7 Ways to Save Energy in your Grow Room

7 Ways to Save Energy in your Grow Room

Paul
Paul
01 Mar 2019

Want to save energy & money without losing yield? Here’s how to cut running costs and get better results in your grow room.

1. Run lights at night

Run Lights at Night Run Lights at Night

Night time tariffs tend to be lower, so you pay less per Watt of energy used.

Since fans work harder during ‘lights on’, a few pence per Watt makes a big difference.

As a bonus, it’s colder at night, so it’s easier to keep your grow room temperature in the right range.

2. Switch to Digital or LED lights

Some lights use more energy than others.

Magnetic Lights

Magnetic lights have a high start up current of around 4A for a 600W ballast. You only get 13A from a standard household supply. Try to run 3 or more at a time and you’ll trip a switch. 

LED & Digital Lights LED & Digital Lights

Digital Lights

Digital lights are much more efficient. They slowly build up to a 3A output to prevent a start-up surge. Even at full power, they use 3 – 4% less energy. You can also dim them down.

LED Lights

LED lights are by far the cheapest to run, but still give you crazy results.

We worked out that on a 14p per kW tariff, you use 9% less energy using 2 x Telos 300W 0010 lights than 1 x 600W Magnetic HPS

3. Always overspec

It costs less to overspec and run your equipment on a lower setting than it does to have them struggle at full power.

Overspec Overspec

Example: Hailea Chillers

Hailea Nutrient Chillers are the perfect example. They work best when used at half their maximum capacity. Your chiller doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your nutrient, so it emits less heat. This makes it cheaper to run your chiller. As a bonus, your extraction costs can drop (using EC fans).

Example: KlimaHeats

It’s a similar situation with KlimaHeats Grow Room Heaters. They use less energy when you overspec because they’re only ever on for a short time.

Generally, if in doubt you should always overspec. If nothing else you have a bit of margin for dealing with weather extremes.

4. Use EC fans

They’re unbelievably cheap to run. They use less power to move more air than AC fans.

 Savings are so big, you make back the cost of the fan within a year. How?

EC Fans EC Fans

AC Fans (Resistor Controller):

  • Always run at full power, regardless of speed. Even slowed down to 1%!

EC Fans (EC Controller):

  • Use significantly less power at slower speeds (at 1% speed, they use approx. 1% power)
  • At full speed, use less power to move more air than AC fans

Example:

To move around 800m3 of air an hour, you could use an RVK 200 A1 or Rev Vector 160EC fan.

EC vs. AC Fan
  RVK 200 A1 (resistor controller) Rev Vector 160 EC fan
At 100% speed 104W 77W
At 80% speed 104W 61W
At 50% speed 104W 38W
At 30% speed 104W 23W
At 10% speed 104W 7.7W

 

Obviously other things affect running costs (pressure drops, how streamlined your ducting is, etc). We previously crunched some numbers and found that you could save £300 after year one by using EC fans.

5. Choose your system wisely

A lot of growers ask us about cutting energy costs with their growing system.

The truth is, growing systems don’t use much power at all.

For instance, a High Output Air Infusion Pump (12 outlets) only uses 38W per hour. That’ll power the airstones needed for 12 x OxyPots! Not much at all.

Choose your System Wisely Choose your System Wisely

You can save energy with a passive system (e.g. AutoPot). However, the biggest benefits of them being passive is:

  • No noise of pump
  • No spare socket needed

There are much better ways to save money in your grow room.

6. Use a Controller

You don’t want all your equipment running at full, all of the time. You use more power than you need to. You can also end up overdoing things, and using other bits of equipment to correct it.

Use a Controller Use a Controller

For instance, if you extract more air than is needed, you can end up having your humidifiers & CO2 equipment on for longer.   

You’re much better off using controllers. They’ll keep your grow room equipment on for the amount of time needed to maintain your optimum settings.

They often have soft-start technology, too, to prevent power surges.

7. Keep hot things outside your tent in summer

Use a Controller Use a Controller

Anything that emits heat will force your fans to work harder. Keep ballasts, nutrient chillers and anything else that emits heat outside your grow room. 

Paul
Paul
About the author

Paul is our Merton shop manager. If you haven't met him yet, he's as friendly as they get. 

GroWell Hydroponics Merton

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