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Solar Powered Grow Room


EdwardGlen
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Are there any gardeners using Solar power for all equipment or just accessories fans etc. We have a patient who is setting up a garden but wants to supplement as much as possible with solar power.

 

She has the following materials so far eight deep cycle (6 pack style dry-cell) marine batteries WITH CCA: 900 amps, MCA: 1125 amps, Voltage: 13.1V, 2000watt inverter, three (3) 45 watt solar panel arrays consisting of nine (9) 15 watt panels.

 

Since meeting her and her husband whom she is CG for I'd like to power some of my fans and other accessories with solar and save a few bucks in the long run.

 

If anyone can suggest or has links to reputable sites please pass them along.

 

Thanks

 

W.L.A.E.

 

Thanks Dede for the link

Ed

 

http://forum.grasscity.com/grow-room-design-setup/157079-feasibility-solar-panels-hidden-grow-room-setup.html

 

So lets tally it up. That's $11,000, not yet counting the lighting, pumps, fans, and the rest of the grow op setup. Add about $1,000 for that, as sodium vapor lighting is not cheap.

 

So $12,000 or so.

 

This may be a huge sticker shock at first glance, but 2ft by 2ft grow space is enough for 4 plants, which will yield about 1.5 oz of weed each, for 6 oz total. If the weed is of decent quality(lets say, 'mids'), which it probably will be with 18 hours of light a day to have a long growth rate, it will fetch about $300 per ounce, $1,800 per harvest. Subtract about $1,000 every five years from your profits to replace the batteries, another $500/year for miscellaneous equipment replacement. Assuming 5 months every harvest, it will break even in about 8 harvests, or 3.5 years. Not too shabby. After that, you will keep reaping in profit, and perhaps spend $1,000 to replace the batteries at the 5 year mark. After the break even point, you're making roughly $3,620/year in profit from this grow op with the solar setup having paid for itself by the 3.5 year mark.

Edited by EdwardGlen
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Are there any gardeners using Solar power for all equipment or just accessories fans etc. We have a patient who is setting up a garden but wants to supplement as much as possible with solar power.

 

She has the following materials so far eight deep cycle (6 pack style dry-cell) marine batteries WITH CCA: 900 amps, MCA: 1125 amps, Voltage: 13.1V, 2000watt inverter, three (3) 45 watt solar panel arrays consisting of nine (9) 15 watt panels.

 

Since meeting her and her husband whom she is CG for I'd like to power some of my fans and other accessories with solar and save a few bucks in the long run.

 

If anyone can suggest or has links to reputable sites please pass them along.

 

Thanks

 

W.L.A.E.

 

http://www.ehow.com/how_5893213_design-solar-powered-grow-room.html

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I'm a tree hugger. Here is one thing you have to get straight in your mind. If you do solar in Michigan you do so because you are concerned about CO2 production and you want to do the green thing. If you think you can do solar in Michigan and see any kind of a return on investment you are going to be disappointed. You are probably better off putting the money in the bank and use the interest to pay the electric bill. And I'm a tree hugger and would prefer if everyone was on solar or wind but it just is not cost effective in Michigan. Now if we were in Arizona that is a different story as you get a 5 year ROI for most people.

 

One other thing. Batteries are the wrong way to go. You need to investigate net metering. Essentially you use the electric grid as your battery. Batteries will need to be recycled every few years and that increases cost.

 

Net metering works like this: During the day when you are generating more electricity than you are using your power meter runs backwards. You pump electricity into the grid for factories and companies to use. At night when the sun goes down you start to suck electricity from the grid. The goal is to configure enough solar panels that you use the same amount at night that you pump in during the day making your cost a net zero. Now some folks go way over on their solar panels and the electricity company has to pay them every month for the electricity they supply. Just know that is not cost effective because the electric company will pay their cost per KWH and not what they charge you per KWH.

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I have looked into this and its just not cost effective, the solar panels have to come down in price by more than 1/2 before its even doable in my mind. You do have an interesting option of using those reflective light tubes that you could build into the roof, but that leaves you with having to have your room on the upper part of the house, which brings on an entire new set of problems...

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Are there any gardeners using Solar power for all equipment or just accessories fans etc. We have a patient who is setting up a garden but wants to supplement as much as possible with solar power.

 

She has the following materials so far eight deep cycle (6 pack style dry-cell) marine batteries WITH CCA: 900 amps, MCA: 1125 amps, Voltage: 13.1V, 2000watt inverter, three (3) 45 watt solar panel arrays consisting of nine (9) 15 watt panels.

 

Since meeting her and her husband whom she is CG for I'd like to power some of my fans and other accessories with solar and save a few bucks in the long run.

