Are you talking about building a single solar panel or an array of solar panels?
Okay, spamming aside, I'm looking for an inexpensive way to heat my chicken coop. All I want is a solar panel hooked to a battery that will run a single light bulb. (The light bulb has to generate heat, not just light.)
So far, it's seems as if it would $6,000, which is definitely not worth it.
If you have soldering skills, you can probably make one for around $500, far cry from what those guys would like you to believe.
Okay, Misha, that's good to know! Might make a difference in cost/benefit analysis. Besides soldering skills, do I need a diagram?
Instead of using a photovoltic panel to light a bulb, you can use a thermal solar panel. They are much cheaper to build and operate. Basically a box with black background, clear top (plastic sheeting or plastic panels depending on how sturdy you want it), and air flow. You can use water in black piping to create a thermal sink in your chicken coop.
The water heats during the day (it can get pretty hot too). It circulates into a heat sink inside the coop. At night the flow should shut off. The coop will stay warm all night as the heat sink dissipates energy into the room. It won't provide light though so if you need a light you might want to consider a battery operated light. LEDs don't use much energy but are more expensive.
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