Understanding Power Demand Needs for Cannabis Grow Ops
The cannabis industry has become a valuable sector in many parts of the world. Marijuana plants require specific growing conditions that can be recreated in grow rooms. Growing marijuana as a crop requires large amounts of electrical equipment, which requires lots of power. Generators can be used to provide the necessary power to run cannabis grow operations. Learn more about using generators in the cannabis industry and how to properly size a generator for your specific needs.
Generators for the Cannabis Industry
Cannabis is a rapidly growing industry in the United States. Grow operations have created hundreds of thousands of jobs, from handling the plants to transporting the product. Marijuana plants require specific growing conditions that grow ops can control for optimal production. For example, cannabis plants grow best in warm, humid environments. Since these conditions won’t happen consistently in nature, grow operations can create and control desirable conditions for optimal plant growth.
Facilities rely on electricity to power equipment like lights, humidifiers and fans to help grow the plants. Due to the amount of power required, standard on-grid power isn’t always sufficient. To support production, operations often use off-grid power solutions like generators to supplement their high energy needs. Industrial generators are often more reliable energy sources for cannabis facilities because facility owners have more control over their energy supply. For those that rely on the power grid to provide sufficient power for equipment involved with grow operations, a power outage can negatively impact the process. A backup generator can keep grow ops up and running to optimal capacity until power is restored to the grid.
Why Do Grow Ops Need Generators?
Generators for marijuana facilities are essential pieces of equipment. The facilities and equipment require an investment to set up and run, and if power is lost in the grow room, there’s a high risk of losing the crop. Grid failures and power outages are unpredictable, even in areas with a strong electrical grid, so grow rooms for cannabis need a reliable generator.
In addition, generators are valuable backup power supplies when the grid goes out or isn’t strong enough. When power grids are unreliable, grow room generators can kick on and power the facility’s electrical equipment, keeping the operation running and helping prevent crop loss.
It’s important to protect electrical equipment, and generators help do so. Voltage fluctuations can seriously damage grow equipment. When heavy equipment is used during regular voltage fluctuations, the equipment receives inconsistent electricity surges. The fluctuations can cause the equipment to get less than adequate voltage, so it works at a lesser capacity. On the other end of the spectrum, higher voltages can result in the equipment becoming overworked.
Cannabis equipment is costly, and voltage fluctuations could cause damage and create the need for repairs or replacements, resulting in a significant loss of profit. Grow ops can prevent this potential issue with a generator. When the grid voltage is fluctuating, the generator can provide steady electricity, reducing the risk of equipment damage.
How to Choose a Grow Op Generator
Generators for marijuana plants can vary significantly, as different grow ops have various needs. It’s important to choose the right generator based on the specific requirements and conditions of your operations. There are many factors to consider when selecting a generator, including:
- Fuel: Generators can run on several different fuel types, including propane, natural gas and diesel. Each fuel type offers pros and cons, so you’ll want to carefully consider factors like cost, availability and storage. For example, diesel is generally less expensive and easy to get, but it has a relatively short shelf life.
- Size: An important aspect when choosing generators for cannabis grow rooms is finding the right size. Consider the size of your electrical system and what would be needed to power it. At the very least, you need a generator that meets your electrical needs. You may consider sizing up to give your grow op more flexibility as you scale operations.
- Emissions: Some states have sensitive emissions areas where regulations control the amount of emissions released into the environment. Related laws help limit the pollution that emissions can cause. For example, some areas may control how many hours per year a diesel generator can run to help reduce pollution in the area.
- Regulations: Other state and local regulations should be considered as well. You may need to factor in regulations that control how far away your fuel must be stored from the generator or facility, how far away the generator is installed from the facility and what type of tank the generator fuel is stored in. Be sure to check your state, county and municipality codes when choosing and installing a generator.
What Size Generator Is Best for Cannabis Facilities?
While a generator can be extremely helpful for cannabis facilities, an improperly sized one can do more harm than good. An undersized generator will be unable to meet your needs, putting stress on the generator and potentially damaging the equipment or system it’s connected to. Undersizing is one of the most commonly made mistakes when buying a generator. To avoid this and other common pitfalls, calculate your power needs before choosing a generator.
To determine what your power requirements are, start by listing all the pieces of equipment that the generator needs to power. Next to each item, note its starting and running wattage. This information can usually be found on the item’s identification plate or in the owner’s manual. Finally, calculate the total kilowatts or volt-ampere of all your listed equipment to determine your power requirements.
From there, you can look for a generator with higher capabilities than you require to ensure you’ll have adequate power for your facility. Some cannabis operations may run one generator, while others may have multiple generators to achieve adequate power.
Depending on the size of your cannabis grow op and power requirements, running multiple generators can be beneficial. Your power loads will be distributed between generators, allowing them to communicate and turn off during light load cycles. This type of setup can help reduce fuel costs, lengthen maintenance intervals and more.
Fortify Your Grow Op With Woodstock Power
Cannabis grow ops have unique power demands, so it’s a good idea to turn to the professionals for support. At Woodstock Power, we serve customers across a range of industries to meet their specific requirements. We can connect you with our power consumption planners to help you determine what the demands of your facility may be. We also offer an extensive inventory of generators to align with a variety of power requirements. From industrial generators to standby generators, we’ll help you find the right generator solutions for your grow op.
For more information about our products and services, contact us today.