Will this work to run one heated waterer?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Iowa Roo Mom, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. Iowa Roo Mom

    Iowa Roo Mom Resistance Is Futile

    Apr 30, 2009
    Keokuk County
    Hey fellow BYC'ers! I need your help, once again [​IMG]

    So I am nearing the completion of my treehouse conversion coop (at least the interior) and one of the problems I have is that it has no electric power. It is 100+ yards from the house, so electricity is pretty much not an option. I found this link about making a 110-120V outlet from solar panels. Please take a look and let me know if y'all think this will run one heated waterer or a heated dog bowl for the winter time.

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Powered-AC110-120V-outlet/

    I'm hoping this is what I need, if so I can save the $$$ I would have been spendin' on cigarettes this summer [​IMG] (I FINALLY QUIT SMOKING) [​IMG] and break down and buy the materials needed.

    Any opinions/ideas will be GREATLY appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2009
  2. davidr

    davidr Songster

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    Jan 22, 2009
    Mokena, IL
    How many watts is the heater?

    How many watts does the solar panel generate?

    David
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2009
  3. RendonRoo

    RendonRoo Songster

    Feb 7, 2009
    ft. worth
    A heater would require a fairly large battery bank. I want to use solar and wind power myself but it's just not cost effective right now. If you do some research you can find many homemaid systems but you have to be rather handy and know electrical very well. Good Luck
     
  4. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Crowing

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    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    I really think that you're going to need something a good bit bigger than this. They're talking about charging cellphones, ipods, etc., and you're talking about powering one of the worst power-suckers around....resistive heating. It can be done but the panel and battery will have to be enlarged a good bit. You need to do a simple "load calculation" to see what size battery and pv panel you need. Here are links to a couple of calculators:

    Simple solar calculator at webcalc.net

    Solar4Power Solar Calculation

    You need to check and see how many watts or amps the heater requires along with the loss involved in the inverter (be sure the inverter is sized large enough to handle the heater).

    Seems kind of confusing, but it's really not for a simple solar setup...though it can be pricey when you figure in a "regular" sized pv panel and a deep cycle battery.

    Best wishes,
    Ed
     
  5. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Crowing

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    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    Something else to consider with solar is how many "sun hours" do you have each day. Are your average days clear or overcast? PV panel's output is diminished greatly from overcast skies. Normally in an area that has frequent cloudy/overcast days the pv panel array's size has to be increased to account for this.

    Ed
     
  6. flopshot

    flopshot Songster

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    Feb 17, 2009
    people tend to overestimate the energy available via solar. on top of that, the energy needed to create heat. for about .50 per foot you can buy wire and run a heated bowl or heat supply. some minor trenching, two cord ends, just plug into an outside outlet with an ' in use' cover and you have a seasonal solution to the problem. even at 300' the voltage loss will not be an issue for a small application like the heater. you should even be able to sneak a small light in if you want. make sure the outlet or breaker for the outlet is a GFCI type.
     
  7. Labeedoor

    Labeedoor In the Brooder

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    May 22, 2009
    Knox county, IL
    I have a friend here in west-central Illinois that doesn't heat her water at all. We got down to -27 this past winter. She said, she just gives them water everyday. Her chickens free range all winter long. Stay in an uninsulated coop at night. Remember cold water will freeze much slower than hot water.
    The system you are looking at doesn't look like it would hold up to the water heaters I've seen for sale. It may run an aerator though. Bubbling will keep water from freezing also. Just a thought. Best of luck
     
  8. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Crowing

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    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    Quote:*Very good* post, flopshot!

    Some rough figures...
    $160 for 300 feet of 12-2 UF-B (outdoor)
    $60 for 300 feet of 1" non-metalic conduit
    $5 for outlet box/plug
    $225 rough subtotal
    trenching would be "sweat equity"

    Definitely cheaper than a solar setup to run the heater!!! At the most I would figure only 1/3 of the cost of a solar setup. The resistance of the wire running that far shouldn't be a big factor in running the heater, though I wouldn't want to run a well pump, or other heavy motor for an extended time using a run that long.

    Your definitely right, the most cost effective thing would be a wire run...and you could run a light with it, too!

    Like Labeedoor mentioned....you could dump and refill in the morning, though you'd have to keep an eye on it. A heater *is* a nice luxury, but the dump-n-refill is even cheaper. [​IMG]

    Ed
     
  9. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

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    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Quote:A bowl of water in my insulated coop will freeze in 40 minutes. Before I got my heated water dish, the water bowl would have a skim of ice on it before I could even finish my chicken chores, about 10 minutes. If you got down to -27F this winter and this was not an isolated weather incident and those chickens only got water once a day in an uninsulated coop, I have a tough time believing that it was fluid. Either that or they had a lot of chickens inside the coop providing a substantial amount of body heat... Just say'n.

    I have heard that some people have better luck with rubber bowls freezing slower than metal bowls, but have not tried this myself. If you are unable to get electricity to the coop and it gets really cold where you are, you will need to plan on changing their water out several times a day.
     
  10. RendonRoo

    RendonRoo Songster

    Feb 7, 2009
    ft. worth
    Sorry you guys are crazy. If it got to 27below here i would move south. LOL. That's just too darned cold for man or beast.
     

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