Solar Powered Coop for Broke Folks

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Clifford Odel, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Clifford Odel

    Clifford Odel Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 19, 2014
    I think these came from Costco. It was a package that had three panels and an inverter. I haven't found anything A/C that it will run yet but the inverter works good in the truck. Definitely won't run much that produces heat (we tried). That said, I built a simple 2x4 frame and leaned them up on an old saw horse.


    Since we are cheap and not running a fortress, I salvaged some rechargeable batteries out of some backup emergency lights. You can get them at Grainger. I wired them up + to + and - to -. Not real sure if they should have been series or parallel but they work for the first run. Stacked them up in a styrofoam box and ran some old trailer wire hook ups that fit the plug on the panels for the out end. I took a volt meter to it. Seems like they all put off like 6.87 v. I don't know much about all of it but it works. Bout the only experience I have with DC is wiring up a truck radio. Make sure you have a good ground (not in this case) and a good hot and be sure they don't cross. I like to use heat shrink wrap for wire connectors because it is super easy and I hate wire caps.


    I'll be running some fog lights that I had in the garage for the truck. I don't know what wattage they are and I will most likely change them out with some smaller leds when I can scrounge some up for free :). The other thing I'll be running is a D/C computer fan for exhaust on the coop. It gets mega death hell hot here in the summer so I want to make sure the girls stay cool. May even hook up one of those redneck ac units with a bucket and some ice. I think a computer fan will be enough to run that. The melted water can drain into the chickens water too. The switch that came with the fog lights will be mounted on the coop somewhere and we will have one light interior and one exterior. When wiring the switch make sure you only break the hot wire. I almost burned down a boat one time doing it wrong. Sometimes you have to do things the wrong way and learn from it. Well, there it is for now. The batteries are trickle charging today. I guess you could prolly use a solar phone charger if you're broke and find some rechargeable batteries that will work enough to run a light at night. Or you could just carry a flashlight. I don't always have one on hand though and the MacGyver thing on a sunny day is always fun. Hopefully there will be more to come.


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