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  #1  
Old 08/30/04, 08:00 PM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Foyil,Ok
Posts: 1,842
Very small solar power system 4 goat barn

Hi all,

Can anyone advise me on how to install a PV system to power a DC light and maybe a small fan? I was thinking to start really small and have a single light for my coop. and then work up to a goat barn for heat lamps(3)/ lights.

I was hoping to start for less than $200. Am I dreaming? I would like to maybe put the house on some solar but want to get electricity to outbuildings that are expensive to run cable to first. Thanks Katharine

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  #2  
Old 08/30/04, 08:27 PM
Cyngbaeld's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Between Bryan and Austin, TX
Posts: 27,871

You will need a couple of golf cart batteries. They are 6 v each, so you need two for 12 v. For lights you will need either flourescent or LED. Incadescents eat way too much power to run off pv. Unless you get an inverter you will want dc lights. The ac will not work. You can buy 12 v fans in the rv area of your local discount store. You will need 2 cables to connect the two batteries together. You should get a fused disconnect to put between the batterie and the load. You can calculate the load for the fan and the lights, depending on how many lights, etc you need and how long you intend to run them. Then you can go to backwoodssolar.com and they will have the info you need to calculate how much pv you need. You will need two cables to run between the pv and the batteries and if you have more than one pv panel you will need cables there too. You also need a charge controller to go between the pv and the batteries. (Can't think of anything else off the top of my head right now.)

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  #3  
Old 08/30/04, 08:28 PM
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Location: Between Bryan and Austin, TX
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You could just use propane lights in the chicken house.

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  #4  
Old 08/30/04, 09:38 PM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,507

Ok, This is what I was looking into but started small with lights for birthing.I got 2 rv lights with 2 bulbs in each light and mounted one on one side of the stalls and then ran house wire to the other and mounted the other light on the other side of the barn then ran over and down to a light switch.from the light switch to a 12volt car battery.On the end of the wire I attached the clamps from cheapo jumper cables. Battery terminals work better.The lights put off alot of light.Now I was going with a solar battery charger to charge the battery.I only use the light if I have a late night kidding. I also was going to go to the junk yard and try to get a car fan to put in the barn vent and run it off the battery also.Havent got that far yet.

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  #5  
Old 08/30/04, 10:30 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by okiemom
Hi all,

Can anyone advise me on how to install a PV system to power a DC light and maybe a small fan? I was thinking to start really small and have a single light for my coop. and then work up to a goat barn for heat lamps(3)/ lights.

I was hoping to start for less than $200. Am I dreaming? I would like to maybe put the house on some solar but want to get electricity to outbuildings that are expensive to run cable to first. Thanks Katharine
Solar is not normally the cheapest way to go. Cost of batteries, charge controller, pv modules, fuses and switches can be high compared to the capacity of the system. You could try a rv store they have small system packages for motor homes, and they have lights and fans.

Do you have electric at your house? If so $ 200 and some smart shopping could get power to the coop then you don't have to mess with the maintenance and worries of a solar system { venting of batteries, storage of batteries so they don't get below 50 f--- as battery temp drops battery capacity drops off fast, filling the water, clearing the connections}

I like solar systems a lot and will have a off grid system within the next couple of years. But its usually cheaper to run cable if you have a power panel then to pay for solar componets.


kurt
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Last edited by aaatraker; 08/30/04 at 10:49 PM.
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  #6  
Old 08/30/04, 11:02 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by oberhaslikid
Ok, This is what I was looking into but started small with lights for birthing.I got 2 rv lights with 2 bulbs in each light and mounted one on one side of the stalls and then ran house wire to the other and mounted the other light on the other side of the barn then ran over and down to a light switch.from the light switch to a 12volt car battery.On the end of the wire I attached the clamps from cheapo jumper cables. Battery terminals work better.The lights put off alot of light.Now I was going with a solar battery charger to charge the battery.I only use the light if I have a late night kidding. I also was going to go to the junk yard and try to get a car fan to put in the barn vent and run it off the battery also.Havent got that far yet.

