Solar powered grow room

blowingupjake

Mothership Mod
Howdy friends!

My days in the electrician trade taught me a lot about how to safely supply electricity to just about anything.

I skipped out on the solar classes and am now kicking myself.

The environmental impact of running 3000 watts of indoor light plus fans and air conditioners is really bugging me lately. I have been thinking more and more about setting up a solar grid and battery back up to supply my basement grow op.

Does anyone have a solar powered grow? If so what head aches did you encounter?

I will begin research into how many panels I would need to take my grow completely off the grid.

Anyone interested please chime in!

Jake
 

Broseidon

Member
I have been toying with that idea and am still considering it. Might still install a solar system before starting up the factory ;)

Basically it comes down to this:
- Do you have a large enough area to put a large enough number of solar panels on (i.e.: is your roof big enough)?
- Do you have enough sun hours where you are at and is the roof flat enough or angled correctly towards the sun to have many peak production hours during the day?

Now let's say all the conditions are favorable.
Let's say your roof or whatever offers enough space for a 10kw system.

That would mean that at peak production capacity, you can produce 10.000 kwh a year.

I would say a 10kw system is on the large side of things for a family house.
A simple grow up with 3k watt lights and stuff should be well supplied by a 5kw system. Even a smaller one will aid tremendously in your ecologic footprint but might still require additional electricity from the wall socket :D

Anyway what it comes down to next is this:
- During down time, i.e. when you produce less than what you use, you make up the difference with your normal electricity from your wall socket. But what happens when you over-produce? I.e. produce more than you can use up during the day?
- Is it possible for you to feed surplus electricity into the power-grid and get compensated (paid) for it? If so, how much?
- Do you want to invest more for a battery system? Then you can store surplus energy and use it up in the coming days when you might have less than peak production.

Battery systems are expensive, very.
It is my impression that they only make sense if you have a large dimension system and routinely and regularly produce more energy than you use AND feeding it into the power grid is either not possible or not feasible (not enough cash for your electricity).

In these scenarios, a battery system would allow you to be even more independent and depending on what batteries you get and how you size the system, you might be able to use your self-generated solar power way into the months where there is very little production due to low sun hours (winter mainly).


To summarize:
It is likely not feasible or smart to build a solar system "just" for your grow up. It might even be impossible to do so depending on the possibility to feed into the power grid or the feasibility of battery systems at your location.

I suggest going at this topic under the premise of becoming energetically independent and doing something for the future and also future value of your house/barn/shop/whatever.
Consider your high energy consumption from the grow-op in this project but don't make it the center of things.

Get a solar system to support yourself/your house/your living arrangement and then, if possible, upscale it to be able to support your grow-op along the way.

If you get a solar system "just" to support your grow-op but the rest of your house still needs regular energy supply, it is likely a whitewash and doesn't make much sense neither ecologically nor economically.

Just my 2 cents
 

Vlad the Inhaler

Active member
Hi, where I live, we have some of the highest levels of solar use in the world.
Tarrif an systems are different everywhere, but I can tell you the way we do it in Western Australia
First of all, even with government subsidy, it is impossible to grow on battery.
A Tesla or LG battery for about US$5k+ you couldn't keep your grow going a full night.
If you got 20$k to drop, you still won't get far.
Much better to get massive redundant production ability, and in worst case , just earth off your excess capacity.
Were I live we have two systems.
Early adopters were offered contracts to provide renewable energy, and a bonus of about 250% over normal cost.
So go to work, produce power sent indo the grid.
Come home and your power at night cost you only 40% of what they paid.
Now if you attach to the grid, you can't get a bonus.
But power generated and distributed onto the grid, earns you a credit, so when you draw power, you get an equal amount back for free.
This system has allowed Perth to retire 3 major coal power plants.
Just down the road from me we have a private, crowd funded/personal investment wind generator, that is able to provide power to more than 1000 homes.
A system using both solar and wind( if suited to your environment,) enables you to gen at night, and on cloudy days.
A 9 metre high boom in your garden might be a bit impractical.
My father, brother n two nephews r sparkies, or electrical engineers.
Stay safe.
Hope this helps you a bit.
Cheers
 

Vlad the Inhaler

Active member
Also, in Western Australia, we receive government subsidies for the purchase and installation of solar systems.
That makes a bit easier to undertake.
I have also seen a gas turbo, modified to take wood as fuel.
Apart from the approximately 2000 watt produced, you also receive the by-product of enough heat to warm a house.
This is a novel, but interesting alternative, as when it is sunny, you don't need heat.
But if it is winter, and your solar is not running to full capacitively, then that heat would be appreciated.
Solar, wind and storage technology is 'hardened'and effective.
Wood powered, steam generation of personal domestic power is definitely not solid yet, and is only in commercial development, at the moment.
Good luck.
 

Hunglikeafruitbat

New member
As already stated growing off a battery would be impossible. If you have a stream on your property you can build a hydro generator pretty easily. You can find lots of small pelton wheels for your turbine for sale online. Or you can run a gas generator on ethanol. Learn to distill and you can get four times the alcohol (ethanol) from cat tail or bullrushes than you can get from corn.

I have a ten by ten solar powered grow room right now. It's called a greenhouse lol.

Cheers,

Hunglikeafruitbat.
 
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