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#62884 - 09/15/04 06:26 AM solar lighting for coop?
Meems Offline
Feather

Registered: 05/30/04
Posts: 23
Loc: Vermont
Does anyone here have any experience or advice on providing solar power for a single bulb (for winter light and warmth) in a small-ish chicken coop?
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Meems

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#62885 - 09/15/04 07:04 AM Re: solar lighting for coop?
Anonymous
Unregistered


meems-
You may want to use the Search function located at the top right side of this page. I believe I have seen information regarding solar lighting.
ALSO- you may get better and faster response if you post your question under the forum: Coops and Equipment. If you do change to that forum, you can delete your post from this one.
I hope this helps a little

TC
cool

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#62886 - 09/15/04 12:59 PM Re: solar lighting for coop?
Chicken Mama Offline
Bantam

Registered: 07/30/04
Posts: 60
Loc: Tennessee
I looked into solar energy a few years ago, thinking about it for my house. From everything I read, the cost is too high. I'm thinking a single lightbulb might be your best bet. I asked my vet about heating my henhouse in the winter. I have a heater from a waterbed and thought that might keep the water thawed and provide heat. He discouraged heating the hen house. He didn't think it would be good for the hens to be going in and out of the cold. It made sense to me. I would be interested in others opinions about this. laugh
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#62887 - 12/28/04 12:20 PM Re: solar lighting for coop?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
Originally posted by meems:
Does anyone here have any experience or advice on providing solar power for a single bulb (for winter light and warmth) in a small-ish chicken coop?
To answer part of your question, solar can and will work for supplying light, and it doesn't take a huge panel or a large battery to power a little 12v light bulb. Even better if you just want light for a few extra hours a day to encourage laying - it's a great idea, and it's not that expensive.

We have 3 large battery banks with inverters to keep our incubators and brooders going when the power fails (which is monthly). In our case we use 48v rectifiers to keep them charged and ready to go, and we have a generator as well.

As a rule of thumb, batteries are about 80% effecient - if you use the power quickly, ...they DO self-discharge... so we automatically 'throw away' 20% of everything we put into our battery banks!

The other part of your question, HEAT, is a little different. It is very costly and ineffecient to use electical solar panels to charge batterys and then convert it to heat, you're talking lots and lots of power and expensive batteries & charging equipment.

However, warming up a tank of anti-freeze (or water) with a solar panel is much cheaper (to build & maintain), safer and more effecient as well. A simple "bulk heater" can provide steady heat all night long, with ZERO moving parts. (It's just a black tank with a reflector behind it, enclosed with a couple of panes of glass or plastic. The back side of it can have a couple of slots at the top and bottom of the refelctor to allow air flow past the tank. Just fill it about 90% full of water.)

The same bulk tank can provide some (and I mean some as in a little) moderation during the hot summer months by covering the sunny side of the tank. For the tank, an old water heater tank, 275 gallon oil tank - whatever you can get your hands on.

Happy New Year!

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#62888 - 12/28/04 01:53 PM Re: solar lighting for coop?
Rob2 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 3068
Loc: Pennsylvania
Something I intended to try when we did hogs was geothermal heating and cooling. About 4-5 feet into the earth the temp is a constant 50 degrees. By drilling a hole and inserting a plastic pipe, ventillated, into the hole and leaving a foot above ground attatch an L and cober with a screen. This shoud bring 50 deg. air into the area thus raising the temp in cold weather and cooling in hot weatyher. How bout that Bill Ludwig. I know it works to cool hogs, no fan is required.

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#62889 - 12/28/04 02:55 PM Re: solar lighting for coop?
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
rob, you are right that there is a great deal of heat just below ground. Depth depends on location. In your area 4 to 5 feet is very good. The problem is that there are many variables. Moister and type of soil are two big ones. To say it is a constant temp is misleading because when you remove the heat, it has to be replaced or the soil temp begins to drop. We have seen in our area contractors that for greed or ignorance have put too small of ground loops in and froze the soil. It takes a lot of soil to provide or remove heat. I have not worked directly with geothermal but have studied it to an extent. If you donít have enough contact with the soil it will quickly run out of available heat. Heat does not transfer quickly through most soil to replenish it. I donít have the numbers at hand. The least costly geothermal system you could do would be based on ground water since water contains a lot more BTU's than soil. If you had a lake that is deep enough not to freeze or a plentiful well you could circulate water through a coil or a radiator of sort. This would work for both heating and cooling an area. A large underground cavern or cave would work for direct air to air transfer of heat.

Bill

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#62890 - 12/28/04 06:38 PM Re: solar lighting for coop?
Rob2 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 3068
Loc: Pennsylvania
Thanks Bill, I must look into this some more, its kinda interesting.
So, can I assume it would be better for cooling than for heating?
We considered looking into this if we boilt a new home.

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#62891 - 12/29/04 03:06 PM Re: solar lighting for coop?
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
This seems to be drifting away from poultry issues so I will PM you, rob. If anyone else is interested, feel free to send me a PM.

Bill

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#62892 - 01/07/05 08:49 AM Re: solar lighting for coop?
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
My new Greenhouse Suppply catalog has just arrived. Lots of solar lighting devices are pictured. CJR

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