Boosting Growth: Electrical Stimulation w/ Pv Cells!? ^^

Discussion in 'Advanced Growing Techniques' started by Dug, May 28, 2009.

  1. #1 Dug, May 28, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2010
    We are continuing this conversation over at the Fractal Culture forums. Feel free to drop by and help out, only the opening post has been recreated. I think you'll also like the forum topics a lot ;). Here is the link:

    Hello mates, thought it's time for me to tell you a little bit more about a somewhat "shady" technique I've been using in my grows.

    Like in my other thread, concerning ultrasonic frequencies, I'd like to point out that it is your responsibility to use the information given here wisely, and be extra cautious so that you wont stress or damage your plants. Be gentle.

    Also, I'd like to point out that I'm no technical expert. My knowledge about electricity and technical issues is confined within the area of my growing necessities. I know what I know through experimentation, and working with my plants.
    So I'd like to suggest to anyone who has a better knowledge than me about any of the things mentioned below, to give their 2c here. This is still experimental for me. There is a lot of room for improvement.

    Things you will be able to do after reading this:

    i)Achieve a higher seed germination rate
    ii)Boost your seedlings' growth, as well as their survivability
    iii)Achieve an increase on the growth of your plants as high as TWICE the growth you had
    untill now, depending on the lighting that you provide for them. And I'm not trying to be funny.
    iv)Be able to grow plants with the same results as before, but with just a fraction of the lighting you previously used.

    Electrical root stimulation is no news for the worldwide commercial cropping research dudes. The effects of electricity on plants have been explored before. The thing is, though, that no source of power can be expected to replace sunlight. When electrical root stimulation is used on plants that have all the sunlight they need, the results are barely noticeable.

    Bear with me, I'm getting somewhere.

    On the other hand, the effects observed on electrically stimulated plants that were grown under artificial lighting, were nothing less than humbling. A growth rate of twice the magnitute of the control plant population was observed, and the total plant mass nearly doubled.

    Now, I haven't experimented for that long with this technique, mates, but so far, it seems to me that the less light the plants have, the more benefit they get from the electrical stimulation. It's no big deal growing a plant in a closet with minimum lighting, if you supplement its growth with this technique. Lets dwelve a bit into the specifics of plant energy absorbtion.

    Plants metabolise the nutrients they take through root or foliar intake, using energy they get from light, through a process called photosynthesis. No news for you, I'm sure.

    Now, a plant's leaf acts as a solar panel, absorbing light with an absorbtion rate of just 0.1%. Light, is converted into the desirable form of energy inside the plant.
    It seems logical that if we supplement the amount of energy a plant is taking, we will help it achieve the desired results. This is just one side of the coin, though.

    There is another theory of why mild electrical stimulation helps a plant's growth. Roor growth. I haven't been able to test this myself yet, but, since the connection between a plant's root mass and its upper body is a widely accepted fact, it seems right that if we stimulate the growth of the roots, the upper plant mass will follow.

    If that is the case, then electricity is beneficial for the root system, and has nothing to do with the amount of energy a plant uses for metabolism.

    Whatever the case may be, mates, the effects of electricity on plants is an easily observable fact. Let's see how you can implement such a system yourself.

    DIY - Its as easy as it gets!

    You're gonna need a source of mild electrical current. In my oppinion, its better not to mess with batteries and such, since they are expendable, and contain chemicals which could be released in your soil and ruin your plants.

    Instead, we'll use Photovoltaic Cells. What better than green energy for our plants? A photovoltaic cell, much like a leaf, converts ligh energy into electricity. Unlike leaves though, PV cells do a much better job, converting a staggering 12% of the light they take into electrical current.

    Have you ever seen one of these outdoor lamps for gardens, that don't need batteries? They're sold almost everywhere! They have a small PV cell on the top, recharging them during the day, and they use that energy at night. Pretty cool.

    Lets go grab ourselves one of these gadgets. They're not expensive at all. I get mine for about 5-6$ each. If you know some other way of obtaining a small PV cell, as I'm sure some of you do, that will be also ok.

    What you want to do now, is bring out your destructive isnticts, grab yourself some tools, and open this fucker up. Careful, don't break the PV cell. Just start unscrewing everything untill you're left with a small square black cell, about 2x2 inches, with two electrodes coming from it.

