Stock Water Freeze Protection Using Solar Thermal
Is there any Extension or Experiment Station research on using solar thermal to reduce the need for stock tank heaters? I want to get a jump on this for next season. I am considering a BT SunTank or similar http://www.ranchtanks.com/
Thanks for any information you can provide.
There is little to no research on using these types of tanks as far as I can gather.
There is information available on how to use solar energy to continuously pump water through a system that will maintain ice free conditions. To make use of underground warmth an option is to install a culvert with a sealed bottom under the tank. You can circulate water from the culvert into the tank with a separate low-wattage solar-powered pump. This system requires a battery bank to allow for night use. You will need to put the batteries in a non-freezing area. Others have elected to use tire tanks, which are black and collect quite a bit of heat from the sun and ice, when it forms melts quickly. This combined with insulated tank covers tend to also work for maintaining ice free or minimal ice cover on livestock water in the winter.
But to just answer your question, I do not believe there has been any research done using the type of tank you linked to in your question. At least not in Wyoming. If you contact your local extension educator they could possibly obtain more detailed information on your question.