Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Simple Solar Bird Bath Heater

This is Jim's nice simple solar bird bath heater that keeps the  bird bath water unfrozen during the daytime in cold PA winters.

The finished birdbath with collector panel facing right.

This shows the internal construction -- its a passive thermosyphon solar collector that circulates the solar heated air across the bottom of the metal bird bath container.



All the details on Jim's solar birdbath...

More on solar heating water for animals of all sizes...

Gary

7 comments:

  1. What an ingenious little item. It makes me think how you can run almost anything on solar, as long as it is not under the trees (and even then, you probably could run some wires to make it happen).

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  2. This would be a great project for scout troops or in shop classes. I wonder if it would benefit from window screen absorber?

    Mike

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  3. That's an interesting thought on the window screen. Maybe a couple layers placed between the glazing and the vertical absorber divider?

    Good thought on the school project -- I'll add a link on the school projects page.

    Gary

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    1. There's lots of discussion on the Yahoo group on what profile works best (this could be a mini test unit). I was thinking a double layer angled from far from to the glazing at the bottom to close to the glazing at the top.

      How would you change the 'bath' given that the birds only drink? Less surface area with more depth? Would ice expansion be a problem then?

      Mike

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    2. My understanding is birds don't take baths in sub freezing temperatures. Jim

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  4. Jim if you're the creator of this I was referring to this statement on your website: "If I had known the birds would just use it as a drinker, and not a bird bath, I would have designed it so there isn’t so much surface area. With less surface area and less heat loss the ice would melt faster."

    So are you saying the dish would be smaller?

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  5. Nice simple design. Suggested to Jim on his site to add some cobbles in the back for heat storage and make the unit more stable in the wind. Pete

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