Remote power supply needed to power heat tape.

5 Posts
Sep 22, 2006 12:49 pm
Remote power supply needed to power heat tape.

At 11,650 feet, I have a need to keep a two feet section of pipe with standing water from freezing. I may have this wrong, but it looks like heat tape runs on 120V and to power this will take numerous solar electric panels. Besides, I am not certain what is needed between the solar panels and the heat tape. Is that where the Power Panels come in?

Thanks for any and all help/advise.
 
13 Posts
Sep 23, 2006 12:18 pm
Re: Remote power supply needed to power heat tape.

I hope the 11,000 feet is the altitude you are at and not the distance from your home. :->
But assuming that, we need to know either the amps or watts used by your heat tape. there should be a tag on the heat tape somewhere listing that.
An example 25 gutter de-icing tape at 120 volts uses 2 amps, that translates to 240 watts/hour (AC, remember your panel will put out DC). A fully charge 110 AH battery would power that for about 40 hours w/o drawing the battery too low. A timer to turn off/on would help power consumption (on for 30 min off for 30 min as an example) unless temp is too low that constant heat is needed.
A a general rule these tapes will use approx 10 watts (ac) per foot so the shorter the better. You can buy them by the foot.
Then you would need solar panels with a charge controller to charge a battery, and an inverter to convert the DC from the battery to AC and wiring. If the site is remote from heating the battery box would need to be such that it keeps the battery from freezing, well insulated and with a heat source itself
 
27 Posts
Sep 23, 2006 01:07 pm
Re: Remote power supply needed to power heat tape.

Hello Tom,
  At that altitude you should have plenty of sun. What about solar hot water heating? You could run this all day and store the hot water in the tank, and then circulate this with another pipe connected directly the the length of pipe you trying to keep from freezing, and then surround both pipes with insulation.  This would be a much more affordable solution.  Not sure if this could be done given your situation, but just trying to think outside the box for you.  And solar water heating is much more efficient at creating heat than through solar electricity to run a heating load. ---Ben

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445 Posts
Sep 24, 2006 12:51 pm
Re: Remote power supply needed to power heat tape.

Tom, have you tried using some insulation? That should be all you need. Can the section of pipe be relocated? Since you said it is only a two foot section of pipe, it makes me wonder where the pipe is located. If it is near the ground, try burying it or covering it with soil for insulation. Or to prevent the section from having standing water, try to put some pitch on the pipe to get the water to flow out.
 
5 Posts
Sep 25, 2006 09:58 am
Re: Remote power supply needed to power heat tape.

Thank you very much. Your comments were extremely helpful.
 
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