Low voltage solar powered heating element

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  #1  
Old 09-02-13, 10:36 PM
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Low voltage solar powered heating element

I am a wildlife rehabber and have started building my own bat houses. I live in upstate New York and as im sure you know it gets cool up here in the summer. In order to have a successful nursing chamber the temperature inside should be 95 degrees fahrenheit. SO i am trying to come up with a way to add just a little artificial heat without having to plug it in. I figure i will need a thermostat control to cut it off if it reaches desired temperature. Searching the web i am able to find some of the parts just not sure if this will work. Thanks in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-02-13, 10:46 PM
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Have you considered a peltier heater? Not sure it would work, just throwing it into the ring. If I recall correctly they can maintain about a 20 degree difference. Not sure that would be enough.

Tellurex - Peltier FAQ
 
  #3  
Old 09-02-13, 11:16 PM
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20 degrees would be plenty. But i am a newbie to these. I read about them briefly but have questions. Would i need a solar panel in conjunction, or do these act as the panel. I was planning on putting whatever the heating element is in one the inner chambers. Not sure how these would work.
 
  #4  
Old 09-02-13, 11:50 PM
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I'm heading off for the night but just some food for thought. Although the thermo modules sound like a great idea, and they probably are, they are power pigs. You would need a large solar panel and storage battery system to sustain any long term heating. The link below is a place I've dealt with in Maryland. You can get an idea on sizes, power demand and price.


Standard TEC's : Sorted by Imax (current) : Custom Thermoelectric

We'll work on this some more with you. A lot of great minds here.
 
  #5  
Old 09-03-13, 12:56 AM
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I'll give you some specs. My bat houses are 24" high x 21" wide x 3 1/2" deep. I use 2x4s for the sides and 1/2" outdoor plywood for the front and back. I stain the entire house black and caulk all seams and finish it off with roofing shingles on the sloped roof. There are 3 chambers on the inside that are 3/8" plywood. The bottom is open so droppings don't build up. The middle chamber is where i would really like the heat. In addition i can't have any exposed wires as the will chew them for sure. I was thinking of sandwiching the heating element maybe with a metal screen or something. i'll try to post pics tomorrow. Thanks again.
 
  #6  
Old 09-03-13, 05:34 AM
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Sounds like you will will need to do an experiment to determine what heater power you will need. You will need to get a heater working (say 50 watts) and measure the temp during your coldest outdoor temp. Then you can determine the battery size and solar panel size.

Using insulation in the "house" will lower your power requirements.
 
  #7  
Old 09-03-13, 11:42 AM
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I congratulate you on your efforts but I wonder if it is even necessary to add any artificial heat. Bats have been reproducing for millions (at least hundreds of thousands) of years without having artificially added heat in their homes.
 
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