    This is your artificial leaf. All you have to do now is just stick it in your planting pot, one electrode from each side of your plant's main stem, and bend it a bit so that it's facing the light. That's it!

    Now, you might be thinking, ok, so how do I know that this little fucker is not gonna burn my plants up, stress the fuck out of them, or cause some evil unthinkable disaster, like making my soil acidic as hell, or crystalising the salts in it, or who knows what else?

    Well, mates, all you have to do to test this is experiment. Its that simple. You don't need to perform your experiments with your plants, just go get yourself a couple of wild weeds from your back yard, or a couple of tomato plants or something similar.
    Put both plants in a place where they get the same amount of light, and stick your PV cell in one of their pots. Obviously you don't want them to be in the same pot.
    Try to simulate the lighting that your cannabis plants are taking. If you can put the test plants inside, with a fluoro on them, or close to your cannabis plants, that would be even better.

    Remember, the less light they get, the more difference your cell will do.

    After about 10 days-2 weeks you will begin seing the first results. If your results are similar to the ones of my epxerience, you can expect some pretty amazing impact from the PV cell. After about 30 days, you can expect the stimulated plant to have almost double the size of the other.

    Another experiment you can do is on seed germination. Just stick a PV cell on a container where some of your seeds are germinating, and leave the rest in another container without electricity. You can expect about 30-35% increase in germination rate. Talk about some good results!

    There may be many other possible uses for this interesting technique. Be creative. Try to find new ways of using this. Search the internet. All the information I have found for this technique and a few others came from the net through many hours of searching and reading.

    Also, keep in mind that I do not provide this info as solid truths. These are things that work for me. You have to epxeriment for yourself, and actually do some work, if you want to achieve the desirable effects.

    Do not come to me afterwards telling me how you burned your crop because you thought providing more electricity would be better.
    Do not come to me afterwards telling how you messed up your flowering cycle because you left the PV cell sticked in your soil during the dark hours, and the results where unpredictable. Do not invoke Dug's Wrath.

    Experiment, mates. There are many things we do not know about the way our plants grow and thrive, and the only way to find out is experiment. Don't be afraid to try new things, radical ideas, and phunny thoughts.

    If each one of us uses his/her creativity to push the borders of our knowledge
    a little further, we'll pretty soon reach new plateaus of growing efficiency.

    Again, don't take my word for it, you don't have to believe me. Just try! I'm sure you won't be dissapointed! :wave:

    And, finally, I can't stress this enough. Don't be an asshole, share your results, and your ideas. Every little bit of knowledge counts towards the collective progress.

    Keep in touch.

    EDIT: You can find more about this and more advanced experimental techniques HERE.
  2. "Another issue is the plant physiology. Plants grown under ultrasound waves grow SO fast, that they cannot absorb the needed nutrients fast enough. Thus, you need to provide them with tricky ways of getting what they need, or you will end with plants that are tall and thin. Do not be dissapointed though, here are some ideas that I have tried or researched, and that you can combine to get the results you want:..... from your Super Growth Using Ultrasonic Frequencies! thread.

    More light. More light. More light. Forget about 18/6 and all the other malarchey. Put your plants udner 24 hours of the most intense light you can get your hands on, and leave them there."

    The Pv cell could be the problem solver as apposed to more bulbs, watts and heat

    Another good thread, Glad someone is do'n some think'n ;)
  3. any actual proof or results?
  4. Sure thing, mate. I'll hook you up with some info. Photographs from my grows is unfortunately not an option, as I have a no-photo rule for my internet ventures - I'm sure you have already figured this out. Maybe in the near future I'll break this rule, but not yet, I hope you understand. But I'll do my best to provide you with all the info and results you may find useful, as I did untill now for my experiments.

    So, for starters, what better than a newspaper article on the subject?
    HERE is a New York Times article describing how a farmer tapped into the local trolley power cable, drawing electricity into the soil where his crops where planted. Quoting from the article:

    Photographs of electrified and non electrified plants of equal age show that the former ones are, generally speaking, at least twice as luxuriant as the latter, and that maturity is attained in about half the time.

    Twice the size, mates, and in half the time. In fact, this article is that originally sparked my interest for this field of experimentation.

