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debbie

heat lamp

after the failure of our cold brooder (would be fine once the chicks get to 4 weeks but not before) I need to be able to use a heat lamp in our linhay which is on the other side of the lane to the house.  Only one problem....no electricity and not possible to run any to it.  Is it possible to convert a heat lamp to run on say a 12v battery.  Have a gas brooder but it huge - great for a litter of piglets in the winter or can brood 500 chicks but not cost effective for justy 30 0r 40.  Any ideas?
Woodsmoke

It can be done Debbie, but you can't directly connect a battery to the lamp. You'll need to first wire in the lamp to an inverter suitable for 12/240volts, and one that can handle the bulb wattage. Even then, you won't get prolonged use from it before the battery discharges  

And your problems may be compounded depending on the lamp power.............the higher the bulb wattage, the more current your battery will need to output to maintain it.

It might be easier for you to bring them inside?
debbie

have them inside for the first couple of weeks but after that 40 chicks in my hallway are really not a good idea!  I need them under heat for 6 - 8 weeks really.  can change the car battery every day if necessary - I can have one permently on charge but none of our out building have electricity to them and they are all on the other side of the lane
Woodsmoke

What wattage is the bulb?
debbie

no idea off hand but the normal red brooding heat lamp bulb..dont know if the ceramic heat bulbs have a lower wattage?  hang on I'll go and find out
debbie

150w max although lower wattage are available
Woodsmoke

Ok. Power = Voltage x Current.

So......if your Power requirements are 150Watts, & you have 12.6 Volts available (from a standard 12 volt battery), this simply means you need a battery with an available current output of around 12 Amps to get your bulb to work as it should.

BUT! (Sorry, here comes the boring techy bit ) That 12.6 volts is only available from a fully-charged battery at it's maximum capacity. As the battery loses charge, the power output drops dramatically. But it's not a linear drop, where the current output drops proportionately to the voltage, so you won't get a gradual decay in the performance of the lamp. For instance, when a battery drops from 12.6 to 12.0 volts, its power drops from 100% to around 25-30%. The current is heavily dependent on the type of battery and the resistance of the load.......................in this case, the load is the 150 Watt requirement of the lamp, & to maintain that load you need to ensure the battery is kept fully-charged so that the available 12 volt requirement of the inverter is maintained.

Basically, if you use a lower watt bulb, you will get slightly better performance. But, once the battery loses charge to under around 12.2 volts that'll be it goosed until the battery's recharged

You might be better using something like a 12 volt downlighter system, & just change the bulbs to IR?
debbie

IR - Infra red?  Thats what we use but I think they are 150w although you can now get more energy efficient ones - I think the ceramic heat bulbs with no light are even more efficient.

This is the inverter I have seen (third one down) - do you think it might be OK:

http://www.hatchitincubators.com/...?action=showcategory&catid=32

sorry I am numb skull on these things
Woodsmoke

That looks the very job!

And if you use the high-efficiency bulb you should get a half-decent go at the job. Not entirely sure if you'll manage to keep it on overnight, but if it's switched on as late as possible you should get a few hours out of it before you need to swap over. Of course, if one battery doesn't give you the time you need you can always wire two together in parallel (+ve on one to +ve on the other, and -ve to -ve in the same way, then connect the two 'spare' terminals to the inverter) to increase the capacity
debbie

hmmm - only a few hours..not much good when I've got to keep it going for around 5 weeks!  was hoping for more like 24 hours.  OK back to drawing board...any other ideas?
Woodsmoke

As long as you can rotate fresh batteries you should be ok? Bit of a faff though  

Don't suppose you fancy using your gas brooder just to crisp them up a bit? They'll last for ages in the freezer!      
debbie

you'r a bugger woodsmoke..............and sound just like my husband only he keeps metioning things like sandwiches..he doesn't want to waste the electricity on the freezer  
Woodsmoke

Sounds like a man after my own heart  

Being serious again though, I don't suppose there's any way you could cobble something together with expanded polystyrene as an insulator?

Allied to something like a well-insulated hot water bottle it might be worth considering?
debbie

after my experience with the cold brooder I'm a bit nervous to try TBH
daddymatty82

http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/inverter-300w-p178555 could just use this to plug and play i got a 500w one and it will auto turn off if power is low but you would need a constant feed of power so you will need to carge the battery up say every 24 hrs so 2 or more batteries would be a good idea?
debbie

I contacted a company about one of these and they thought with a heat lamp it would only last a few minutes but looking at the stats on that it says 4 hours up to 300 w so maybe a low wattage bulb might last 12 hours?  SOmething to look into.  Are you getting one Matt?  I would be interested to here how you get on.
daddymatty82

i got a few inverters as  my brother works at go outdoors so i ask for one and he gets me 3 of them im currently using the can style one just to charge my mobile phone at work. i got a brinsea brooder
http://www.brinsea.co.uk/index.ph...roduct/product&product_id=587

but i only got 6 eggs in my mini eco and 6 eggs under a broody so im hoping to foster them all onto her whatever i hatch in the inky  if all else fails i got the brooder for heat

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