I'm a young horselover, like many of you, and I have an idea.
Currently, I work as a ranch hand on a small Arabian ranch in North Texas. If there's anything we have in abundance around here, it's sunshine and wind. (And sometimes rain, of course!)
I was thinking... if any of you were to be offered a solar/wind/water powered barn, would you be interested? Price isn't an issue right now, it's all about the energy.
I'm talking about windmills on top, of no damage to the horses, of course, that turn the wind into energy for heating, cooling, and electricity. There could also be rain collectors on the roof, that channel the rainwater into a purifier, and then into the troughs. These barns (and arenas) could pay for themselves, as well as give you tax writeoffs. And if there's energy left over, you can even sell it back to the power company.
I'm not trying to advertise, really, these aren't even fully designed yet. I'm asking about interest. Would any of you be interested?
Well yes, of course. Hopefully, I will get to the point where the converted power can be stored, so there will be sunlight available in daytime, and then artificial lights for night, just for instances like that. I know emergencies happen, especially with horses, and things like births and injury care can't be done in the dark. 8]
I think it's a good idea for those looking to conserve a bit more. I don't even own a barn but by looking at the way the one I board at runs it would be pretty inconvenient to only have power when there's light and what not. So if there's a back up then it would be just fine. We had a black out and everyone ended up untacking by cellphone light and a few flash lights. That was interesting.
Of course there are backup batteries for solar/wind systems. Same as the ones in hybrid cars except bigger.
But if you really want an eco-friendly barn, the first step is to not use wood chips for bedding. Thanks to manufactured wood products, even tiny pieces of wood can be made into useful things now.
I had one of those mini key chain flashlights and bit down on it so I had my hands free. Luckily my mare is one of the mares that doesn't care about light or dark and just stood there.
I'm in North Texas too.. are you currently operating a boarding facility?
I like that idea. If I could do it I would. I'm pretty sure that solar and wind power systems have storage, isn't there a place out west that relies solely on wind power?
We currently recycle as much as we can from the barn. We mulch up the bedding and manure, bag it and give it away to gardeners. We recycle out smartpaks. It's not much but we're trying.
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