    Also, in 1984, in the Univercity of Meryland conducted some experiments with this specific technique, using Photovoltaic Cells to stimulate root growth. The results, once again, where mindnumbling. In this experiment, they compared 14 salvia plants that were stimulated, with 12 baseline group plants (the control group).

    Well, after 4 weeks of growth, the control population's height on average was 5.5 inches, while the stimulated plants' average was a staggering 10.5 inches. Talk about some nice results.

    For more info on this, if anyone is interested in the specifics of the experiment, you can contact Ms. Betty Morqavan, the Greenhouse Manager in Meryland's Uni Research Greenhouse Complex. If you need contact details, I'm sure I can find some.

    The same info can be found in James Bongs Ultimate Spyguide to Marijuana lol talk about an interesting book. If requested, I might be able to find an online version to hook you guys up.

    Precisely, mate! PV cells is the best way I have found so far of supplementing the plant's growth when Ultrasound Frequencies are also used. It's just that there is so scarce info on these matters that I really am blindly experimenting.
    I mean, I've just read somewhere that some guy claimed that actual electrodes spiralling along the plant's main stem was the trick. The is a ton of possible ways to go here, and only a few plants. I think my experiments will be greately speeded up when I get my Phalaris seeds.

    That's really great to hear mate. Nice vibe, thumbs up! :wave:

    To conclude, let me quote a small text from the previously mentioned NY Times Article:

    "This opens a vista of pleasure for dwellers in cities, from the owners of concervatories to the less fortunate occupants of apartments, who are united by a common desire:
    To Grow Something!"

    Take care, mates, and keep in touch.


  5. Dug your really starting to stick out around here in the Advanced section. I Thank you sir , again and again.

    Now , If it uses light to make electricity why would it be bad to have it in the ground at night when there is no light? Or because it's a solar cell and stores energy , releasing it at night.

    How would i run this on a hydro application , I don't think I will ever go back to soil , and I have no need to boost a mother plants growth when I am so limited on what I need to clone.

    I'm no good with electricity , will dirt transfer a current if it Is'nt wet? Will Hydrotron do the same , does it need to be wet?
  6. Who doesn't love Dugs posts? This guy always full of great info.

    Im with Hype though, I got the same questions. As well as an eagerness to see those pics you got of your experiment.
  7. You're fucking rockstars. Thanks, a pat on the back goes a long way when it comes to retaining the will to experiment.

    It doesn't store any energy since it has no battery in it, but my guess is that it may be able to actually produce a small amount of energy from light leaks that would be otherwise harmless. Remember, a leaf converts 0.1% of the light it gets to energy, but a PV cell does a way better job, converting around 12%, depending on the PV cell's quality.

    Since I've seen the impact such a small amount of electricity has on the plant's growth, it wouldn't surprise me if it had an impact on the state of the plant, too. It's just better to be safe untill we get the opportunity to further explore this specific issue.

    Both hydroton and soil will transfer an amount of electricity through them even with a minimum amount of moisture in them. Since the cell's electrodes will be planted inside the growing medium, it is not likely that the medium which will be around them will be left completely dry.

    I know you do, mates. It's just that paranoia is always around the corner when it comes to revealing specifics of me or posting pics.

    Somebody recently suggested to me that it is possible that some companies will not have a pretty friendly attitude towards my recent experiments. It seems logical, since there are products out there that utilize the same concepts we have been exploring, like ultrasonic frequency growing supplements, and Sun Sticks.

    I'll talk to a FOAF about the security issues concerning photo posting.

    Till then, take care, mates, and keep in touch.


  8. dug i must say this whole thing on steroids for your plants is very interesting. One thing i was wondering though, is this basically useless for plants that get all the sunlight they need? Im in florida and my plants are pretty much happy everyday (unless it rains) and i would love to stick a pv cell in my soil, but not if its useless. thanks!
  9. This is one of the things that I'm trying to specify, mate. It seems that when the electrical current used to stimulate the plants is pretty low, like a PV cell, then if the plants get all the sunlight they need, you're not gonna see a big difference. Or so the experimental data i've found said, at least.

