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Help with Resistor question, for a non electronic's guy

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by GearFreak, Dec 22, 2010.

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  1. GearFreak

    GearFreak

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    Dec 22, 2010
    Ok, so I have a question. Say I have a garbage can lid made of rubber, or soft plastic. What i want to do is rig something up where I can plug in a battery to a circut with a resistor or several resistors that will disperse enough heat under the lid to melt snow that would fall on it, but not hot enough to burn through the lid. My questions then are:
    What type of battery is needed. I would prefer to use a 9 volt or D, but that can be varied.
    What type of resistor would I need do create about 68-80 degrees worth of heat with an air temp at about 25 degrees or lower. Would this even be the best way to create this heat or should I look elsewheree. My main goal is to have it be easily attached to the lid and portable. Meaning the whole set up with the battery can be moved easily together. Cost effective so I could do this on about a dozen lids without breaking my wallet. And have the battery last at least 4 to 5 hours. Is this possible? Thanks for any help you can give me.
     
  2. Kayjay

    Kayjay

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    Dec 18, 2010
    I doubt you would be able to generate enough heat with a 9v battery to melt snow, you could possible do it with a car battery but why not get a hot air blower and melt to the ice off your bin lids with that, it means laying out the cash only once and it would do the job a lot quicker.
     
  3. GearFreak

    GearFreak

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    Dec 22, 2010
    Yeah, it is not really a garbage can lid. That is a cover story for a business idea I have. But basically the same idea. The problem is that the "lids" will be in remote areas that won't have an ac power source, and they will be taken back home every evening. A car battery may work if that is the only option, but it is not an ideal solution since I will have to use it for 12-100 lids. If one car battery is needed for each lid, then that would be a problem. I would also like it to be portable and lightweight. As the user will most likely have to carry these out for placement, and won't always have the ability to roll a truck up to where they want to set them.
     
  4. GearFreak

    GearFreak

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    Dec 22, 2010
    I was thinking that battery heated socks that run off a D Cell battery is the same concept as what my original though was, only a little warmer to effectively heat the inside of the lids.
     
  5. Resqueline

    Resqueline

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    Jul 31, 2009
    The math is easy, if you can estimate the mass of snow/ice/water to be melted & heated. Melting ice is the most energy requiring thing in nature apart from boiling H2O.
    Heating socks is nothing compared to that task.
     
  6. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2010
    Yeah, I was thinking... Large solar panel, car battery, and temperature regulated to about a couple of deg C

    Winter at high latitudes should mean the solar panel can be at a sharp enough angle that snow won't stay on it long (and because the covered parts tend to get warm, as long as some part is uncovered it should de-ice itself to some extent)
     
  7. Laplace

    Laplace

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    Apr 4, 2010
    Soft plastic or rubber material may not be a very good conductor of heat so the temperature differential may need to be relatively high. I would recommend a concept feasibility test. Take an empty container and mount a 500 watt infrared reflector bulb in the center pointing upward. Then pile the amount of snow you anticipate melting on the lid and see how it goes. If it is a very small container, then try a 150 watt bulb. This will give you a better idea of the amount of power necessary to accomplish what you intend.
     
  8. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,418
    2,788
    Jan 21, 2010
    True.

    In fact, replacing the rubber lid with a black metal one may be a far cheaper way to get rid of the snow.

    I don't spend much time in snowy places, but I did notice that the place snow stayed for a long time was the rubber bumpers of cars. The metal surfaces cleared off much faster as the temperature rose.

    However, people who live in places that actually get below freezing may be better suited to comment :D

    Excellent Christmas forecast for this year. 38 degrees tomorrow. (That's degC btw) The only place we see frozen water is in our drinks. And that doesn't last long either.
     
  9. GearFreak

    GearFreak

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    Dec 22, 2010
    Ok, so in order to give a better idea of what I am looking for I guess I will have to disclose the entire idea. What I am looking for is heating goose decoys so that when you are hunting whe it is snowing, the snow melts from the decoys instead of sticking to them and hiding them. I used the rubber garbage lid as an example because it is the closest thing I could think of. Basically, when you go hunting you will bring a dozen or a couple of dozen decoys into the field with you. The decoys need to still look like geese, but I was hoping there was something that i could create that would produce enough heat inside the shell of the decoy to keep them warm enough to melt falling snow. Even if I had to mount a thin copper sheet to the inside to distrubute the heat. They need to be easy to set up and take down, and without having solar panels that would look suspicious to the geese.

    Basically what I am hearing is that with a battery and some sort of resistor, this is not going to be possible unless I want to use a car battery for 3 or 4 decoys. Unless anyone has any ideas. Thanks again everyone.
     
  10. Resqueline

    Resqueline

    2,848
    2
    Jul 31, 2009
    Ok, since the surface is not entirely flat maybe some different approaches may be possible. Melting snow is a hard task for a cold battery in the long run, even a car battery.
    How about combustion? I'm thinking about using something like those hand warmers where you ignite a stick, put it in a metal case and then in your pocket.
    Then there's a more passive way. Treat the decoys with a slippery surface finish, and if that's not enough by itself, put a timer controlled vibrator inside, shaking the snow off.
     
  11. Kayjay

    Kayjay

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    Dec 18, 2010
    Rather than going down the heating route why not try a chemical approach, it's not really my field (no pun intended !) but maybe you could coat the geese with something that would melt the snow as it lands on it, that way it doesn't have to melt a layer of snow. Perhaps coating them with the type of salt that gets spread on the roads would be work, it's just a suggestion really but it could give you seeds of thought for a different approach to the problem.

    Happy New Year !!
    Keith
     
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