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Thread: Energy Crisis

  1. #1
    mass's Avatar
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    Energy Crisis

    So here's the dilly..
    I can no longer afford to run my AC in the GH anymore.
    Our electric bills are averaging $350 a month.
    I knew as soon as I hit the button to turn off the AC, everything was going to change.
    After a serious emotional breakdown this weekend (because that GH is my life), I'm ready to move forward. I know there's nothing I can do about this change, so I'm ready to man up and put the wheels into motion.

    Everything I know about controlling every little aspect of my GH is now out the window.
    I need to figure out what's next.
    As of today I'm running 2 humidifiers, 5 fans (was 2 plus the AC), 8 T5HO's, and 4 T8's. Hopefully the fans can move the air enough to keep the place from heating up too badly. I did try evaporative cooling using the humidifiers and heat from the lights, but it wasn't working enough to keep the GH at a manageable temperature.
    Another option is to move the entire GH outside, but I'm too scared. Bug infestations, uncontrollable conditions, you name it.. Too much to go wrong with my prized possessions. Not sure I can seriously consider this option without something polycarbonate.

    My mind is all over the place. I don't know what is best, or what to do.
    Part of me wants to shed some (natural) light on my babies, but the other part wants to keep them in the den where they're safe from nature's fury. Just not sure I can afford that anymore. I mean, what's to say removing AC from the equation is even enough to lower the elec. bill to a manageable amount.
    I just dunno..
    All I know for sure is that my plants are already starting to suffer from abnormally high temps (for what they're used to). And that something needs to be done asap. Otherwise I can start scratching things off my grow list.. starting with D. schizandra. They seem to be taking the elevated temps the hardest.

    I am open to recommendations, suggestions, or the cold shoulder.
    Not sure if switching out my 15,000BTU tall boy AC for a smaller 5,000BTU window AC unit would make any (financial) difference. But it's a thought..

    AS FOR YOU GIVEAWAY PARTICIPANTS..
    I wanted to make sure I could sustain the life in the GH before carrying on with a month long giveaway. I mean, how bad would it suck to have 9 winners, none of which won anything that was still alive. Ya know?
    If you guys (and gal) still want your free stuff, it's cool. I'm a man of my word..
    Shoot me a PM, and we'll see if we can work something out.
    I have lost quite a few things already to the temps, but maybe I still have something here you want. Who knows..

    So there you have it TF. Yet another explanation for mass's off the wall behavior.

  2. #2
    kulamauiman's Avatar
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    run the lights at night. ambient cooling. Day time high temps + lights = more cooling. less need for AC to cool when they are running. Maybe better electrical rate at night also, I forget. Add things that will have thermal mass. Reduce wide swings of temp. Jugs of water. Evaporative cooling? But guessing you guys have high humidity issues being so close to the lakes .

  3. #3
    mass's Avatar
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    But wouldn't that cause a shorter light period, with a longer dark period?

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    kulamauiman's Avatar
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    just making a 12 hour shift. everything remains on and off for the same number of hours. Potentially ends up more light because I am certain they will get some ambient light in the day. Just need to see if you guys have an "off peak demand" time and if that time they get you better electricity rates. that will be the home run. I think Joseph Clemens did something like this in Arizona.

  5. #5
    Devon's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about that Travis.. But I think that what Kula said may work well. May as well give it a try since there aren't many other choices, if any.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    First of all, why not remove all the plants that need the cooler temps out of the greenhouse and onto a windowsill or something? Schizandra doesn't need any special conditions other than being placed in a sealed container with high humidity and low light. What sort of time cycle do you have the lights/humidifiers/ac/fans (that's a huge amount of wattage, by the way) running on? I honestly think you can figure something much simpler out if you just mull over it for a while.

    As for the cost of a 15,000 btu versus a 5,000 btu a/c, you're going to have to figure out a few things:

    How many kilowatts does each unit use? (amps x volts = watts) and (watts/1000 = kilowatts)
    How many hours per day will you use the unit? (hours per day x kW = kWh)
    How much does your electricity bill say you pay per kWh ($.109/kWH or thereabouts..)? Multiply that by the daily power usage of the unit above (kWh) and you have how much your unit costs to run per day. Multiply that by 30 to see how it reflects upon your bill.

    Just keep in mind that you should be able to run a 15,000 btu a/c less than a 5,000 btu a/c (since it pulls the warm air out quicker), so the costs shouldn't be drastically different..

    I'd suggest doing that for every appliance you're running in the greenhouse, in order to weigh the benefits each brings to your plants versus how much it's costing you per month.


    Anyway, good luck.
    Last edited by mato; 06-27-2012 at 11:45 AM.

  7. #7
    MICKEY's Avatar
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    or just move to Oregon

  8. #8
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    Can you use ventilation to help with cooling? Maybe run some ducting to the closest window and use fans to bring in cool air from outside.

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