Generators can supply all the electricity necessary for a grow room, and you can grow "off the power grid," Reliability, ampere output, and noise are important to consider when shopping for a generator.

Buy the generator new. It should be water cooled and fully automated. Start it up, and check its noise output before purchasing, Always buy a generator that is big enough to do the job, A little extra cushion will be necessary to allow for power surges. If it fails, the crop could fail! Allow about 1300 watts per lamp to be run by the generator. The ballast consumes a few watts as does the wire, etc. A 5500-

their consumption and maintenance before purchasing. Some models make watt Honda generator will quite a bit of noise that must be muffled. You can park it anywhere! rLJn four lamps.

Honda generators are

This generator produces 4000 watls at full capacity.

Change the daylight cycle to be on at night, so the meter reader sees the meter when the lamps are off. Growers tend to know exactly when the meter reader is coming around. Now meter readers are using high-tech telescopes to read the dials on the meter and storing the readings in an integrated digital entry device. The information is then dumped into the larger computer at the central office. One friend had his

lamps at the same time. The digital timer on the right operates a single JOOO-watt HID.
Place ballasts on shelves so that they are tip and out of the way.

Grow mom controllers make dialing in the exact temperature and humidity for your grow show easy.

The timer on the right controls the entire lighting system in the grow room.
Wiring your own grow room is relatively easy. This grower hardwired a separate breaker box and timer that supports four tamps.

most often, used because they are reasonably priced, dependable, and quiet. But, they are not designed to work for long periods. One grower I met hooked up a generator to a six-cylinder gasoline motor. It could run five lamps with ease, but it guzzled a lot of gas. Diesel motors are more economical to run, but noisy, and the toxic fumes reek. Always make sure gasoline or diesel-powered generators are vented properly. The exhaust produces carbon monoxide, which is toxic to plants and humans.

Gasoline generator motors can be converted to propane, which burns much cleaner, and the exhaust may be used as a source of CO;,.

Diesel generators for truck and train car refrigerators are fairly easy to acquire and last for years. Once set up, one of these "Big Bertha" generators can run many, many lights. Check with wholesale railway and truck wrecking yard outlets for such generators. The generators are usually moved to a belowground location and covered with a building. With a good exhaust system and baffling around the motor, the sound is soon dissipated. Muffling the exhaust and expelling the fumes is a little complex but very effective. The exhaust must be able to escape freely into the atmosphere.

Maintaining a generator that runs 12 hours a day is a lot of work. The generator will need fuel and must be monitored regularly. If the generator shuts down prematurely, plants stop growing.

I once interviewed a grower who ran a generator for six years, He seemed to know a lot about the idiosyncrasies of the machine. He also had the innate feeling that the machine would do something outrageous if he were not there to make it right. This underlying theme dominated the entire interview. Running the generator motor-making sure it had oil, fuel, and ran quielty-was all he thought about when he was growing in the country with "Big Bertha," who produced 20 kilovolts of electricity. Check this site for more information, www.hardydiesel .com.

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