How to make my chicken coop Solar/Battery Powered.
Do you have an Automatic Chicken Coop Door, lamp, or heater that your chickens depend on everyday? I know in our coop we have a heater for the winter, a light at certain times of the day to boost egg production, and an Automatic Chicken Coop Door. All of these run off of electricity and our chickens depend on them. One of the best ways to protect your chickens from power outages is to add a Battery/Solar backup to your coop.
For a battery/solar power for your chicken coop, we recommend that you have an DC to AC inverter and a 12v battery (The motor for our Automatic Chicken Coop Door is 120v 60herts 19watts, same as an ordinary house outlet). This is also what most lamps or heaters will run off of as well. The motor on our door only operates twice a day and is drawing no power other than from the timer to operate throughout the day (Little electricity will be needed to operate). A heater will use quite a bit of electricity throughout the day so if you are supporting a heater also you may need to read the side of the heater and find out how much electricity you will need to support it in a day.
Some of our contributors that use a battery backup have said that they also use a reducer to slow down the timers that they have set on their lamps and heaters due to the electric current making it speed up the timers rotation (This may or may not apply to you). This is not necessary for everyone. If the timer on your Automatic Chicken Coop Door is keeping up with current time and not accelerating faster than actual time, then you will not need this.
If your using battery back this means you have a battery running your coop and you bring the battery in every once in awhile to recharge it. Some customers have even gone so far to run their coop off of a battery and place a trickle charger in the battery to keep a constant electric current charging the battery (will only apply for someone needing very little power). Every once in a while you may need to take the battery in to recharge it completely to keep the chickens from going back to the dark ages.
The other option is to add a solar cell to your battery. There are small solar cells made for the back of boats to charge their batteries so you can buy an already made solar cell or you can go so far as to purchase large 4x8 sheets of solar cells to place on the roof of your barn or coop to power everything going entirely "Green". Much smaller sized solar cells can also be purchased for powering the bare necessities of your coop as well.
Setting up your own alternative power can get costly but remember what the intended use is for. Do not get pressured into spending your life savings on giving your chickens "Green Power". If you search online enough, there are plenty of alternative power manufacturers that will compete against each other for you. Alternative power has become extremely popular and is flooding the market with cheap alternative power options.
As for the Solar panel there are many different types, a common one is used to recharge small boats as previously mentioned. These are usually found at your local power sports store (Bass Pro, Cabelas, etc) but you may find cheap ones online as well.
Check List for Basic Coop Needs:
1. 12v Battery - Deep Cycle (Not a marine battery) - Avg Cost $60+
2. DC to AC Inverter - Avg Cost $20-200
3. Solar Panel – If needed Avg Cost $50-200+ (depending on how much power you need to support your coops needs)
4. Reducer – If needed Avg Cost $20-25
When searching for the average costs of these products I researched them on Amazon. To start you will need to find out how much power will be needed to support your entire coop. After you figure that out you will be able to shop for your necessary parts.
If you are wanting to power your Automatic Chicken Coop Door alone, the necessary parts are a 12V deep cycle battery, you will need a DC to AC inverter, and a 5 watt solar panel (5 watt will be more than enough to power your door). Total cost for this would be around $120-250 depending on brands and specifications you choose.
If you were wanting to power a light bulb during the evening or day you would need a 3-5 watt solar panel to support both.
A DC to AC inverter is the more costly part of creating solar power. There is many different sizes and specifications. These can be found online for as cheap as $25 or upwards of $300-500 (for coop needs) Be sure to check what your power needs are before purchasing one to protect yourself from spending too much on a costly inverter that is more than you need.
*If you live in an area where there are frequent power outages we highly recommend running our automatic chicken coop door on battery back or solar power.
Do you already have solar power on your coop or have information you would like to add? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Automatic Chicken Coop Door