Will this work to run one heated waterer?

Iowa Roo Mom

Resistance Is Futile
11 Years
Apr 30, 2009
3,924
10
251
Keokuk County
Hey fellow BYC'ers! I need your help, once again


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
(I FINALLY QUIT SMOKING)
and break down and buy the materials needed.

Any opinions/ideas will be GREATLY appreciated!
 
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davidr

Songster
11 Years
Jan 22, 2009
151
2
119
Mokena, IL
How many watts is the heater?

How many watts does the solar panel generate?

David
 
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RendonRoo

Songster
10 Years
Feb 7, 2009
1,147
8
161
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
 

Intheswamp

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
2,373
111
256
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
 

Intheswamp

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
2,373
111
256
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
 

flopshot

Songster
10 Years
Feb 17, 2009
513
1
141
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.
 

Labeedoor

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 22, 2009
40
1
22
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
 

Intheswamp

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 25, 2009
2,373
111
256
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.


Ed
 

CityChook

Songster
11 Years
Apr 9, 2008
1,719
20
184
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.
 

RendonRoo

Songster
10 Years
Feb 7, 2009
1,147
8
161
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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