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Need help powering 60 watts

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  • Need help powering 60 watts

    Hi everyone,
    New to the forum and I have zero clues on how solar power/panels work. Only experience I have is the LED solar lights that light my dog kennel and yard lol So I need some major help here lol

    I'd like to set up a solar powered way to offer a little heat for my new quail this winter. I would only be using two 30 watt heat mats. (I have one double cage) i think heat mats might give more heat and use less electric than heat bulbs.

    I plan on mainly using the heat mats at night or 24/7 when its very cold.

    is this possible? If so, what would it cost me? And would someone be willing to help me find everything I'd need to order and talk me thru setting it up?

    also, i have rabbits, im sure i wouldnt be able to afford it but out of curiosity, what would it cost me to be able to do heat bulbs in my 7 rabbit cages? Assuming i use 100 watt bulbs again only when its very cold. Last winter my rabbits seemed to do ok, i put heavy quilts on their cages covered with tarps and an over abundance of straw. but iffff i can afford it, id like to set something up for heat for them also.

    Thank you in advanced and i really hope someone who has thw time, patients and knowledge can help me out.

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum. Being new to solar you have a lot to learn. May I suggest you take the time to read all the stickies at the top of the Off Grid sections well as any topics that might sound similar to your query.
    Creating heat with photovoltaic panels is a very poor way to approach the task. It will take an exorbitantly large amount of investment for a rather small return. Not trying to ruin your enthusiasm for solar as it is a fun and useful way of doing things but making heat in this fashion isn't one of the best things you can use it for.
    If you have grid power available within a reasonable distance this would be the best (and cheapest) way to create your heat.
    2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024


    • #3
      60 watts * 24 hours = 1440WH

      Since this is a winter use item you most likely only have about 2 hours insolation average to work with and need to calculate in an efficiency factor

      1440WH * 1.25 EF / 2H = 720 watt array = 900 watt array.

      That would also be about a 40 amp MPPT controller and a 300-400AH 24V battery bank.

      My guess is you're looking at about $5k to put it together if you want PV.



      • #4
        Unfortunately even a small load of 60 watts running 24/7 will require a big investment in a solar / battery system. The energy you want to use calculates out to 24hr x 60w x 1.15 ~ 1.7kWh.

        Most systems that can generate 1kWh a day can cost between $2000 and $3000 depending on where you live and what type of batteries you purchase. A cheaper system usually requries the batteries to be replaced sooner then later.

        So as littleharbor suggests, go read the off grid sticky posts to get a better understanding what you need to do to design an off grid system and then research what it would take to run grid power to that dog kennel and rabbit cages. While the cost to run grid power may seem high it will be less costly then even a small solar / battery system used over a few years.


        • #5
          Run an AC line. Much less expensive and actually works.
          MSEE, PE


          • #6
            a resistance heat load is not a good match for DC batteries. I concur, Run a 20a 120v AC circuit and be done with it.


            • #7
              rabbits and quail are animals, and live in the wild and cold. They need a draft free place in winter to be able to stay warm themselves. Any draft or moisture will kill them in extreme cold.
              Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
              || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
              || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A