Solar Power

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by GaDawg, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. GaDawg

    GaDawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2008
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    Has anyone used a solar panel to help keep their water from freezing?

    I'm thinking about doing this next year and was wondering if it can be done. My coop is to far from the house to run a cord.

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  2. Happy Chicken Mama

    Happy Chicken Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nope, but I use a solar light. Works great!

    DH just ran power out to the coop (what a grand guy!) but I still use the light.

    Go Solar!
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Of course it can be done but would require a much larger setup than you may be contemplating. Heating requires a LOT of wattage, unfortunately.

    Surely things can't freeze that bad for that long in Georgia, even up in the mountains?? What about working on a good insulated water-holder that would simply keep things thawed for longer. Or even just give up on the overnight period entirely -- chickens don;t drink in the middle of tthe night *anyhow* -- and bring them fresh water every morning?

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. GaDawg

    GaDawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North GA
    I didn't know it took alot of wattage, that is why I posted this thread. Needed info.
    I was looking to keep the water from refreezing during the day and to keep from going out there every two hours. I can do that now but I don't know about next year.

    Just curious to see if something solar was out there that I couldn't find and to see if anyone had rigged up something of their own.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I'd suggest experimenting with insulated containers. (You can buy for $35 something like that, but easily make your own... there is a recent thread here, I believe it is entitled something like Running electric to coop, that discusses that) (e.t.a here ya go: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=132645&p=1 )

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2009
  6. OlivenhainChickens

    OlivenhainChickens Out Of The Brooder

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  7. muddstopper

    muddstopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have a fixed run and not a tractor, you can semi freeze proof your waterpan. Take post hole digger and dig as deep a hole as you can to get below the frost level. Put a capped plastic 6in pvc pipe into hole with uncapped end up. Fill pipe with crushed stone or clean gravel and then fill with water. Place watering pan on top of buried pipe. The temperature of the water in the pipe should stay a constant 52-57 degrees year round. The heat will rise from this pipe and warm your watering pan, keeping it above 32 degrees. Some ice crusting can occur, but is easily pecked thru by the birds. This will work just about everywhere, some areas you just have to go deeper with your pipe than in other areas. I suggest a hole at least 4ft deep.

    If you want to go solar, get a solar powered, low voltage water pump and solar panel big enought to run the pump. You dont need a lot of flow, just enough to keep the water moving. Dig a hole below the frost line, and bury some pec tubing filled with RV antifreeze. Run the pec tubing into and out of your waterbowl or trough. Hook each end of the pec tubing to your solar powered water pump. You want a close loop system. Use a marine battery as backup power. The battery will run the pump all nite as long as you dont use a high amperage type 12v pump and the solar panel will recharge the battery during the day. All you want to do is keep the water flowing thru the pec tubing, even a half gallon a minute pump will be more than enough to do this. This setup is a lot more expensive than the buried pipe and will probably cost you $400 to build.

    If you are real handy with tools. Edmunds Scientific has individual solar cells you can buy and put together yourself for about $3 each. You can build as big a solar panel as you want a lot cheaper than you can buy ready made solar panels. A 18v, 3 amp, 54w solar panel will cost you about $125 in materials, but you have to be willing to solder each individual cell together and build a glass covered frame to put them in. Compare that to similar sized solar panels you buy at Lowes, or Northerntool or Tractor Supply, or anywhere else for that matter, and I think you can see the cost savings for a DIY project.
     
  8. yaktelcom

    yaktelcom New Egg

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