The cheapest way to grow your cannabis is with the sun, but in many areas, grows are legally restricted to indoor operations, or worse, are still illegal. Growing indoors can burn through a lot of energy. If you want to get off the grid to save some dough or avoid scrutiny, here are 7 ways growers are saving not only their money, but the environment too! Combine the power of the elements like Captain Planet to grow some serious buds!
1. Wind turbines
I’m not talking about putting a 300-foot behemoth in your back yard. Wind turbines come in many sizes and ratings. You can run a grow in your garage with one or two small turbines that can be purchased online or at your local hardware store. Home Depot carries several 400-watt turbines and even a 2,000-watt-producing turbine that can be installed on your property for $2,500 bucks. You can get just about everything you could need for growing there; my girlfriend has dubbed them “Home De-Pot”.
2. Solar panels
Want to use the power of the sun in the darkness of your basement? Solar panels are far more efficient than even a few years ago. If you want to take not only your grow, but your whole house off the grid, there are companies and kits for that too! You can get a complete rooftop kit from Home Depot that produces 5,300 watts for just over $12,000. Don’t want to pay that all at once? Companies like Vivint, which also has state of the art home security systems, can setup your panels for you and you can pay for them on a monthly basis. They should, considering cannabis grows are what fueled the solar industry to begin with!
3. Hydro power
If you have a stream on your property, setting up a water wheel is relatively simple, and there are many videos on Youtube that can show you how. If you don’t that doesn’t mean you can’t use water to your advantage. It is already pumped with force into your home. Why not tap into that? California thought it sounded good, that is why they partnered with Lucid Energy, maker of industrial-size in-pipe hydropower turbines to put power-producing turbines inside the Cadiz Water Project’s lines. On the small scale, you can do the same thing with small turbines put into pipe fitting just past the main in your home. Every time your water moves, they will spin and charge up a storage battery that can help run your grow!
You can even double the power you get by using a water tower system to put turbines from the water source to the tower, then from the tower to your use point. This is ideal for rural homes or farms. In a house, you can set up a system like this with a reinforced container in your attic. Water power can be easy!
4. Thermal energy
You can also use exchange of heat from the sun and the ground to produce energy. A geothermal system can pump water from below ground to a hotter or cooler location and back with a power generator in between taking advantage of the thermal difference. There are several possible setups, with the water even moving itself by changing temperature and expanding or contracting. You can also use thermal energy to create electricity by installing turbines in stovepipes or using steam power.
5. Smart batteries
If you have variable rate electricity, you could save hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year using Tesla batteries or other smart charge systems in conjunction with your grow. The concept is simple. The batteries store up power in off-peak hours, letting you buy your electricity cheaper. They are also a great idea to help you store the energy you produce from any of the other systems mentioned above
Sunlight isn’t always shining, and unless you have a way to store that power, it is a use-it-or-lose-it situation. Invest in a 10kWh battery for $3,500 dollars each, and you can stack them infinitely to store massive amounts of cheap power. Depending on the size of your grow operation, the investment could save you some serious dough.
6. Sunlight… Reimagined
Grow houses on some cannabis farms use greenhouses with clear roofs to absorb as much sunlight as possible, and black covers to cut out light when plants need to be in the dark. If you want to use some sun without leaving your plants in view, you can always try putting sun tubes in a window, the roof of your garage, or even in an outdoor grow box! With clear opening at the top, the tube catches sunlight from any angle and reflects it down the tube to spill out inside you home or your grow.
Great for natural light indoors, theses can save you power on your regular bill as well as potentially provide your grow with light while keeping it masked from overhead view, since looking down the tube is next to impossible, unless you are nose distance away, and even then, they can have opaque lenses.
7. Kinetic energy
Although it might be more work, you can always add power to your grow through sweat. Using a generator attached to a stationary cycle can generate power too. There are even companies mass-producing home cycle generators you can purchase in a kit. Get that couch potato belly in shape while producing light for your couch-lock inducing chronic!
The best strategy
To take full advantage of green energy, a combined strategy of 2 or more of these concepts is the best way to go. if you have your own property and can put up solar panels and a couple small windmills, plus use Sun Tubes to bring in more light, you could run an impressive grow. Add hydropower and a grow-powering gym routine, and you could end up with so much energy than you want to increase your grow size! When deciding on any green grow strategy, make sure to calculate how much power you’ need, and how much you can create, before investing as you don’t want to under build or over invest. With the right planning, you can have your investment pay for itself in a single grow!
Do you use renewable power to operate all or part of your grow? Share your success with us on social media or in the comments below.