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2Kw Raptor Vs. Radiant


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I played with these numbers some years ago and regret paying for all those fancy hoods/glass. First I thought I had to cool the lamps with duct work because of the glass, what a pain in the donkey, then I got a PAR light meter and holy moly, I was being robbed of valuable paid for par lighting just using those glass panels, that soil quickly, even from the stink sock on the other end.

So I removed the glass, sealed my room, and tore down the duct work. Mine are on movers, and they weigh a ton, but do reflect well. But what really reflects well and is cheap, did I say cheap? are those wings. I could have afforded more ballasts for the price of those darn hoods and used the superior wings ! and indeed wish I would have !!  Every once in awhile I pick up another wing fixture, with plans of retiring those bulky hoods. my experience only, others love both of your mentioned hoods.

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And I have also gone down the same path as grassmatch in removing ductwork. I was dragged down that path kicking and screaming, but I'm glad I did.

 

The only good thing about the duct work was I didn't have to run any AC in the fall/spring (still don't really have to in the winter).

I could probably have made it all summer too, if I had a water cooled generator.

 

Just something else to think about if the duct work and lens is giving you the blues. In my case I only have a 7.5' ceiling and the ducts/fans were major head knockers. Not to mention no matter what I did I would lose tons of CO2 and cycle my generator even more often creating even more heat. Plus the need to insulate the wall penetration and incoming air flows, and a the room was less configurable with the ducting than now. Yeah those suckers are heavy, and yes I am also retiring them.

 

Total cost for my mini-split was $1300, self install HVAC technician final hook up. Chinese ("Pioneer" model as sold on Amazon) unit, 1.5 ton, 21 Seer, INVERTOR (very important that you buy an invertor unit). Highly rated unit. Best money I've ever spent in the grow room. My power bill actually went DOWN after install. Yeah, the fans were more expensive to run than the AC :-I

 

Good luck and if you are still in the planning phase on a new room, or just expanding, get the wings if you can, save all the money you'd have spent on fancy hoods to spend on fancy CO2 generation equipment and AC. I have 0 trouble selling my hoods on CL as I retire them, another sucker for these fancy hoods is born everyday.

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guano did you have issues with the condensation?  I never felt dumber than while trying to stop it with foam insulation, tar paper, BFB, until finally sealed my room for good!  I wish I would have don't that from the beginning. I was tripping over (ac) dollars to  pick up(kw) nickels, and sealed works well for me as well. I love the absolute control offered.

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That's just the miracle of being underground at work!

 

No issues with condensation the entire time I ran vent only.

The manifolds are built into insulated green plywood layed into brick. In that I cut out 8" and 10" wall caps. The wall caps lead directly to the outside. After the wall caps I had a Merv 19 Furnace filter boxes made of ply then off to off to insulated white poly wrapped vent both rigid and hard. The vent was attached to my hoods only, the air itself never entered my space in any great quantity, then back outside with another wall cap. Remember that condensation can only occur when the airflow is cold, and after the air passes through the first hood it's no longer cold and condensation is no longer an issue.

 

Three things needed regular cleaning:

1) The insect screen I wrapped around my wall caps

2) The Furnace Filters (major PITA)

and 3) The glass lenses (major PITA)

 

Since obviously I am talking about a basement, the insulated greenboard was cut and layed into existing window spaces. In my case the basement windows would not have allowed for egress anyway - so no code issues there. One major design problem was there was no way to efficiently vent the air without either a lot of air mixing (i.e. intakes / exhaust out the same window) or a complex and long vent run. I decided to do a complex and long vent run. Sighh..

 

In addition, I layed some landscaping bricks down to cover up most of the window space, concealing my efforts to any passerby postal men and meter readers. That also prevented rain water from ending up in my system (badabooom).

The larger the vent the more efficient the system.

 

Total cost to do it right was probably 900-1100 bucks. All the wall caps, dampers, vent pieces, fans add up quick. I believe I used 500watts to cool the entire space on a bad day, much less when I was able to turn the fans down (on a night like tonight). I think my AC uses a max of 1200W, but it is never ran continiously even on the hottest day. Like I said it costs less to run my super efficient AC. 

 

Technically, the vent system worked really well. I'm a fluids engineer so that much is to be expected. However, the head knocking, the light loss, the inconfigurable nature of the grow room (I like to experiment), and all the maintainence work just isn't worth it to me. The final straw was that I couldn't keep my CO2 from leaking out at a high rate causing me to run out of propane in no more than a week. Furthermore, we had a week or two over the summer were the temp outside was 80-85 degrees or more when my fans first turned on, causing my room temperature to spike into the 90s. 

 

Sealed is obviously the best starting point anytime it's possible unless cool interior air is available anyway. I say that because some people have central AC that can handle the extra heat. I do not and do not ever plan to. I did the math in my situation and I figured out that buying an AC and switching myself to sealed was the smart economical move over the long run just for the CO2 and lumens savings. I figured that in 3-6 months I would make back the additional capital expenditure on AC in additional revenue. I was correct.

 

I didn't even have to factor in the fact that the AC I bought was big enough that I'd never have to worry about temperatures above 81 ever again - temperatures that obviously will cause some production variability and a downswing in yield (especially mold issues on giant-colas), quality, and therefore revenue, patient satisfaction.

 

I still use my fans, set on low with a speedo and controlled by a CAP temp control, hooked up to diffusers to successfully set my nighttime temperatures in the winter. It really brings out the fall colors!

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