    On other cases though, where the current is stronger than that of a single PV cell, like cables burried under a field, or like the case of a badass farmer who buried a huge copper plate on the one side of the field, and a huge zinc plate on the other, and connected them aboveground, thus creating an underground electrical field, a huge improvement has been observed on the plants. Now here is the catch:

    On the experiment done with PV cells on plants growing with plenty of sunlight, the average height and plant mass was calculated. Seing no big difference, the results were categorized as unsuccessfull.

    What they didn't measure though, was the quality of the end product. On the case of the farmers playing with electricity, it is mentioned that the end product, the fruits and vegetables, of the stimulated plants, were far superior to the ones that were not. Shelve life was multiplied, and overall quality was way better.

    On the PV cells experiments though, no measurement or observation upon the end product is mentioned. I don't know if this was due to the fact that it wasn't worth it, or due to negligence. We'll have to find that out from our own experience.

    A PV cell on your plant would not be a bad idea at all, mate. It can't harm them, and it will most probably benefit them. Do you have more than one plant? If yes, try placing cells on some of them, and keep the others for "control" population.

    Good luck!


  10. #10 la vie demain, Jun 3, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2009
    actually sounds like a good idea... i have 2 seedlings that popped their heads out about 1 week ago so maybe one of them gets it :)

    these are the things i was going to use... too big? too small? need an opinion.
  11. #11 WhatUserName, Jun 3, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2009
    How much light do you mean by "Less Light"?

    Because, you are using photovoltaic cells, they are powered by light - so wouldn't less light mean less stimulation?

    Anyways, If you don't mind answering a more specific question, I have my plant now in a shady spot that gets little direct light and as a result is growing very slowly, it's light out here about 15 hours a day and my plant gets direct/spotty sun maybe 2/3 hours a day. Would pv stimulation be perfect here or would i need less light?

    Thanks, by the way, for bringing this up, this could be my plant's saving grace.

  12. While I was reading this thread something dawned on me. What about a TENS Unit. The following is a brief description: Definition: "TENS" is the acronym for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. A "TENS unit" is a pocket size, portable, battery-operated device that sends electrical impulses to certain parts of the body to block pain signals.

    The electrical currents produced are mild, but can prevent pain messages from being transmitted to the brain and may raise the level of endorphins (natural pain killers produced by the brain).

    I have used this device for some of the pain i get, for other i perfer a fatty, but in any case the current is contstant and depending on the type of device different pulses, levels, and times can be employed. Just thought I'd throw it out there.
  13. ^ Thats EXACTLY what I was thinking. You can adjust the voltage = perfect for experimenting. Wish I had one to use.
  14. #14 Dug, Jun 4, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2009
    @WUN: I find your situation ideal for a PV cell. mate. If your results are even close to mine, you'll see a tremendous boost in growth within 4-5 days from when you introduce a cell to your girl^^.

    As for the less light question, you are right, less light=less stimulation, but because a leaf converts ~0.1% of light to energy, and a PV cell converts ~12%, a cell does a hell of a better job.

    So when light is not abundand, a PV cell makes a difference, because it more successfully absorbs it, whereas when the light is abundand, the plant already has all the energy it needs, or at least such a small amount of extra energy has little impact on it. Read below for more info on this. And stay in touch, mate, supplementing techniques like this could indeed be ideal for your plant. :wave:

    @la vie demain: Hey mate, glad you are taking it seriously. These are ideal, the ones I use are only slightly smaller, so you should be fine! If you are worried that you might damage your seedlings, just space the electrodes 2-3 inches from each side of the stem.

    A link or some info on where will you purchase them from would be helpfull for other dudes who want to try this. Gg, man, keep in touch!

    @whodini2k2 , WUN: "A typical battery-operated TENS unit is able to modulate pulse width, frequency and intensity. Generally TENS is applied at high frequency (>50 Hz) with an intensity below motor contraction (sensory intensity) or low frequency (<10 Hz) with an intensity that produces motor contraction"

    This is perfect!!! And pretty cheap, actually, TENS units start from 50$, like that one from Amazon. Great find! This is exactly what I was looking for to be able to modulate the frecuency of the electrical pulses, and their intensity. New boost for our explorations, thumbs up! :hello:
    Amazon Tens: [ame=""] Digital TENS 7000 Pain Relief Unit w/ 5 Modes with Carrying Case, Electrodes and Battery: Sports & Outdoors[/ame]

