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Sounds like a GREAT idea! Let us know how you make out. Good thing it's a private setup. Keeping the solar panels in one piece on a public field would be hard. Heck, the trap house looks like someone uses it for target practice.

Bruce
 

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Sounds like a GREAT idea! Let us know how you make out. Good thing it's a private setup. Keeping the solar panels in one piece on a public field would be hard. Heck, the trap house looks like someone uses it for target practice.

Bruce
 

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<embed width="448" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" src="http://s67.photobucket.com/flash/player.swf?file=http://vid67.photobucket.com/albums/h308/traploader/MOV02497.flv"></embed>

Barry,

Here's a Western handset trap on an inverter with a 12volt battery. Plug a solar panel array with a charge controller and you're ready to go. I could build a machine for you to throw automatic singles and doubles. Give me a call at 250-216-8937. I'm in BC.

Ian Brotherston Western Retro Products Ltd.
 

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I really love this idea.

And Pat, I like the panels on the roof too. But usually the trap house points North and sloping the roof and putting a bit of protection behind the panels might be an interesting problem. Jake
 

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It's simple enough to use a solar panel to re-charge a leisure battery for clay traps. Five or 10 Watts is usally enough as you're not draining the battery a great deal. You would have to consult the supplier though whether they recommend a regulator between the panel and the battery to prevent over change and damage.

The size of the panel will in the end depend on how many targets to expect to shoot per week, which particular model of trap (consumption from the motor varies with manufacturer and model) and what size battery you would be using.

I've successfully experimented with an 18W panel in the UK, this is enough to re-charge a 85AH leisure battery for use every fortnight, I would be happier using at least 100W version if I were thinking of club/commercial use where the machine were throwing thousands of targets per week.

The way Ian at Western Retro has the old WInchester wired to an inverter is also very viable to operate old 110/230V mains machines, the bonus is you can usually pick them up a lot cheaper secondhand than battery versions. You do however have to remember to turn off the inverter when not in use as it's small standby current draw maybe enough to negate what the solar panel is feeding back in.

It is most vertainly the way forward for the future of not only back yard practice machines but also for small clubs wanting to reduce their overheads.

Over here in the UK an average competition ground running off a generator with mains machines has to allow 1Kw per arming motor, roughly equating to a 15/20Kw size generator even before the clubhouse and any floodlighting has been taken into consideration.

Ok the price of the solar panels, battery bank, inverters, etc are not cheap although they are reducing in price every year. But if you start deducting how much diesel you use per year (which is only generally going to increase in the long term), how much the armoured cable and distribution boxes costs to install, then over the long term you do have a very viable propostion.

Andy Herrett

Laporte Trap Technician
 

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Contact Sunelco, solar people in Victor MT, 1-888-786-3526. I have been dealing with them for years, always seem to have the best service and prices around. They can recommend a system to suit your needs for a good price. Please e-mail me and let me know what they say. don q
 
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