only draws power when its heating the glow plug. after it starts up it just runs the fuel pump and fan, and hardly uses any power at all) and it dawned on me that this thing may be able to heat an incubator, AND a brooder.. and may also be able to heat water for me... It uses 3 or 4 inch bendable ducting (easily available) and is made to pipe onto furnace ducts in RVs and Motorhomes. Since mine is a self built, ill be running the duct work all myself from scratch..

I picture a T off a corner vent, where an additional piece of duct work can be added with an adjustable vent to pipe air into a small box with the eggs, add cup of water for moisture and dial in temperature etc. (the trays would be tilted manually, unless it becomes viable to run an electric egg turner)from this small box, a smaller vent would run to a larger box underneath that would be kept at a lower temperature than the incubator to be used as a brooder. I would also add a small screened vent to exhaust the air that runs through the system (quail brooders can get a bit stinky with all those little poopers in there) as well as view windows on each boxes.

I hope to work up some solid blueprints and upload them for you all to view to help this make a little more sense. Ill also include the water heater i was thinking about attempting.. In theory a tightly coiled copper pipe inside one of the ducts with an adjustable vent to turn it on and off in essence is ran from a water store inside or out of the building. I was able to heat water in a bottle in front of my vent in about 20 minutes that was VERY hot (Was heated for coffee because my 12V kettle took a long time and didn't get the water hot enough)

I'm also sure a type of convection oven could be achieved with the right materials and insulation. AND why not add an adjustable duct that runs outside to the coop for the quail?

My big idea here is that if you have a product like this diesel heater that works as efficiently as it does, they only way to make it even MORE off grid friendly is to recycle all that heat.

I should mention that the air intake and exhaust for the diesel heater are both pipped outside. so the air that is being heated is the inside air just being blown over the hot diesel combustion chamber by a computer fan... and it works AMAZING..

Looking forward to the thoughts and comments on this, as well as any pointers or insight.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays too all you folk!
 

Kusanar

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 30, 2014
3,128
7,569
426
Roanoke area, Va.
I would be very interested in seeing a sketch of what you are thinking. I THINK it makes sense from your explanation but I'm pretty visual and like to have a sketch to look at, doesn't need to be a full blown blueprint.

One suggestion that I don't know if it would be viable or not is using granular Sweet PDZ or another granular zeolite product in the brooder floors. I have found that if you use it in a thick layer that it dries the poops out and destinks them almost instantly (did not try in a brooder but I did have a pigeon in the house for over a year. Then you can just sift the "sand" between broods to get the poop out.
 

Quailguy728

Songster
Mar 3, 2019
62
148
116
Southern Ontario
Here's a bit of a rough sketch idea I was able to get drawn up.
I think in theory it should work, it would just be a pain to keep that temperature in the sweet zone.

Very interested in this de-stinking Medium for the brooder. Anything that keeps the odors down is a huge bonus. Thanks!
 

Kusanar

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 30, 2014
3,128
7,569
426
Roanoke area, Va.
Here's a bit of a rough sketch idea I was able to get drawn up.
I think in theory it should work, it would just be a pain to keep that temperature in the sweet zone.

Very interested in this de-stinking Medium for the brooder. Anything that keeps the odors down is a huge bonus. Thanks!
No picture came through.

Yeah, it's a mineral that "eats" ammonia and can be composted (the mineral won't compost but it is safe in the compost pile so when you scoop / sift the poops and get a bit of the sand it can be put in the compost pile safely)
 

Quailguy728

Songster
Mar 3, 2019
62
148
116
Southern Ontario
No picture came through.

Yeah, it's a mineral that "eats" ammonia and can be composted (the mineral won't compost but it is safe in the compost pile so when you scoop / sift the poops and get a bit of the sand it can be put in the compost pile safely)

Whoops! thank for pointing that out! ill try a reupload right now!
Wow this stuff sounds amazing for any indoor application! especially for this system! (where everything will be kept closed as often as possible to conserve heat).

How would you regulate the temperature in the brooder and the incubator? Eggs need a specific consistent temperature to hatch.

Very specific indeed! in the rough draft diagram I'm about to upload, youll see the spots with the controll vents to help keep the system delicately balanced. Bringing this to my full attention though makes me think the small amount of power an egg turner will use each day (while conserving the heat inside the chambers ) may be worth it. Heat and power become very similar when you live off grid in a way. (I guess that's why some heaters are measured in Kw and some in BTUs. lol)

Diagram to follow after this message. Its a photo form my phone. Hopefully it uploads in good time.. hehe.
 

Kusanar

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 30, 2014
3,128
7,569
426
Roanoke area, Va.
How would you regulate the temperature in the brooder and the incubator? Eggs need a specific consistent temperature to hatch.
If it blows heat constantly you could just tinker with it until you have just the right amount of air diverting in that direction, if not, you could put in heat sinks to even out the temperature fluctuations.

Eggs don't need as steady of a temperature as incubators typically provide. Broody hens get off of their eggs to eat and poop which allows the eggs to cool to a certain extent and then they warm them back up.

Ancient Egypt managed to brood eggs without broodys or electronic incubators, so not too far fetched to think it can be reverse engineered to be able to do it again.
 

Ruby Rogue

Free Ranging
Mar 31, 2020
2,614
7,535
536
Atlantic Canada
It is my understanding that temperature fluctuations during incubation can cause abnormalities and defects. I'm definitely not saying it's impossible, I'm just wondering how it would work, where I had trouble regulating temperature with a lightbulb and no thermostat in a DIY incubator.
 

Kusanar

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 30, 2014
3,128
7,569
426
Roanoke area, Va.
Bringing this to my full attention though makes me think the small amount of power an egg turner will use each day (while conserving the heat inside the chambers ) may be worth it.
Are you designing the incubator as well? If so, drill a hole in the side that you can put a wooden dowel through and push / pull the dowel to turn the eggs. If the hole is a close fit, you won't loose much air and what you do lose will be constant rather than abrupt like opening the box and wood is a decent insulator so shouldn't "pipe" cold in or heat out very much.
 

Quailguy728

Songster
Mar 3, 2019
62
148
116
Southern Ontario
If it blows heat constantly you could just tinker with it until you have just the right amount of air diverting in that direction, if not, you could put in heat sinks to even out the temperature fluctuations.

Eggs don't need as steady of a temperature as incubators typically provide. Broody hens get off of their eggs to eat and poop which allows the eggs to cool to a certain extent and then they warm them back up.

Ancient Egypt managed to brood eggs without broodys or electronic incubators, so not too far fetched to think it can be reverse engineered to be able to do it again.
My thought exactly! Check out that oil lamp heater I mentioned earlier. Astonishing technology. I assume the ancients used something similar.

Here's the diagram hopefully.

20201223_045945.jpg
 

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