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The Best Things in Life Are Free - Grow With Solar Power

Gardening Tips

In creating your own grow space, the electricity consumption can definitely be an issue. It’s probably every grower’s dream to have a grow room that agrees with their electricity bill. When it comes to possible electricity or energy sources that can be used by a person, solar energy probably comes to mind. Sadly, the reality of having a fully solar is somewhat still far from our reach but there’s some sort of consolation to it! With the intensive research and modern technology, solar power is becoming more and more plausible for a supplemental personal use in anyone’s home!
First thing’s first, we need to know how much energy your current grow room is using on a monthly basis. Let’s say you have a 4x4 (ft.) grow tent with a centralized flood system that holds four plants 600 watt HPS bulb, 20 gallons of water (together with a pump that can pump 130 gallons per hour) and an oscillating fan. In a month during the vegetative stage, your grow room will probably use around 14,400-watt hours per day (around 400 kWh a month). However, it’s important to note that after a month of the vegetation stage, the lighting needs for your plants will decrease by up to 50%. This is because of the flowering stage which will last for about 2 months. This will ultimately make the grower spend around 200 kWh per month. The water pump will probably use around 25 watts and with 4 times a day will be around 100 watts (which is around 3 kWh a month). Lastly, the oscillating fan with 50 watts will be around 33 kWh a month.
The next step is to determine the power rating that your area receives to determine the right solar panel. To calculate this, you will need to divide your average daily kWh consumption by the hours of sunlight that your area is going to get. Be sure to keep it away from any kind of shade or the sunlight will not be as effective as it should be! To know how much light your area gets, you can probably look for it on the internet. With this, you should be able to determine the proper size of solar panels that can be of use for you.
Still not sure about it? Here are some things that you can consider when deciding to use a solar panel:
1. Do you really get to save
The first thing to consider is if you really get to save on solar panels. Checking your local rates can help in determining if the solar panels can be of use in saving money!
2. The Light Source
This applies to both the ones you use for your plants and the sunlight. First, you may want to consider using cheaper but effective lights such as LED lights. Next, if you are in a place that receives sunlight fairly often (and undisturbed), it’s going to be a big plus!
3. Maintaining the Equipment
You should consider the cost of maintaining your panels as they can be quite expensive. The warranty can be of use, especially for the long term. Be sure that you also have a fast and direct contact in case anything goes wrong. Luckily, solar panels have a pretty long life (around 25 years).
4. Extra Saves
Installing and using solar panels can actually give you tax rebates and credits which can be very useful in the long run. You can check your local government and their policies regarding the matter!
5. Advancement in Technology
If you do decide to install solar panels for your own personal use, it’s best to keep yourself updated with the latest research and upgrades. Knowing these can make you save a buck if there are new advancements that can make things cheaper and easier (especially if it helps in the long run!)
In order to really get the most out of your investment in solar energy, you must first really determine your own energy consumption and the complete details of your own grow room. From there, knowing the most efficient size of a solar panel will be next. These will help in determining if you really get to save money if you use solar power.

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