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Thread: Solar water heater for farm water trough?

  1. #1

    Default Solar water heater for farm water trough?

    Another trade show question, we are doing a farm show and we get farmers asking for a way to keep the water trough out in the field from freezing. I don't really know how this can be done economically with PV because they need the electricity exactly when the available sunlight is the lowest. I was thinking some thermal set-up as it is so much more efficient? They only need to keep the water from freezing.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Solar water heater for farm water trough?

    A flat plate thermal collector, and a small PV & recirc pump ? But even if you got the tank heated up to spa temps at 4pm, a bit of a breeze and cold weather, you will have ice in the AM.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Solar water heater for farm water trough?

    How cold it gets will make a difference of course.

    But here's one man's answer: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects.../SteveTank.htm

    Another similar design: http://highmountainhorse.blogspot.co...er-trough.html

    And I know there's a commercial version because I've seen it - 30 years ago. But I can't find one on line now! It had floating balls on the top which kept ice from forming on the surface. Livestock could just nuzzle them out of the way to get at the water.

    EDIT: found it; http://www.jfc.ie/InsulatedWaterTroughs.html
    1220 Watts of PV, OB MX60, 232 Amp hrs, OB 3524, Honda eu2000.

    Ohm's Law: Amps = Volts / Ohms
    Power Formula: Watts = Volts * Amps

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Quetico, Ontario
    Posts
    5,040

    Default Re: Solar water heater for farm water trough?

    A completely different tack. Heat line makes submersible semi-conductor heat tape in both 12 vdc and 120 ac configurations. Couple this to a agua-stat so that they draw no current until the water temp reaches a prescribe degree of cold,,say +.5C or 33F. A few watts of heat tape running only as needed might work just fine.

    http://www.heatline.com/kompensator.htm

    I have also installed a number of horse waterers with built in heat systems in them. They are self filling so they only hold ~ 1 gallon of water so the heat requirement to keep them above freezing is pretty small. The harder trick is keeping the water lines to them from freezing given how little water they use.

    Tony
    Please note, being a moderator does not add any weight to my opinions 300 watts Siemens/BP panels,plus a Sun 90,, making ~400. ~30 amps into Rogue MPT-3024, 450 ah of Trojan T-105, Morningstar ts300 inverter, a Tri-Metric meter.a collection of antique generators, plus 2 Honda eu-1000i's (also a BS2512 IX controller) and assorted other stuff!

  5. #5
    GEAR SOLAR Guest

    Default Re: Solar water heater for farm water trough?

    Quote Originally Posted by heynow999 View Post
    Another trade show question, we are doing a farm show and we get farmers asking for a way to keep the water trough out in the field from freezing. I don't really know how this can be done economically with PV because they need the electricity exactly when the available sunlight is the lowest. I was thinking some thermal set-up as it is so much more efficient? They only need to keep the water from freezing.

    Any ideas?
    Thought this may help you:
    http://www.gearsolar.com/SolarPacTS2400.aspx

    Low cost all in one unit. No pumps needed. We sell them to Farm Users all the time and are always looking for Dealers.

    Cecil

  6. #6

    Default Re: Solar water heater for farm water trough?

    Would a circulating pump keep it from freezing.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Solar water heater for farm water trough?

    Quote Originally Posted by SolarLurker View Post
    Would a circulating pump keep it from freezing.
    A lot depends on how cold it gets where the trough is located. In some cases circulating would work. In fact they sell "circulators" to keep the water from freezing around docks:
    http://www.thepondreport.com/dock-bubbler-deicer.shtml
    1220 Watts of PV, OB MX60, 232 Amp hrs, OB 3524, Honda eu2000.

    Ohm's Law: Amps = Volts / Ohms
    Power Formula: Watts = Volts * Amps

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