Windmill to power a coop fan - off the grid??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by equusvilla, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. equusvilla

    equusvilla Out Of The Brooder

    87
    0
    39
    Apr 6, 2010
    South Texas
    My coop does not have any electricity - since we live in South Texas I am more worried about the Summer heat than anything Winter will throw at us.. so do you think it would be possible to take one of those ornamental windmills and use a pully to power a covered fan inside the coop. It would have to look "clean" .. not all rigged up and not something that would ruin the look of the coop.

    This is our coop before it was finished..but you will get the idea.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  2. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    I think I would find a gear drive so one fan can turn the other directly without open holes in the roof.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    119
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Using wind power to run a fan in the coop is quintessentially pointless unless either a) the coop is *badly* in the lee of other structures so that it gets no natural breeze (not the case in your situation) or b) you spend a buncha extra money on a charge controller and some good big expensive batteries so that you can run the fan when the wind is *not* blowing.

    Reason being, when the wind IS blowing, by far your most effective ventilation/cooling is to just let the wind itself blow thru the coop. Seriously [​IMG]

    So unless you want to spend a bunch of money doing this as basically a "hobby project" thing, I would suggest instead thinking about how you can fine-tune your coop design to make use of existing breeze, and to give the chickens a larger area of shade to hang out in. (A large area of shade is probably better overall anyhow, in terms of cooling, if it can be arranged).

    JMHO, good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. Doormantnt

    Doormantnt Chillin' With My Peeps

    229
    1
    121
    May 4, 2009
    Glen Burnie, MD
  5. equusvilla

    equusvilla Out Of The Brooder

    87
    0
    39
    Apr 6, 2010
    South Texas
    I do understand what you are saying.. lets just say that now that the coop is all done... I really wish the windows were larger. I am trying to compensate for an error in construction. We are on the top of a hill and at the highest point for miles around.. so we do get a constant breeze.. and it usually is blowing North/South, the directions that the windows are facing.

    After I posed the question - I did realize that more than likely a solar powered fan would probably be a better option.
     
  6. txcarl1258

    txcarl1258 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,044
    28
    161
    Sep 11, 2010
    Pleasanton
    I know what you mean with the heat part. I am from S TX as well and I am putting my coop under a large oak tree. Don't want my girls to have a heat stroke! Solar fan sounds like a great idea. Where do you get them?
     
  7. equusvilla

    equusvilla Out Of The Brooder

    87
    0
    39
    Apr 6, 2010
    South Texas
    ... also - we have a shade cloth on order for the top fo the run.
     
  8. equusvilla

    equusvilla Out Of The Brooder

    87
    0
    39
    Apr 6, 2010
    South Texas
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    119
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Well, it's never too late to cut holes in things [​IMG] Seriously.

    For instance (this is just one random example, there are oodles of things you could do) what if you opened up the bottom half of the wall on the usually-upwind side, just remove all or most of the siding and leave the studs exposed, and build a quickie little 'porch roof' there. It would only be maybe 2-3' feet above the ground, and whatever size you want but probably not bigger than <length of coop wall> by 4' or so. Enclose it very securely as a "reach-in run" style extension of the coop. Not only does this give the chickens more shaded area, it will help cool the coop and give lotsa extra ventilation without problems with rain blowing in. You could put plastic on some of the walls of it for wintertime if necessary.

    Also, you might consider doing something to help funnel wind into your existing openings (window, door, vents, whatever you use). This is not always practical, it depends on the site, but often a short stretch of dense or solid fencing (or something like that) can be strategically located to funnel favorable breezes the way you want 'em to go. You need to have it engineered to withstand storm winds and think through its implications for *winter* winds, but in many cases this can be a useful help. For instance for horses it can often make a barn much more pleasant in the summer, or provide a sort of 'wind tunnel' with extra air movemnt to give them somewhere to stand to be cool and keep the flies off.

    A solar attic fan is not going to do very much good. Especially for their price. It's not *nothing* but really as you are in a good breezy area it would just give you a lot more breeze to figure out how you can tweak the coop itsefl.

    Just some things to consider, anyhow,

    Pat
     
  10. BitsyB

    BitsyB Chillin' With My Peeps

    133
    1
    88
    Aug 30, 2010
    Northern Delaware
    Plant trees trees trees! And shrubs- fast growing ones, water extra to help speed growth
    Nature's air conditioning, better than shade cloth cause the leaves evaporative effect cools the air around

    Also groups of shrubs give the chickens places to hide from predators, and a shady place to nap on a hot day.

    (But if I was smart enough to rig up a wind powered fan I'd do it, just because...)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by