Noob needing help with numbers for my first grow

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by Sweet_green, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. First off, what a great community this is, thank you! I'm a hard working professional (although under paid) just looking to smoke for free and supplement my income, as well as take pride in growing some good clean quality herb. I obviously don't want to run anything too big as to draw attention and/or get me arrested. I'm thinking around 25lbs a year or so.

    What I want to know (or get pointed to a good site with a calculator) is how much power I'd need to run to sustain such an op? Unfortunately here (Vancouver area) the power company is now obliged to disclose unusual power usage to the cops (and the cops now fly with infrared). So I want to make sure I design a set up that won't require it's own power plant, although I'm open to alternate power such as wind and solar, as well as maybe a generator(bio diesel to boot) supplement if needed.

    I want to grow a dense high yield plant, most likely hydro in a basement. I'm pretty new to growing so I'm not sure how long a grow cycle I'm looking at. I'm used to the 3-4 months for leave it outdoor, so I'm hoping with an indoor setup I can shorten that dramatically.

    So I guess if any of the pro's can give me some ballpark numbers and/or suggestions on a setup that will give me my target yield in the least amount of power.

    Thanks all!
  2. For a few plants the power usage won't attract attention.
  3. I'm no expert, but 25lbs per year does not sound like a few plants...
  4. Any idea how many plants that would require if I were to string it over maybe 2 or 3 grow cycles or however many grow cycles I can fit in 12 months?

    I've been doing some reading about LST so maybe that could give me my large yield per plant hence keeping my lights to a minimum.

    Also how many plants can be grown per light for any given method, and then how many kwh's would the lights use?
  5. Average KW/h usavge that gets tagged in the Lower Mainland is 92KW per day.

    To determine your current usage just look at your hydro bill. There will be a graph on the left side which shows the last three or so month of your KW/day usage.

    Once you have that you can start making a decision on how many lights you can run.

    Say you use 24KWh/day this would leave you say 68KWH/Day of power to spare.

    If you are going to grow with 1000W bulbs then each ballast will use 1KW/h. In the veg 18/6 stage that be 18KW/h for each ballast.

    In the flower 12/12 stage it'll be 12KW/h

    Exhaust fans and oscillating fans will use up about .2 KW/h per item.


    House = 25 KWH/Day
    3 Ballast in 18/6 = 54KWH/day
    3 Ballast in 12/12 = 36KWH/day

    Exhaust Fan (Vortex 6-8" on 24/7) = 4.8 KWH/day
    3X 16" oscillating Fans = Say another 5KWH/day

    Veg 18/6 24+ 54 + 4.8 +5 = 87.8 KWH/day

    Veg 18/6 24+ 36 + 4.8 +5 = 69.8 KWH/day

    If you go with 600W system you can save quite a bit more even if you replace 2 X 1000W with 3X 600W Bulbs. This'll save you 200W of power usage per 4x8 area and will get you more light.

    What BC hydro and the municipalities are doing is border line illegal and they are using by-laws to get around Canadian Privacy laws. BC hydro has no say in this since they are part Crown Corp so the Gov can use the Freedom Of Information Act and gather info on a companies clients if the Gov owns part of the company.

    So thats the basics.
  6. #6 Sweet_green, Feb 8, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2009
    Grass69 thanks, thats just what I was looking for!

    Very interesting as I just checked my parents house bill and they are averaging around 100kwh and we always turn off our lights and don't grow anything!!!

    But I'm a little confused on your math here:

    Veg 18/6 24+ 54 + 4.8 +5 = 87.8 KWH/day

    Veg 18/6 24+ 36 + 4.8 +5 = 69.8 KWH/day

    I assume the 24 is the hours in a day, but why is that added to the equation if the lights only run for 18 or 12 hours?

    Just an interesting article in regards to BC Hydro and the RCMP investigating some guy who just has a bunch of computers in his house
  7. He was saying the 24 is what you already used just for your regular household needs, prior to the lighting and accessories.
  8. You can reduce your normal houshold usage by replacing the light bulbs you use the most in your house w/ CFLs. Just make sure you get the ones that are soft white around 2700, otherwise you will feel like your living in a hospital or office
  9. The RCMP can't come in the house anymore since a new ruling last year. Like I said what the City is doing is border line illegal. There are already a hole slew of law suits against the RCMP and several local cities.

    Several months back there was a guy who got the 24 hour notice . His wife called him that they were at the house. So while he drove to the house he called his lawyer. Next day the lawyer was there with a camcorder video taping everything. Needles to day no one from the inspection team or the RCMP would say a word to the lawyer. They left the house with out even checking it out.

    I know someone who had the 48 hour inspection. He's a licensed grower and has his garden downstairs. When the inspection team came he was asked by the RCMP to leave the house while they look for hidden firearms. He was like WTF?

    He said sure but you need to take your shoes off before you step onto my new carpet. The RCMP officer refused to take his boots off. After a small stand off the guy said go ahead.

    Well after checking out his work shop and upstairs they didn't find anything. And questioned him why he's using so much power. he said "Is it illegal or something tp use what I pay for?" No one wanted to say anything.