  15. hi dug and everyone of course,

    first of all respect for your work and experiments and for sharing them withs us.
    i stumbled across this forum and your thread about ultrasonic plant stimulation which i found very interresting. unfortunately i've got a dog and a cat so a no go for me. after seeing this next i figured i have to give this one a go.
    i got 4 g13 haze plants here that just went past seedling stage. 3 of them are in canna coco coir and been transplanted into 6" pots today. hydroton top and bottom layer in the pots too. feeding is 3.3ml monkey juice a+b grow, 1ml bio-bizz grow, 4ml rhizo and 5ml cannazym for 2l of water, ph 5.4
    the 4th one is in a dwc bucket, 12.5l res, ionic food plus rhizo and cannazym as well

    went to maplins (substitue for radio shack since i stay in scotland) and got myself a solar rechargeable led torch. the cell is waterproof according to manufacturer, price was £9.99 . could have got a solar garden light for half price but the cell looked huge on this thing.
    this cell puts out 10.5V (no load) under my 200w 6400k envirolite, current when electrodes are shorted is 8mA

    first pic is the torch ripped apart, second one case closed again and the highly sophisticated electrodes installed. i left the u-bend to give them better halt in the coco, will this be alright or disturb the electrical flow ?
    third pic is the rootball of the plant that will be zapped :devious:
    pic 4 is a groupshot of the 3 ladies (hopefully since they were standard seeds)
    pic 5 closer look at the installed cell, pic 6 entry point for the electrodes
    next another group shot in the vegging chamber and last the dwc plant. (and yes this is the wringout basket of a mop bucket, i likes diy stuff)

    this was all rigged up in 15 minutes and costs were minimal so all stop crying we want pics and proof. just rig it up and lets get all going and see what it can give us.
    i am willing to take pics once in a while and post them no probs but a few more of us testing would certainly help the case.

    what about those tiny photovoltaic cells in calculators, i got hundreds of those. probably not strong enough for the roots system but maybe good to be placed close to the internodes along the main stem to improve electrical flow all along the whole plant? i read the article at motherearthnews but can't find anything mentioned about stimulation of non root parts. in fact i cant find anything else about this topic apart from this one article. what do you think? on the other hand maybe 10 of them wired up could be placed in a ring around the edge of the pot to create one larger cell. series or parallel connected ? maybe 5 in series and doubled up parallel ? will have a go at them if i see results on this plant and i can be bothered ripping all those crappy promotion calculators apart ;)
    finally would you mind me posting the results over at ukc which is the grower forum im at most, obviously with credits given where due.


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  16. Hey, so I have this great article to share that I found on electrical stimulation using a TENs unit. They're in depth study found 2 - almost 3! times the growth than a plant in direct sunlight. The plants that were electrically stimulated received ambient, window light only and grew twice the size of those outside in half the time! Here is the link:

    Plantricity - great with lots of pictures

    I'm buying a TENs right now
  17. Good Leg work! Rep+
  18. Plantricity is an amazing article, I would suggest everyone reading this also click the link above, posted by whatusername.

  19. Thanks mate, I hope you'll stick around. It's great seing people who act. I'm a diy gyu too :wave:

    Yes bending it a bit is better, it would be even better if you attached a kind of metal piece on each end, like a big screw. Carefull, don't put the electrodes to close at first, test your plant's response progressively.

    As for the small PV cells you got, why not, if you can be bothered to connect them together, they would be like a normal PV cell. Parallel.

    Ah, fell free to post the info whenever you like. Credits and a link to this thread would be cool indeed, not nessecary though ^^. Information for everybody, by everybody. Try making more people post their results.

    @Ganja47 , @WUN, these are some excellent reads mates!!

    Robert A.Nelson: Hemp Husbandry ~ Electro-Culture (Ch 5)

    The info contained within those articles is mindnumbling! Well done dudes, thanks for the finds.
    Plantricity demonstrated just the right kind of curiocity and will for exploration we got to have in order to progress! The possibilities are endless.
    Nelson's stury is nothing less than staggering! So much great info and bizzare techniques.

    Damn, with so many techniques around that have such great results, but are not widely known, the cannabis growing community could have been on an entirely diferent page by now! We need more peolpe with the curiosity bug in them!

    Keep it up, we're getting somewhere!



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