Solar Powered Coop

kloverdarling

In the Brooder
5 Years
Dec 9, 2014
77
12
43
Colorado
Just installed solar and switched my coop over. Running the Poultry Butler Automatic Coop Door and small light currently. I will add more to this post as I get results from this set up.

20w solar panel
Deep Cycle Battery (100 amp hours, I believe)
Power Inverter (up to 400w)

If I were running more than one panel or using a different type of battery I would add a power controller also.

Here are some photos.
It was really simple to install/set up
I am really looking forward to seeing results and getting some run times.
My goal is to be able to leave for a week and my coop run on its own.


Built a cover for the battery that is open on one side for access.


This wall gets the absolute most sun all day, so I installed the panel here instead of putting holes in my roof.


Some of my girls love to "help" with projects.


Deep cycle battery


Power inverter

I currently have a 25w red light that comes on at dusk when they go to bed, will be starting to lessen the time that it is on for them, also thinking I will most likely switch it out for something DC powered as they draw less from the system.
 

N F C

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BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Dec 12, 2013
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That's a very interesting project you have. Please follow up with your results and thanks for sharing.
 

CalgaryFarmer

Songster
5 Years
Oct 13, 2014
335
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Just outside Calgary, Alberta
As well, for anyone else that is thinking of doing this. It is better to use golf cart batteries rather than rv/marine batteries. Rv/marine batteries are not designed to cycle from empty to full and back in the same manner as a golf cart battery. Despite being called deep cycle batteries, Rv/marine batteries will not last as long.

Usually golf cart batteries come in 6 volts so you will need to tie 2 together.
 

CalgaryFarmer

Songster
5 Years
Oct 13, 2014
335
37
116
Just outside Calgary, Alberta
Sorry, I see your battery box is completely open on the one side. That should provide adequate ventilation. I would still drill a hole in the top board if your battery gives off hydrogen as it might still accumulate under the top of your box.
 

kloverdarling

In the Brooder
5 Years
Dec 9, 2014
77
12
43
Colorado
All I am running off this system is my coop door, it opens and closes... That's it. Uses so little power the 20w panel is plenty. As for the battery, I prefer the deep cycles. I don't pull enough power for it to completely discharge ever. We run solar on our personal power also and use deep cycles as well. In all my research that seems to be the way to go. I am however changing the inveter to a different one tonight. The one pictured is just poorly made.
 

CalgaryFarmer

Songster
5 Years
Oct 13, 2014
335
37
116
Just outside Calgary, Alberta
All of this sounds good. The panel should be adequate for the door.

An rv/marine battery will be fine if it does not discharge much or regularly.

Golf cart batteries are deep cycle. They are just a different type. So they are likely better in a different application where there is a full discharge.

Looks like a nice set up you have there.
 

kloverdarling

In the Brooder
5 Years
Dec 9, 2014
77
12
43
Colorado
It has been raining cats and dogs all week... So for now my solar set up is working but I haven't been able to get any run times really.
I had a few bumps. The battery I got wasn't fully charged when I got it so my new inverter just beeped beeped beeped when I hooked it up.
Charged the battery via the genny. All good now.

My coop door has been opening and closing just fine now. Also running a 25w red light (not a heat lamp) for two hours in the evening. It's mainly just to have enough light in the coop for them to make it up to the roosts before its completely dark. This is all well and fine.

I will be getting some real numbers on run time soon.

Oh, the new inverter is a Black and Decker 500w (home depot)
 

kloverdarling

In the Brooder
5 Years
Dec 9, 2014
77
12
43
Colorado
Even with no direct sunlight the past few days my battery is still holding at 12.5v, which is awesome. So the 20w panel seems to be doing the job. Can't wait for some sunlight!
 

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