 

If anyone can suggest or has links to reputable sites please pass them along.

 

Thanks

 

W.L.A.E.

 

best Solar Powered Grow Room EVAR..

 

gallery_11199_544_2928716.jpg

 

http://michiganmedicalmarijuana.org/topic/27011-one-of-the-best-issues-a-caregiver-could-have/

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Me too, and I've looked hard into solar.

Like you said, it's just not cost effective.

Even though she has the equipment, 135 watts isn't going to run much.

 

I have pushed those numbers every way I could think of and there is just no ROI in Michigan. I'm afraid at current prices you would only do it because you were environmentally conscience and have the money to spend. Ed Begley is in sunny CA so he can make it work.

 

Ya 135W just is not going to do anything.

 

I had not considered the idea of using the solar tube lighting but my guess would be you would not get intense enough light for the 12 hours you needed. I have never seen any suggestions for using those for growing anything. Interesting idea and I would like to see how it works for someone.

 

SW has the right idea. Is a frosted glass greenhouse acceptable for growing cannabis? It would seem if the light was intense enough it would be the best option. I just would not want people to know what is going on inside. If frosted glass would work that investment would be better than the solar panels.

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I have to disagree with the nay sayers Not just here but in michigan in general. MI gets plenty of sun for solar. A common misconception is that solar panels (Photovoltaic, for generating electricity) need to have clear skys and direct sunlight to work, thats just not true.

What 420 is talking about is a full home system $20,000- 30,000 type setup and requires that You have your utility company come out and change your meter to one that can return power to the grid. For this you also need whats called a Grid Tie Inverter, and a battery bank,( GTI can be used with out batts but would not make scence) a bit pricey but worth it in the long run. most people do not use much power in the daytime and if your charging a battery bank, it gets full, than after that your charge controller shuts off the panel, you are not making good use of your system. with the GTI you then start giving back to the grid once your batterys are full, if nothing in your home is using power. there are times when the power company will give you more bang for your buck sort of speak. if you can return power to the grid during peak hours 4pm-8pm you get a better return more money. for a small system (Under 200 watts of solar panel output) GTI are not worth the money

Again I have to disagree with 420 about not using batterys too. good batterys if properly maintained can last up to 7 years in a solar system. and you can't just use the power staight off the solar panel. with 5 deep cycles she is off to a good start. With a pair of 85- 100 watt panels and that set of batts she could run a modest veg room. for example: a 70 watt hps lamp a small dc fan and a cloner maybe a couple cfls too.

in the long run solar does take a long time to pay for itself, but is a good way to offset some cost and reduce carbon emissions. my best advice is buy a quality panel not one from harbor freight or menards like some one said, ebay is the only place to get a small quanity or just one. do some research on it, there is more info on this than one could read in a life time but a day on the internet taking some notes and you'll know all you need.

I'd like to add that since we are in MI and do not get the best weather for solar, it is a good idea to use a wind mill as a supplement to solar. there are some good vids on youtube for DIY wind energy setups that are built for around a $100. and that old antenna tower on the back of your house that no longer serves a purpose would make a decent place to mount a wind mill. there are company's that sell inserts for alternators to change the characteristics to make them more useful for a wind power application, and they can push out ac- or dc.

Pardon me while I rant for a second... We spend a lot of money on our grow setups and I know not everyone can afford to do much more, But don't discourage others from making a choice that will make them feel better about how they use the power they buy. I use solar for many different things. I lived off grid in Colorado and if I hadn't used the sun to heat the air in my home, heat my water and provide electricity for the few things I enjoyed, I might just as well froze to death in a cave. we don't live in caves any more so lets catch up with Germany and China and get out of the stone ages. people who don't know what their talking about should sit back and wait for someone to answer who knows about the question being asked. Not state their groundless opinion. tree hugging? this is about Science and Technology not beauty and nature. Done, Sorry.

I don't know what type of budget you friend has to finish the system, but with that info I could recommend the parts needed to complete and where she would stand usage wise, when it is set up.

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I have to disagree with the nay sayers Not just here but in michigan in general. MI gets plenty of sun for solar. A common misconception is that solar panels (Photovoltaic, for generating electricity) need to have clear skys and direct sunlight to work, thats just not true.

 

And nobody said it was true. Nice attempt to strawman however what knottwhole and I said was it was not cost effective.

 

Again I have to disagree with 420 about not using batterys too. good batterys if properly maintained can last up to 7 years in a solar system. and you can't just use the power staight off the solar panel. with 5 deep cycles she is off to a good start.

