Solar power for chicken coop

humblehillsfarm

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I saw a post about the solar coop fan, which reminded me I was wanting to get a solar system for my chicken coop. Has anyone ever done this and if so are there any recommendations? Basically I want enough for a light and light switch, and one outlet strong enough to power at least one fan OR a radiant heatpad/heat plate for brooding.
 

humblehillsfarm

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MarkJr

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String of led Christmas lights on a switch and a 30 ah battery with 100 watt panel will give enough juice for 4 hours light in winter sun without falling below 80% on battery here in southern Oregon.
 

ShannonR

Free Ranging
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String of led Christmas lights on a switch and a 30 ah battery with 100 watt panel will give enough juice for 4 hours light in winter sun without falling below 80% on battery here in southern Oregon.
Solid advice. I've done similar. You can also get away with larger batteries for those few times you need more power for something. Running off an RV inverter instead of putting an outlet in the coop is easier to do and more practical. The heat thing, though.... just run a cord from the house, that would be the best bet. I had poor luck running an incubator on a much larger system... it would be good for a few days but a rain storm or use of batteries for something else would make the inverter squeal
 

humblehillsfarm

Songster
Mar 27, 2020
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Solid advice. I've done similar. You can also get away with larger batteries for those few times you need more power for something. Running off an RV inverter instead of putting an outlet in the coop is easier to do and more practical. The heat thing, though.... just run a cord from the house, that would be the best bet. I had poor luck running an incubator on a much larger system... it would be good for a few days but a rain storm or use of batteries for something else would make the inverter squeal
You know now that you mention it, I have an old RV inverter! I totally forgot about it. I bought an old RV for parts for a school bus conversion, but it was too small for bus purposes. It would be more than enough, and a huge cost savings, for a coop!

String of led Christmas lights on a switch and a 30 ah battery with 100 watt panel will give enough juice for 4 hours light in winter sun without falling below 80% on battery here in southern Oregon.
The primary purpose for the light was for me, as I usually have laying hens (from hatching babies) through the winter, but I thought if I wanted lights to encourage more laying (if in the future I don't have any young pullets), I'd at least have that option. If I am trying to snag a hen for medical treatment, or count them, it'd be nice to flip a light switch to see rather than manage by myself with a flashlight.
 

ShannonR

Free Ranging
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Sep 17, 2015
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You know now that you mention it, I have an old RV inverter! I totally forgot about it. I bought an old RV for parts for a school bus conversion, but it was too small for bus purposes. It would be more than enough, and a huge cost savings, for a coop!


The primary purpose for the light was for me, as I usually have laying hens (from hatching babies) through the winter, but I thought if I wanted lights to encourage more laying (if in the future I don't have any young pullets), I'd at least have that option. If I am trying to snag a hen for medical treatment, or count them, it'd be nice to flip a light switch to see rather than manage by myself with a flashlight.
Look up the inverter model online and try to find out what the no-load amp draw is. Some inverters have quite a draw even if they are not running anything. Older inverters can be worse about this. You'll have to size your system appropriately and take that into account.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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My Coop
but I thought if I wanted lights to encourage more laying (if in the future I don't have any young pullets), I'd at least have that option.
Supplemental laying lights need to be precisely and consistently timed.

If I am trying to snag a hen for medical treatment, or count them, it'd be nice to flip a light switch to see rather than manage by myself with a flashlight.
I use a headlight, both hand free and light exactly where I need it.
No need to wake the whole flock at once to do an exam/treatment.
 

MarkJr

Yard Bird Enthusiast
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Jun 15, 2020
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Supplemental laying lights need to be precisely and consistently timed.

I use a headlight, both hand free and light exactly where I need it.
No need to wake the whole flock at once to do an exam/treatment.
Mine has a red filter that seems to give me more time.
 

MarkJr

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I also shopped 12v lights. Got rid of the voltage converter on lights and stay all 12v. Seems to have less power loss. Didn’t even think about parasitic loss through inverter.
 

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