An emergency or simple power outage can shut down your operation. A power outage due to a blackout, natural or man-made disaster, emergency shutdown situations, utility grid failures, or planned utility upgrades can completely shut down your operations. It’s crucial to have a contingency plan in place for any possible disruption that could occur at any time. A backup generator will allow your grow room to continue functioning, even with service disruptions or power loss. By not having a backup plan, you risk shutting down your grow room operation. The shutdown of operations could mean loss of product in severe cases.
Seasonal climate can negatively impact your grow room operations. During the wintertime, hazardous winter snow, ice, and sleet can disrupt your operations, cause lights to dim, or even cause a power outage causing power loss to not only lighting systems, but temperature controllers, CO2 generators, automated feed systems, and more. Summertime can also cause complications. During peak seasons of summer where temperatures are at their hottest, more and more people stress the power grid by turning up their air conditioners. This increased stress to the power grid due to increased power demand can lead to brownouts of rolling blackouts, which can negatively impact your grow room operations by taking out key systems and equipment.
Having a reliable backup generator for your grow room can ensure that your crops have a steady temperature and consistent lighting by keeping all equipment running continuously.
Sizing Is the Key
When you choose a commercial or industrial generator solution for any project, sizing is crucial. A power supply that doesn’t provide enough power won’t keep all of your lights and equipment running reliably. An undersized generator will also work harder, which can shorten its lifespan or can prompt the generator to shut down to prevent any damage to the engine. Additionally, the stress on an undersized generator could put a lot of stress on the generator set, causing it to short out. Shorts can cause irreparable damage not only to the generator itself but to key systems and equipment connected to it. On the other hand, oversizing your generator costs you money that would be better invested in other aspects of your grow room operation.
Start by listing all of the lights and equipment you have in your room. You’ll find power consumption details on your lamps, pumps, fans and other electrical equipment. Also be sure to calculate power consumption when starting up your equipment. Some equipment may have what is considered a “inrush current”, which draws more energy when first turning on than it usually consumes during normal operation. Make a note of the equipment you have today and also take into consideration any future growth. If you will shortly be adding new lights to expand your grow room, you may want to size your generator to accommodate them. If you won’t be upgrading right away, you may want to choose a generator solution that suits your current configuration and make plans to add an additional generator or upgrade to a larger unit in the future.
In all cases, knowing how much power your grow room lights will use allows you to choose the right sized generator. If you plan on growing your facility, allowing for at least 10% additional power can be beneficial if looking to add power in the near future. This will keep your installation operating during power surges at startup or if you need to run any additional equipment on a temporary or occasional basis.
Before finalizing the purchasing process, we always recommend that you consult with a generator dealer or professional that can help review your power needs and ensure that the generator you’re purchasing is sufficient for your power requirements.
If you’re not sure how to determine the power needs of your equipment or aren’t sure how to calculate the total requirements, our team can help. We have built strong relationships with leading experts across the country and will work with them to calculate your energy needs and point you toward the right sized generator. You can also reach out to a local electrician to size up your current output and any additional machinery that needs to be added in the future to get the right amount of amps the service will draw.
At Woodstock Power, we deal in all makes and models of power generators so that you have more choice. In many cases, you can save up to 70% off the cost of retail on quality inspected and refurbished units, so ask for your free quote today.
Choosing Your Grow Room Generator
Once you have calculated the power requirements for your grow room, the next step is choosing the right generator. When it comes to generator selection, there are quite few items to take into consideration before moving forward with your purchase. Aside from size, you also need to consider fuel type, as well as service & maintenance costs, which can all affect your final decision.
TYPES OF GENERATORS FOR GROW ROOMS
When you’re searching for a generator, you’ll find that there are many options. Before you choose a generator, determine the location where you’ll place it. The most commonly used generators for grow rooms are:
- Diesel: Diesel generators are one of the most commonly used generators by far when used for both standby and prime applications. These generators are known to be fuel-efficient, as it boasts a high work output to fuel ratio, are fairly easy to maintain, and extremely durable. Diesel generators are known to be one of the most versatile commercial generators in the market, due to the many different applications they can be used for. Commercial diesel generators are built with quality parts that can help it last over time and require less service & maintenance intervals when compared to their natural gas counterparts due to not having spark-ignitions.
While diesel generators are one of the more popular choices for backup generators, be wary of the emissions produced by these units. Diesel generators produce a foul smelling odor and exhaust fumes that can be hazardous to breathe in for a long duration of time. This will be an important factor to consider when selecting where to install your generator. If installing a diesel generator indoors, ensure you take proper measures when creating your generator room. This will ensure that the exhaust and fumes produced by the diesel generator will be properly vented to ensure to safety of you and your employees. Diesel generators also produce a lot of noise. The noise produced by diesel generators can reach decibel levels that can damage or even rupture human eardrums and can cause temporary or even permanent hearing loss. It is important to take precautionary measures whether you’re installing the generator indoors or outdoors. If installing a diesel generator indoors, make sure you choose a space that is located away from your employees and primary work areas. If installing outdoors, be sure to invest in a sound-attenuated enclosure to mitigate the level of noise coming from the generator during operation.
The most important item to consider about diesel generators are the fuel type. Diesel generators run on diesel fuel, which means that the maximum amount of time that a diesel generator can run is directly linked to the amount of diesel fuel supply available.
- Natural Gas: Natural gas generators are popular for two main reasons. Natural gas generators are known to be environmentally friendly and emits little odor, boasting one of the cleanest burning fuel types in the generator market. These generators also connect directly to the natural gas pipeline, which allows ease of access and low fuel prices when it comes to fuel supply. Natural gas generators are also considerably quieter in comparison to their diesel counterparts, which makes it great in more urban environments.
While natural gas generators may be a sound choice, it’s important to keep these items in mind. Natural gas generators require more frequent service & maintenance intervals compared to their diesel counterparts, which could increase the overall cost of ownership. While natural gas generators have the benefit of being connected directly to the natural gas pipeline, this is also one of the first utilities to be shut off in the event of a natural disaster like an earthquake, hurricane, or tornado, which will render your generator inoperable. In order to combat this, some natural gas generators are able to be modified via a conversion kit to enable the generator to run off of propane. Propane is easy to acquire and is a cost-effective solution in terms of fuel price.
- Portable: In the case of an emergency when you don’t own a generator, a portable rental one is a great alternative. Renting one will come with ease of service & maintenance. You will not be responsible for maintaining the upkeep of these generators — the company you’re renting from will maintenance them.
It’s important to keep in mind that these generators aren’t simply plug and play. Your facility’s electrical circuit must be properly configured to accept power from a generator and connection must be done by a master electrician. If you’re planning on going the route of portable generators, be sure to bring in a specialist to help prepare your facility in advance.
Most importantly, assess your rental habits. If you find that you are constantly renting a portable generator, these costs can add up over time. Eventually, it may be more cost-effective to own your own generator on-site.
Instead of choosing a generator for your grow room at random and waiting while it’s delivered, choose one of our ready-to-go turnkey units that saves you money and still gives you the power, reliability and value your grow room needs to be profitable. Let us help you find the perfect model and size of generator for your grow room and benefit from constant and dependable power day and night. The success of your grow room depends on keeping your lights and equipment running at all times, so choose a reliable and affordable generator for grow lights from us here at Woodstock Power.