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Q: Solar power for my deer stand, had it last year, but with poor results. ( No Answer,   11 Comments )
Subject: Solar power for my deer stand, had it last year, but with poor results.
Category: Science > Physics
Asked by: r7w7h7-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 11 Sep 2006 10:07 PDT
Expires: 18 Sep 2006 06:54 PDT
Question ID: 764173
I have a 8'x8' 12' hihg cedar deerstand and have solar power to it. I
was unhappy with the function of it last year and need to know exactly
what size of charger/inverter/another solar panel?/battery size/ etc
to run my stand 24/7.
I will start by telling what I have currently, and what I will be using.
I have a BP 120 watt solar pannel. A small charger, a 400 watt pricy inverter.
In the deer stand I have a 30 inch flat screen tv/dvd combo, two 100
watt lights, used only after dark to help get out of the stand, a
AC/Heater under the stand with 4" inlet and 4" return air, 750 watt
microwave, small ice box, 1.2 amps, cycles off and on, off more than
on in winter, dish network reciever & Sat. system, less than 10
watts???? The tv uses around 100 watts, in AC mode uses just under 6
amps, heat strip 8 amps. this system designed for dog house comfort. I
live in Northern Louisiana, and use the AC during the first of the
season, and heat latter in the season. Last year I was running behind
started with a 20 watt solar panel, 3 cranking/deep cycle optma blue
top batteries, ordered deepcycle, they sent the cranking/deep cycle
compo. I hooked then in series, for a total output of 12 volts. I saw
real soon the 20 watt panel was too small, as the bat. ran down after
only a couple of hours. That is when I bought the 120 watt panel,
could not get it on top of the stand last year, and used small ga wire
to run from the ground to the charger 12 feet up, but the wire was
over 20' long. I now have the 120 watt panel on top of the stand, and
the largest ga. wire that would fit. I think this will help. I only
hunt 3 days in a row. Fri.Sat.Sun. for about 4 hours at a time. I want
to leave the icebox on 24/7. The heat/AC, TV, occasional use of the
microwave for not more than 5 minutes a hunt, the AC/heat will only be
used around 2 hours max for the 3 days I hunt, Tv will be in use for
about 3 hours a hunt x 3 hunts a week. I know that by leaving the
inverter on 24/7 it will have a neg draw, around .5 to .6 amps I would
My question is what do I need to add, upgrade, to do the above. What
kind of battery, charger, and inverter do I need to accomplash this?
Do I need a bigger solar panel? or will the 120 watt be big enough?
What ever you think I need to get to accomplish this I need to know. I
know it sound crazy, but I love to hunt in style, but last year only
the tv, and icebox could be ran for about 3 hours, and the batteries
would be discharged. If you need more information, just let me know. I
am serious about getting the system right, so I can leave the icebox
on, and not have my food spoil. Is this doable?
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Solar power for my deer stand, had it last year, but with poor results.
From: elids-ga on 11 Sep 2006 10:17 PDT
ha ha ha  man alive! why don't you just shoot from your living room?
man alive! they call this A SPORT?!
Subject: Re: Solar power for my deer stand, had it last year, but with poor results.
From: bcattwood-ga on 11 Sep 2006 17:52 PDT
Easiest might be to look into a propane powered fridge (apparently
RV's use them) and a small generator for making power while you are
there.  You are going to need a heck of a battery bank to run an AC
for long.

This is a joke though, right?  This sounds more like a well-appointed
cabin than a deer stand.  If you need to get away from the missus, you
can just tell her you are hunting and hit the sports bar instead.
Subject: Re: Solar power for my deer stand, had it last year, but with poor results.
From: markvmd-ga on 11 Sep 2006 20:22 PDT
No blender for margaritas and daiquiris?
Subject: Re: Solar power for my deer stand, had it last year, but with poor results.
From: frde-ga on 12 Sep 2006 06:24 PDT
Have you named your cabin ?

If not I suggest: 'Buck House'

I dread to think what you do with the microwave, but I guess you have a ball.

More seriously, the air-con sounds the real problem, there are tricks
that one can do with water, evaporation etc.
Subject: Re: Solar power for my deer stand, had it last year, but with poor results.
From: r7w7h7-ga on 12 Sep 2006 07:18 PDT
No joke, this is a real deer stand. I am thinking of adding a second
story, for sleep quarters, and an observation lookout on top, for a 3
story deer stand. Got started for fun, and has grown and grown. The
inside is all trimmed with cedar, has mahogany wood for shelves
inside, the toliet is the next on the drawing board. This would allow
me to go and spend the weekend if I so chose, and not disturbe the
deer getting to or from the deerstand.
Subject: Re: Solar power for my deer stand, had it last year, but with poor results.
From: kemlo-ga on 12 Sep 2006 10:20 PDT
Can you not get the power company to run a line to your deer stand.

