So as basically is sounds like the idea is untenable. At the time of this posting the problem had been on my desk for about 3 minutes. The solution to the problem of the flowing water had already been decided upon by my PM... the solar>batter>heat tape solution. I thought it sounded a bit suspect but am no expert on batteries and how well they'd be able to power heat tape, whether for hours, days, or weeks and so I thought I'd pose the question to some folks in the know. I certainly want to avoid spilling any water and your fervent responses will help me with my case lol
And while I hear a lot of naysaying, do we have any more suggestions on the constructive side?
I'll answer some of the questions first.
The system is for freeze protection. The pipe is 6" diam, flowing full, and flowing most of the time. It is fairly well insulated, but could be improved upon. Temps can get down to -20F. The site typically does not stay overcast for long, but it sounds like just 3 days would be enough to completely drain a battery. The water starts at ~55 deg.
I can certainly scale up if it'd make the difference... 5 batteries? 10? Deep Cells? 60W panel? Wind actually has a lot of potential.
The site has full time employees and it's not a problem to have the batteries regularly checked up on. Burial is not an option for grade and rock reasons.
So aside from using wind as well as solar and keeping the water running, who's got some other fresh ideas?