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small windmill turbine for electric in coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sueandthe6, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. sueandthe6

    sueandthe6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    so I am new to chickens this year. At this point there is no electric in the coop. I don't have the option of running it from my house as its an old trailer that isn't electrically happy to begin with. I stumbled across someones idea to get power to their coop with a small windmill. I have been searching on line for a bit and everyhting I find is for houses. Does anyone here do this? I debated seeing what I could do to run electric from what is to be my stove power in the trailer to the coop- but its just not seeming practical to me. Not sure this windmill idea is either though. I live in almost 5 acres an smack dab at the top of a hill so wind isnt an issue although from what I read the wind and its speed are not the biggest things to consider when deciding if a windmill is worthwile. Id be getting an off grid one simply to use for the chickens.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  2. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Solar seems to be the more evolved technology, and I'm guessing it would be cheaper, or at least easier to install and less obstructive. Either way, the real power would be coming from a battery, and the solar/wind would just be charging it. Have you considered using a car battery for power, and just charge it weekly back at the house?

    It is probably important to tell us what you need the electricity for. If it is just for a small water de-icer or ocassional lighting, then that would require minimal power, for example.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  3. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you can go up the 80' or so that turbines need cost effectively it could work. But like Todr says, solar is less problematical right now. At least a few people on here use solar for their coops. It depends a lot on what you plan to run off it. I love the idea of wind power, so far every time I start looking into it, I become convinced its not practical for me. There is maintenance and upkeep on turbines that isn't there for solar.
     
  4. tracecom

    tracecom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your first task is to decide what you are going to use electricity for, and that will dictate how much power you need to generate. As others have stated, solar is somewhat easier, but wind has advantages. The ideal situation is to have both, so they can supplement each other, but that adds complications to the charging system.

    The idea is to determine how much power you will need in worst case conditions, which is probably a short winter day over some period of time, say a week or so, with little to no sun. Then, you size your battery to provide that much power without discharging to the point at which the battery's life is seriously shortened. Then, you will know how much power you have to generate.

    I don't mean to discourage you, because I love the idea of solar and wind power, but, unless you want to spend a lot of money, it takes some serious planning. In the long run, you might find it less expensive to have an electrician run a wire from your service entrance to the coop, and have a tiny breaker box in the coop.

    Good luck.
     
  5. rootes

    rootes Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 23, 2014
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  6. sueandthe6

    sueandthe6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks for all the info. definitely looking into solar instead. Really do only need enough to keep water from freezing and maybe one or two outdoor lights for me to take the puppers out to potty at night. right now I use the car headlights and the way I have to park it lights up the chickens too. so far the've never woken up but Id rather be able to turn on a light that didn't shine anywhere near them. Thanks for the link Tim- on my way there now.
     
  7. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The lighting is super easy. My coop is actually hard wired right now, but I just use solar spot lights on its perimeters to keep predators away, and to make it easier to check on them at night. The solar spotlights work great and I think only cost about $15 for two. They do fade out by like 2am, but that's fine. A lot of times when I need to go inside the coop I'll just pick up the light from the ground and use it as a flashlight too.

    http://mobile.walmart.com/ip/Northe...White-LED-Per-Spot-Black-Finish-2-Pa/39931142

    Heating the water should be easy to do with a 12v pad, which you can see explained well in Rootes posted link above. A car battery is probably the easiest way, you'd just need a charger (which you really should have anyways) if you don't want to invest in a solar panel. I bet with just one 12v draw, it would go quite a long time before needing charged. Adding a small light would probably help you to know when the battery was getting low.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  8. rootes

    rootes Out Of The Brooder

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    Toddrick is so right.

    There are so many different ways to do the solar depending on your needs and your budget.

    I decided to go the solar panel route because it was a good way to learn. I want to try solar power in a building I'm doing next Spring. My little solar coop tryout was a big help.

    Keep your eyes open, check auction and local classifieds for good prices, and don't try to spend too much money too fast.

    Solar is a bit trendy right now and there are all kinds of people who will want to part your money from you.

    Best of luck with your solar experiments.

    Take Care,

    Tim
     

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