PLEASE, GO TO THE AUTO PARTS STORE BUY SOME FUSES AND A FUSE HOLDER AND PUT IT IN YOUR SYSTEM. THEY CAN TELL YOU THE SIZE FUSE YOU NEED BUY THE SIZE BULBS YOU HAVE AND HOW MANY YOUR LIGHTING, THIS MAY KEEP YOU FROM HAVING A FIRE IF YOU HAVE A SHORT IN YOUR SYSTEM. BECAREFUL OF BATTERIES THEY CAN BLOW UP IF YOU DO THE WRONG THING WHEN CHARGING OR HOOKING UP TO THEM. BE AWARE THAT THEY DO GIVE OFF HYDROGEN AND OXYGEN GASES AT THE END OF A CHARGING CYCLE KEEP THE BATTERY WELL VENTED WHEN CHARGING.
KURT
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  #7  
Old 09/01/04, 06:58 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 612

I live in Fl. where the power goes out frequently. Fot a temporary solution, I have;
Battery Jump-start box= Get a good strong one $50
12v fan - $10
12v lite.[ flourescent are expensive but work great & use much less power.$50
Dual cigarette lighter adapter. $6

I can use the light to read, etc, & the fan can keep me cool for several hours.Fan alone, will run all night. You can get a small invertor & plug in a house lamp,,, BUT be sure to use a compact flourescent bulb in it.
Recharge by connecting to a car for a few minutes[ last resort], electric charger that comes with it, or small $20 solar panel.Need more power, get 2 jump start boxes.

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  #8  
Old 09/01/04, 09:52 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: N.C.
Posts: 136

For $20 bucks you can get a LED that runs off a 9v battery. It has 4 light positions 1. always on 2. low 3. high 4 flasher. We have them over doorways and out in the shed. In position 1 the battery last 9 months in Position 2 about 7 weeks. We usually leave them in position 1 until we need more light. When the power goes off it sure is nice to have some light to see by.

We bought some solar battery chargers back after Hugo and they seem to work, ok. DH wants to add more Solar lights in next few months.

BTW wal-mart has a nice solar light for $59.97 you might need a few more feet of wire to put cell up on top of goat barn. But it's bright. Our neighbor has one on his garage with a motion sensor. Really handy.

Star

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  #9  
Old 09/01/04, 11:58 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Idaho
Posts: 4,332

How about going real cheap? Get any old car battery. Charge it up at the house. Haul it out to the shed and hook up a light from an old camper or RV, with a fuse in the line. You could also get a fan from a junked truck or school bus. They also sell cheap oscillating fans at Walmart. The battery will run your light for many nights of going out to check on the goats briefly. If you got one of the solar trickle chargers, it would keep the battery topped off all the time.

I got an old Powerwheels jeep for my boy. I had to fix some wires and the $70 battery was missing, so I bought a $12 garden tractor battery. One charge will let him drive around the place for weeks, running two motors on the wheels.

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  #10  
Old 09/02/04, 03:40 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 53

Estebans jump start box seems a great idea. i was at walmart today and check out there price, they had one for 40.00 with builtin charger, low battery shutdown, 12 amp fused 12v outlet, and charge level. they even list how long it will run 12v dc items, buy a small inverter for 20.00 and you could run some compact flourecent 120 v lamps.

kurt

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  #11  
Old 09/02/04, 06:08 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Ozarks
Posts: 86

I put a small solar setup on my parents boat dock:

1 - 11 watt uni-solar panel $149.00
1 - sunguard 4.5 amp charge contoller $ 30.00
1 - 12 volt deep cell battery from Walmart $ 50.00
3 - 12 volt lights from walmart $ 18.00
wire, switch, fuse $20.00+/-
total $267.00

I put this in for them several years ago and they have never had a problem with it, these are current prices - so I paid a little more for the panel and charger back then. I really don't think you need the 2 - 6 volt batteries for your application. I tried the led lights from realgoods when they first came out and sent them back - just not worth the extra $ and not enough light. Use big wire

Greg

picture of panel on dock

http://www.southshore.com/~captjack/zch3357.jpg

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  #12  
Old 09/03/04, 01:28 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: NC
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[QUOTE=Ed Norman]How about going real cheap? Get any old car battery. Charge it up at the house. Haul it out to the shed and hook up a light from an old camper or RV, with a fuse in the line. You could also get a fan from a junked truck or school bus. They also sell cheap oscillating fans at Walmart. The battery will run your light for many nights of going out to check on the goats briefly. If you got one of the solar trickle chargers, it would keep the battery topped off all the time.{/QUOTE]

This looks like the cheapest way to get what you want for under $200.

I might even try that myself.

One other thought there is a 600 amp 12v 120 unit I've seen for sale at Sam's club I believe it's a PowerMax. ($179) I've read good things about them. That might fit your needs and be portable.

Kenneth in NC

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