 

I think most of the batteries are rated 4 to 7 years. I have yet to see a net metering set up where batteries were used. There is just no need. Of course if you are off grid that is a different story but then you would not be doing net metering would you. :rolleyes:

 

With a pair of 85- 100 watt panels and that set of batts she could run a modest veg room. for example: a 70 watt hps lamp a small dc fan and a cloner maybe a couple cfls too.

 

She has 135 watts worth of panels. So you are suggesting that your set up can run what 150 watts to 200 watts for 16 hours of veg a day? So it saves what? Somewhere around 29 cents a day? Like maybe $8 a month? And that is IF that system can keep off the grid for the whole time. Your first years savings only pays for two of the batteries.

 

I'd like to add that since we are in MI and do not get the best weather for solar, it is a good idea to use a wind mill as a supplement to solar. there are some good vids on youtube for DIY wind energy setups that are built for around a $100. and that old antenna tower on the back of your house that no longer serves a purpose would make a decent place to mount a wind mill. there are company's that sell inserts for alternators to change the characteristics to make them more useful for a wind power application, and they can push out ac- or dc.

 

Didn't you make the argument at the start that did not matter that we were in MI? I'm pretty sure you did. Michigan gets like 50% less sun than Arizona and about 25% less than what Colorado does. What is wrong about saying it will take longer to pay for the panels here than in those states. On the wind comments now you are just getting silly. Wouldn't you do a wind study to even see if the person is in a area that gets enough wind to make a generator worth while? That would be a lot of work to make one only to find out you are in a valley and don't get enough wind to do anything.

 

But don't discourage others from making a choice that will make them feel better about how they use the power they buy.

 

I don't think either of us were trying to discourage anyone. Perhaps you should work on your reading comprehension. As I said if you want to do it to because you are concerned about CO2 production that is one thing. If you are trying to save money it is a losing proposition. You still have not proved that wrong and even said your self that "in the long run solar does take a long time to pay for itself."

 

Not state their groundless opinion. tree hugging? this is about Science and Technology not beauty and nature. Done, Sorry.

 

I doubt you are very sorry. I'm a engineer by trade my friend. Have been for 20 years. In science and technology we want to see the evidence. I have been through this exercise several times. Must be I am doing it wrong. So backup you position by showing us how to make it cost effective. Show us the math. The cost of equipment and how much you anticipate the cost savings. I eagerly await your detailed analysis as I would love to make solar work in a way that would make it pay for it's self in some reasonable time like 3 years. Beyond that there will be technology changes that could make it really cost effective.

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I am not going to argue these itemized points with you or any one. I did say that these systems take a long time to pay for them selves. I'm not going to claim to be an engineer nor am I going to site math equations, Drop links and quote websites about how these systems pay for them selves (over the long haul, as stated). not going to get all petty there's plenty of that on this site already. all I was saying is if some one wants to off set there bills a little and feel good about it they should, all the parts are available used and she has the battery's already so why not spend a few hundred bucks and tie it together. It's a hobby sized system were talking about. have you ever had a hobby? you never get out of it what you put into, but if you enjoyed it than it was worth it.

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I am not going to argue these itemized points with you or any one. I did say that these systems take a long time to pay for them selves. I'm not going to claim to be an engineer nor am I going to site math equations, Drop links and quote websites about how these systems pay for them selves (over the long haul, as stated). not going to get all petty there's plenty of that on this site already. all I was saying is if some one wants to off set there bills a little and feel good about it they should, all the parts are available used and she has the battery's already so why not spend a few hundred bucks and tie it together. It's a hobby sized system were talking about. have you ever had a hobby? you never get out of it what you put into, but if you enjoyed it than it was worth it.

 

But you started being "petty" by calling us "nay sayers" and saying that we made "groundless opinions." The only opinion any of us stated was it was not cost effective. We even stated if you want to do it because of your concern for the environment that is a good thing to do.

 

Believe me I get the hobby thing. I have made a solar oven. In a mere 6 to 8 hours I can cook a pot of chili. :D

 

I do hope the OP did not get that we were trying to discourage them from doing the right thing for the environment. That is not the case. My comments were intended to be realistic about a possible return on investment and what it could realistically be expected to power with a system like that.

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GROW UP...

I couldn't agree more.

Myself and many others are very interested in saving not only money, but the planet too.

I truly wish I had the money to go completely off the grid, or even sell back into it.

There can be little doubt that growing inside costs too much not only monetarily, but environmentally as well. Mother nature can solve that, but only if we're allowed to grow safely outdoors.

The cost to grow indoors using solar power is out of reach for the majority of us, and will be for the foreseeable future.

By the way EdwardGlenn, I haven't seen anything here that deserves to be locked. Freedom of speech is a mainstay.

Peace everybody.

Edited by knottwhole
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