Silent generators might help
Subject: Re: Solar power for my deer stand, had it last year, but with poor results.
From: myoarin-ga on 12 Sep 2006 13:04 PDT
If you do add the bedroom, consider how much power an electric blanket
will need, plus addition heat/AC, and if it is going to get this
fancy, you will probably be wanting to have guests, and maybe need a

Seriously, the idea of a propane fridge is good, and could maybe be
extended to heating and air conditioning.
Subject: Re: Solar power for my deer stand, had it last year, but with poor results.
From: frde-ga on 13 Sep 2006 07:09 PDT
Sounds to me as if you are really hooked on a building project.

I must confess I don't fancy gralloching a deer, three weeks meat with
one shot gets a bit samey and gamey for my taste.

Look into alternative forms of air conditioning, if you have water
then you have all you need. There is a researcher here who knows about
4000 year old Egyptian aircon.

A top floor sounds a good idea. Sewage is pretty easy, I don't know
the English word for it but the French is Fosse - a self contained
septic tank.

Sounds like an interesting building project.
Subject: Re: Solar power for my deer stand, had it last year, but with poor results.
From: gregaw-ga on 13 Sep 2006 12:22 PDT
What a cool word!  I'm definitely using it during this deer season.
Here in the state we just call it "gutting", or "field dressing".

