Hi all! We have a ranch that is somewhat remote and totally off grid. We use solar for lighting etc. but other than that don't have a lot of experience. I need to find a way to keep my horse troughs clear of thick ice using solar. Is it even possible? We also need to figure out something solar for the chicken water as well.....any suggestions or ideas. I keep thinking there has to be a way but have no idea where to start! Help!!!
Here no one has answered yet so I Will give it a shot. 12 volt water trough heater. We have 30 Goats so I am interested too.I honestly think it can be done. www.hydrogenappliances.com/stocktankheater.html. Then there is a hot water block warmer for cars that may do the trick. You just want to keep it above freezing . Two Golf cart Batteries may do the trick. Two Low cost ones should get you about 105 amp hrs. Off the Bat 12 volt car Batteries just dont have it in them.. Now you will need Panels that can put that juice back into the batteries.
The panels In My opinion will have to be putting at least 50 Amps Back into the Batteries. Two 30 amp CC should do it. Low amp heaters are what you are looking for. Look for panels there should be a few out there.
Notes on Buying. Done go broke. For a pasture project.
Amps are everything
Hail Damage Solar panels are not all bad as long as they are still putting out the amps on the sticker. They are not tough to reseal. soupy clear coat works pretty good.
I think its doable on the low end side. Here we had the surface pipes freeze. But on the farm I had to repair the fence. Our water is at two feet. Non Potable. But I did hit water. Surface froze two foot down not.. Here is what I am going to try 12 Volt pumps are cheep. Burry a 50 foot section of polly well pipe. Cove it wirh Dirt 3 feet. and run it to the tank. That I will paint flat black (To Suck up any sun warmth . One rebuilt panel pushing 8 amps out to a 12 volt ( Two 6 volt rebuilt CG Batts.) that will run the pumps.
Pile Goat Dunn and Leaves around the tank. I will Post pics as I get done, I got these Ideas off you tube. This has already been done. I am just spreading it. I am thinking out of the Box on this
Last Edit: Jan 28, 2018 16:19:33 GMT by Dave Simmo: thinking
If you search the net you will find 12 volt or 24 volt or up to 48 volt low voltage water heater elements that will fit a regular water heater starting with 100 watts or 200 watts. I seen them for about $20 at the auction site. You can also get adopters to fit the bungs for your water container. You really have to raise the temperature only a little bit so the heat from the element will keep a hole open in the ice water. An other option may be a 12 volt heat tape which may be harder to find and it will be more expensive. You could use a temperature controller which could turn you heater on only if needed.
You could use batteries that you charge at the house and that you will bring to the water container every day. You could have 2 sets of batteries , one being in the field while the other set is charging. And of course solar panels would extend the charge