    So then he pulled out his license. he said they were like "So you wasted everyons time?" He said well you were here for an ispection so you got one.

    So he took them downstais to show them the garden.

    After that they left and neve came back.
  10. Problem is CFL's will only save you so much since its such a thin line before you get tagged as using 3 times the average or a regular house hold. Funny parts is "Whose house hold? Some shack in a run down neighborhood or some mansion that will use 100kh/day easily.
  11. it is a lot to makeup but a few simple things can add up to offset and get you away from that line

    every 60w = 13w cfl 47w savings
    100w = 23w cfl 77w savings
    75w = 18w cfl 57w savings

    turn the temp down on fridge /freezer

    I also use to leave my desktop computer on 24/7 and only turn on when using now

    it all adds up... your not going to be able to negate the increase, but you can offset some of it

  12. Ah I see now, that was pretty obvious, maybe I shouldn't smoke before trying to learn something new!

    Anyways, I'm still trying to learn more about what ballasts do (I know they basically control the lights), but lets say I run the 3x 600w setup, with a quality strain and grown to maximum yield (to hydro/LST or not?), whats a typical 1 harvest yield from such a setup? And what would be the new daily kwh?

    Thanks again

    ...I think my green lovin electrician uncle might have to come into the picture and help me trick meters
  13. #13 OCDinFL, Feb 8, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2009
    Once you get dialed in, with a decent strain you can expect in the neighborhood of 1 watt of dried flowers per watt used in the FLOWERING stage, possibly more with a high yielding strain. So 600 watts should yield in the neighborhood of 600 grams or 1.25 lbs. Are you planning to grow these plants from seed or are you trying to start a perpetual grow(mothers/clones/flowers)? Having a dedicated flower room always running 12/12 and having female clones ready to go in when you harvest allows 6 crops per year.

    I'll detail my personal-use grow room to give you an example:

    In a spare bedroom I have 4-4 foot 54watt T5 fluorescents running 18/6. These 2-2 light fixtures provide light for my mother plants as well as my clones.

    In a corner of this room I have a 4foot X 4foot grow tent containing a 3foot X 3foot hydroponic tray and reservoir, a 600watt air-cooled HPS light and carbon scrubber with an 8 inch inline fan attached. This fan effectively exhausts and cleans the air from the entire room not just the grow tent, as the air is pulled from the outer room, into the tent, through the carbon scrubber and air-cooled light fixture, then out of the house through a window. Also is a small oscillating fan inside the tent.

    I take 9-16 clones from my mother plants 1 month or so before harvest and they stay under the T5's. Once I harvest the plants in the grow tent, these clones go in to take their place.

    This setup gives me approximately 8 pounds per year of pure seedless sinsemilla.

    If I needed 25 pounds per year, I would move the T5's into the grow tent for my mothers and clones and use the outer room for the 12/12 flowering stage. I would use 3-600watt HPS to illuminate 3 hydro trays and increase the size of my inline fan to accomodate 3 air-cooled fixtures and a larger carbon scrubber.

    I would also stagger the harvests to one tray every 20 days or so, as 1.5 to 2 pounds is more than enough to cut/dry/manicure at one time.

    I should be able to get the needed 25 pounds annually relatively easy with that setup. More if I went with cash-crop strain like Big Bud or the like.

    Hope this gives you ideas on your setup.

    As for wattage:
    HPS - 600watts X 3lamps = 1800 watts X 12 hours daily = 21,600watts or 21.6kWh
    T5 - 54watts X 4 bulbs = 216 watts x 18 hours daily = 3888watts or 3.9kWh
    Inline fan - 300 watts x 24 hours daily = 7200watts or 7.2kW
    Various circulation fans - 300 X 24 hours daily = 7200watts or 7.2 kWh

    Total of 39.9kWh daily.

    By the way I would definitely go with 600-watters over 1000-watters. 600's are the most efficient(lumen to watt) as well as running significantly cooler.

    Just thinking about it makes me want to set it up...but what would i do with all the extra Sensi? Good luck.
  14. Yeah, I have to be honest I skimmed the OP's first post and didn't see this. I also didn't see his reference to supplementing his income, and now I see he wants to grow in his parents' house.

    Sweet_green, your plan is a disaster. There is zero chance that you will succeed in harvesting 25 lbs a year from a grow you are trying to keep stealth in your parents' house. Don't grow in your parents' house, period, and no talk of selling here on GC.
  15. My thinking exactly. Doesn't matter if your parents don't live there either, it isn't yours.

    Tricking your power meter is a really dumb thing to do as well.

    Be smart, if you're going to commercial grow, go get your own property to risk it with. If you want to grow some personal, by all means, build a friggin cab and grow your own smoke.

    Good luck with your 25lbs and all the mental baggage you'll be carrying around worrying about f'ing your parents property for them.
  16. #16 Sweet_green, Feb 8, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2009
    LOL!!!! I never said I was going to grow at my parents house (a disaster for sure)....I just used their power bill as reference......I will have my own place before I grow don't worry.....and the suplimenting income part is only hooking up a few good close buddies, not selling to everybody (I'll remember not to mention selling anything here now).....but thanks for the concern anyways

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