r7w7h7, I want to see pictures of this "deer stand".  Do you have
somewhere you can post them and give us a link?
Subject: Re: Solar power for my deer stand, had it last year, but with poor results.
From: neilzero-ga on 14 Sep 2006 09:23 PDT
Forgive me for starting with some possible corrections to your
description. Your three batteries are likely in parallel. Amp hours
add in parallel. Voltages add in series which would give you almost 40
volts. You don't need a pricy inverter unless the input voltage is 36
volts. A 1200 watt inverter for 12 volts costs about $100, with lower
wattage cheaper.
The device you are calling a charger is likely a charge controller and
you need a charge controller if you don't visit your deer blind in
June and July to avoid over charging your batteries. Let's assume you
have 3 each 12 volt batteries rated 115 amp hours = 345 amphours for 3
batteries = 12 times 345 = 4140 watts hours = 4.41 kilowatt hours. You
should likely think one kilowatt hour per battery, as yours may be
slightly damaged, if they were at less than 12 volts for more than a
few hours.
The 20 watt solar panel was not even close. You likey need two more of
the 120 watt panels and at least three more batteries, especially if
nearby trees shade your solar panels between 10 am and 4 pm daylight
time = 9 am and 3 pm standard time. It is important that your solar
panels face South and up about 25 degrees. More degrees above the
horizon is best in late June, but, I think you will be using your
blind more in the fall when the sun is low in the sky, so you want
about 65 degrees from vertical. You may need ten solar panels rated
120 watts, if you want to run all that stuff for 72 consectitive hours
just before Christmas when the Sun is lowest in the sky.
Do your ice box and air conditioner run on 12 volts dc? I don't see
how you ran a micro wave on a 400 watt inverter for even one minute. 6
big batteries is about 8 kilowatt hours = 200 watts for 40 hours. You
will be using lots more than 200 watts most of the time while you are
there, and 360 watts from the 3 solar panels occurs only close to
noon, if ever. Solar panel ratings are very potimistic. The heavy
gauge wire helps by perhaps 10 extra minutes of operating time.  Neil
Subject: Re: Solar power for my deer stand, had it last year, but with poor results.
From: r7w7h7-ga on 14 Sep 2006 19:17 PDT
You do not have to forgive me for anything. I am sorry for my mistakes
I placed in the first place. You are right. The 3 optma batteries are
in parallel.
The microwave is 750 watts, and you are right, the system would run
about 3 seconds, than flip the inverter off!
The Solar Panel is BP 3125, 125 watt Photovoltaic Module. Its
Electrical Characteristics: Max power (P max)3 is 125 W, Voltage at
Pmax 17.6 V, current at P max 7.1 A, Warranted minimum P max 118.75W,
Short-circuit current 7.54 A, Open-circuit current 22.1V, Max series
fuse rating 15A(S);20A(U), and max system voltage 600V(US NEC rating)
1000 V(IEC rating). Weight is 12.0 kg (26.5 pounds), Solar Cells: 36
cells (157mm x 157mm) in a 4x9 matrix connected in series. Output
Cables: RHW AWG # 12 cable with polarized weatherproof DC rated
Multicontact connectors; asymmetrical lengths-900mm(-) and 800mm(+);
Junction Box: U-version junction box with 6-terminal connection block;
IP 54, accepts PG 13.5, M20,1/2 inch conduit, or cable fittings
accepting 6-12 mm diameter cable. Terminals accept 2.5 to 10mm(2) (8
to 14 AWG) wire. Diodes: Interabus (TM) technology includes for every
18 cells, a Schottky by-pass diode integrated into the printed circit
board bus. Construction: Front: High-transmission 3mm (1/8th in)
tempered glass; Back: Tedlar; Encapsulant:EVA, Frame: Clear anodized
aluminum alloy type 6063T6 Universal framd; Color: silver.
Performance: Rated power(P max): 125W, Power tolerance: +/- 5%,
Nominal voltage 12V, Limited Warranty 25 years. Hailstone impact 1
inch at 52 mph!
I appriciate all of the comments.
To address other comments: The power company can not run a line to my
deerstand. Do not want propane due to many reasons, mainly fumes, that
would distract the deer. A silent generator an idea, but do not want
to be bothered by having to carry gas to stand, and fumes, noise
distract the deer, plus one of the things I want most is total free
energy from mother nature. I have officially named the stand the "Buck
House!", Propane for heat/ac/refrig great idea, but do not want to
deal with propane tanks etc. I am sure H2o could cool, but again I
want to be all solar, plus, H2o would not heat.
I enjoy projects like this. I am a Medical Doctor, and have several
deer stands, all except this one is the ordinary type, some do not
even have windows, heat, etc. Just plain deer stands. This is just a
real fun project, that has grown and grown, and will continue to do
such. A toliet is the next thing I want to add. I am thinking of a 4"
PVC pipe down the stand to the ground into a holding tank, with field
lines under ground which will support a great green food plot! I am
thinking of putting a 55 gal. drum on top as to catch rain water, and
use this to rinse the PVC pipe out, and the smell also. I may use a
screw on top to seal the pipe or put a U in the pipe to keep smell
from coming up from the holding tank back into my deer stand. The
stand was customed built out of 2" drill stem pipe, very wide base.
Have brace 1&1/2 feet from bottom of legs and the ladder is make of
the same 2" drill stem pipe which goes 1&1/2' below the bottom brace
which goes all the way around the stand. When I placed the stand, I
dug 2'x2' holes for 4 legs, and the ladder, and the stand is sitting
on the bottom brace. So I had 5 holes one each for the legs, and one
for the ladder. I filled each hole up with 10 baggs of cement. The
stand will not move. I was in it in a thunder storm last year. I have
a Davis Weather Station on top of the stand with the console inside of
the deer stand. Once the wind gust hit 59 mph, and the tv which is
mounted to the wall only barely shook at this extreme wind! The
weather station keeps me informed on the humidity, pressure, wind, and
direction. This helps me with long shots. The stand sits in an open
wheat field which is 1/2 mile long x 1/4 mile wide, ie. 80 acres. I
have a special built gun built on a rem. model 700, teflon and cavelar
stock and forearm customized to my arm length, Schilling  cryo. frozen
bull barrel. I reload my bullets. I am shooting a 300 Web. Mag. necked
down to a 6.5mm or a 115 grain boat tail projectile. The projectile
leaving the barrel is traveling at 4,200 fps. I have a Sawarski scope
4x16 50 mm lense. The bullet rises to 300 yards, than drops dead on at
500 yards. If a deer measured by my range finder is 50 to 500 yards,
just put the cross hairs on the deer, and very lightly pull the 1/2
lb. jewel trigger, and the deer drops in its tracks every time! The
stand also has infrared sensors which will detect the heat of an
animal and alert me in the stand without having to watch out of the
windows all the hunt.The infrared sensors will detect a racoon at 1/2
mile, and alert me something is out there. I can use the sensor to
track a deer should he run off, which very seldom happens.
As you can see I want to get a great answer to make all this happen
such that I can have a truely one of a kind deer stand!
Looking forward to more comments, and the information needed to get
the "BUCK HOUSE" fully solar charged and ready to go. Thank you for
all comments, and neilzero-ga, that is some very good thoughts. But do
you think I may really need 3 125 watt panels? I agree with the more
batteries, but if I knew all of the answers, I would not have put a
$200.00 reward for the correct answer.
Thanks again,
Randy H.

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