High School Needs Help - Solar Dog House Project

72 Posts
Apr 15, 2009 06:27 am
High School Needs Help - Solar Dog House Project

Georgette wrote:

I am a HS teacher trying to add alternative energy into a construction course. My students and I are looking to create a prototype for a passive and active combination solar dog house. We are looking for a solar panel to control a few things in the dog house. 1) a light that the dog could control by hitting a pad with it's paw 2) a bird feeder style heating system to keep the dog's water from freezing in the winter 3) a fan to circulate the air 4) (possibly) a temperature triggered venting system to keep the doghouse from getting too warm. We are hoping that you would have knowledge you could share with us about what we would need to try an accomplish these goals. We are also hoping that you might be interested in helping to sponsor the project - or know of a corporation who might be willing to fund our solar components. Thank you for doing what you do!
> Georgette Yakman
> Technology Education Teacher
> Pulaski High School
> Voicemail: (540) 643-0333/0476

22 Posts
Apr 15, 2009 04:11 pm
Re: High School Needs Help - Solar Dog House Project


We'd need to know more about the equipment you want to run to size the system.  You'd need to create a loads list that shows how many watts each device uses and for how long.  You can find a loads list to use at http://store.altestore.com/calculators/load_calculator/

There is a solar powered attic or gable fan that could be installed on the roof of the dog house.  It has an optional thermostat that turns it on at 80 degrees, and off at 70.  You can find them at http://store.altestore.com/Lighting-Fans/Solar-Attic-Fans/c431/.

Once you know more about the loads, give us a shout.


Amy Beaudet
AltE Store
amy @ altestore.com

Apr 19, 2009 04:19 pm
Re: High School Needs Help - Solar Dog House Project

I beg your forgiveness Georgette Yakman but I must say, "a light that the dog could control by hitting a pad with it's paw." Huh
I would think a dog would sooner roll its own body in carrion to a state of euphoria than turn on an electric light. Wouldn't you?
I have enjoyed a dog, not just as a pet, but as a friend and companion in adventures all of my life. I have never know one to "relish" the ability to turn on an electric light of its own. Do you know of such a dog? This would truly be... Umm, well disturbing actually, now that I think about it. As if it wasn't enough that humans find themselves in an energy crisis, we are to enlist the animal kingdom into our madness as well? 
Am I being overly critical here, Georgette?
« Last Edit: Apr 20, 2009 04:38 am by Thomas Allen Schmidt »
351 Posts
Apr 19, 2009 04:55 pm
Re: High School Needs Help - Solar Dog House Project

Since the dog house might be construed as an “occupied dwelling”, does NEC come into play ?.
Apr 20, 2009 05:31 am
Re: High School Needs Help - Solar Dog House Project

I suppose that I could go on about solar incidence and how the angle of the Sun changes. I mean its all pretty revalent now. I am sure you, as a Technology Teacher at a high school level know things like the difference between south on a compass and solar south. So I won't bore you with all of that and, since I have nothing to offer in the way of material donations, how about spiritual?
Mr. Halls question does raise an interesting aspect. I would say yes. Simply because it, the dog house, would be wired for electricity.
 I mean there is a lot of attention given to pets these days. A lot of us, humans that is, are humanizing animals of what are generally considered as lower order. Of course thats not saying a whole lot when we are watching a cartoon where inanimate objects like tea cups and candleabbras are brought to life. Actually its not a recent development.
I think it has a lot to do with the origins of Paganism. http://www.paganspath.com/index2.htm
Or vice versa. Or maybe they are intertwined. Maybe I should elaborate.
 In a time when there was a very distinct separation of night and day. A time when the Sun went down and it was dark until it came back the next morning. Our mind sets were very different back then. We were experiencing life on Earth the same as the animals. Little wonder our imaginations came up with creatures such Vampires and Weirwolves. Those days are gone now. We do not experience the night in quite the same fashion. Although there are a lot of us still afraid of the night outdoors. Afraid of what other humans are capable of when the Sun goes down and moon rises. That is why there are so many lights at night, isn't it?
Some would say that these fears of the nighttime have been passed on through our DNA from a time before written history.

To be continued...
1 Posts
Sep 13, 2009 06:44 am
Re: Dog turning on the light

Hey Thomas,
My neighbor had a black lab named Shadow, who would use his paw to turn on one of those tap lights (like the ones designed to run on batteries and be stuck on the wall in closets, hallways etc)whenever he wanted a treat.  The neighbor had it positioned on the floor near his food and water dishes.  So yes, a dog can be trained, and rather easily, to turn anything with a pushbutton on or off.

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