Solar Powered Chicken Coop – Update

Just a quick update on my project to take my chickens into the sustainable future of solar power. The basic premise of solar energy is that you can take energy from the sun, store it and use if for later. I’ve been wanting to experiment with solar for a while and I was at Fry’s Electronics the other day and they had just what I was looking for to get started. A completely weatherproof, 12 volt, 5amp battery trickle charger, which just screamed “Put me on the chicken coop roof!”. When I have my weekend free (hah!), I’ll be mounting this to a couple of 2×4′s on the coop roof. What I like about it is that besides the compact nature, it also has a built in blocking diode to keep it from discharging the batter at night and, although it doesn’t really say, I assume a build in voltage regulator as it’s meant to charge a car battery. The solar charger has 10 feet of wire and a pair of battery clamps, so it should be easy to run the wire down into a weatherproof box and clamp the leads to a car battery inside. The car battery is in turn hooked into a small 140 watt power inverter inside the battery enclosure and a pair of 12 volt computer power supply fans. Between the battery and these...

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