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solar powered block heater

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by SLLNorth, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. SLLNorth

    SLLNorth Member
    Messages: 39

    I heard this does exist, does anyone know where to get one?
  2. jkitterman

    jkitterman Senior Member
    Messages: 140

    If it does exist, the solar panel would have to be huge to provide the 650-1000 watts an electric block heater needs. Also, it would have to be oversize because of the weaker solar rays in winter. Consider the time you need the block heater. It is usually during the night time.
  3. TEX

    TEX Senior Member
    Messages: 606

    winter sky

    when you need a block heater its usually in the winter right and most of the time its overcast/gray skys even on days its not snowing--now where is the solar power going to come from? true some solar light is getting threw but not near enough for a block heater those things suck the juice
  4. HoneyDooYrdWrk

    HoneyDooYrdWrk Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    even if it did provide the power what would you do when it snows and the panel is coverd with 4 or 5 inches of snow
  5. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Sounds like an interesting concept.But I think it would be a little impractical.Bout' like a waterbed in an igloo! :p
  6. SLLNorth

    SLLNorth Member
    Messages: 39

    All very good points, we run several skid-steers. At the present time we are unable to park all of them in our shop. We also would like to leave one on-site at one of our large townhome complex. Any good solutions?
  7. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    It gets kind of cold around here in the winter.

    What I've seen is, guys with hook-up's from there trucks cooling systems to the equipments cooling system.
  8. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    well, if you want to park outside your shop, why not just run an extension cord or put outlets outside?

    As for the one on site, most commercial places around here have some form of outlet outside you can use. It's usually at the bottom of a light standard, etc...

    Or you could even run a generator. A block heater only needs to run for about 4 hours before use.
  9. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Noone else thought that when you need the heater most is at night............

    Either someone fell for some joke or there's a troll.......
  10. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    ideally the block heater would charge a battery all day to run at night.
  11. steve b

    steve b Member
    Messages: 36

    I saw an ad for a block heater that runs off propane. Can't remember the website.
  12. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    there are quite a few alternatives, but they are pricey


    espar makes diesel and propane fired one. THey can also heat inside the vehicle too.
  13. SLLNorth

    SLLNorth Member
    Messages: 39

    Thanks this looks like a good option for us.
  14. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    The air heaters are common in big trucks, especially due to no idle laws, they warm the sleeper, etc...

    I''d like to get one in loud of remote starter, but it's too pricey at the moment.

    But the coolant ones look pretty good and they also circulate the coolant rather than depend on conduction
  15. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Do you realise the size of solar cells you would need to charge a battery of the size required for a block heater in one day's average sun?

    Propane is one way, but since it tends to be ineffecient in the cold I'd sway to something else if possible. If you're running a diesel they make a diesel fired block heater- very common on semis especially in the no idle areas as mentioned.

    One of the truck TV shows installed on eon a Dodge a couple of years ago- really simple install actually.
  16. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    nobody said it was possible, just ideally.

    And the diesel fired heaters have already been posted. They are most commonly made by Espar. They make diesel and gasoline fired.