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InvisibleGod
Yahweh

Registered: 09/26/08
Posts: 434
A couple of beginner questions
    #125718 - 09/26/08 05:01 PM (8 years, 2 months ago)

So I've been contemplating starting a small-scale organic soil grow (one light, 9ish plants [ScrOG], using Recipe #3 from here), and after reading around on these forums and through most of two different grow bibles, I have a couple questions.
First, I was planning on setting up my grow room in the attic.  This would be a perfect location, aside from one issue: heat; I live along the Gulf Coast, so it's pretty hot here most of the time.  I figured if I started seeds inside with a CFL and got them into the attic for veg in late October or so, I'd probably be alright (temperatures average between 51 and 76 F around then).  Thoughts/suggestions?
Second, I'm not exactly the most affluent of people, so I plan to start small.  I'm considering purchasing a 600W HPS, and this looked like a relatively good deal.  It's one of the best I could find via Google, but if anyone has any better ideas, I'd love to hear them.


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OfflineDungenessDank
Lord of the Flies

Registered: 05/06/08
Posts: 9,372
Loc: PNW
Last seen: 3 years, 6 months
Re: A couple of beginner questions [Re: God]
    #125724 - 09/26/08 06:04 PM (8 years, 2 months ago)

With temps up in the 70s in October, you will need to get some serious air exchange going on if you really want to use a 600 watt HPS.


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InvisibleGod
Yahweh

Registered: 09/26/08
Posts: 434
Re: A couple of beginner questions [Re: DungenessDank]
    #125825 - 09/27/08 02:06 AM (8 years, 2 months ago)

Yeah, that's what I'm most worried about.  I've considered two alternatives: either using a 400 watt, or just waiting until November (or even later), when temperatures should stay below 65.  Either way, I'll still need good air exchange.


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OfflineSirius
Saturn Ascends

Registered: 04/20/08
Posts: 1,540
Loc: The Milky Way
Last seen: 7 months, 14 days
Trusted Cultivator
Re: A couple of beginner questions (moved)
    #125851 - 09/27/08 05:52 AM (8 years, 2 months ago)

This thread was moved from Soil & Organic Nutrients.

Reason:
Even though your planning on an organic soil grow, your questions are involving general topics, so you'll get better responses in the main cultivation forum. :wink:


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OfflineBlargIAmDead


Registered: 06/01/08
Posts: 266
Last seen: 7 years, 9 months
Re: A couple of beginner questions (moved) [Re: Sirius]
    #125943 - 09/27/08 01:33 PM (8 years, 2 months ago)

Really depends upon the size of your attic and how hot the attic gets as compared to the ambient outside. If the attic is rather large and stays around the same temp as outside I would say get the 600 and a decent CFM fan and exhaust out a pre-existing attic vent. Run the light for a few cycles without plants and see what your temps range in between. If they get too hot install an active intake from another attic vent to suck in cool air instead of having passive intake from the entire attic :smile:.


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InvisibleGod
Yahweh

Registered: 09/26/08
Posts: 434
Re: A couple of beginner questions (moved) [Re: BlargIAmDead]
    #125975 - 09/27/08 02:42 PM (8 years, 2 months ago)

Thanks for the advice so far!
The section of attic that I'm planning to use is probably around 1000 ft3 or so.  I'll take actual measurements next time I'm home.
It definitely gets hotter than ambient during the summer, but that's to be expected.  Once it gets cooler, I'm sure it'll still be warmer than outside, but I don't know by how much.  I guess I'll just have to wait and see.
As far as intake and exhaust go, that's one more issue I forgot to mention: as far as I can tell, there is only one hole in the attic, just a random half-foot-wide hole in the wall.  I was planning to use it for exhaust, and if intake is necessary (which it almost definitely will be), maybe I'll just make another hole...


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OfflineBlargIAmDead


Registered: 06/01/08
Posts: 266
Last seen: 7 years, 9 months
Re: A couple of beginner questions (moved) [Re: God]
    #125980 - 09/27/08 03:20 PM (8 years, 2 months ago)

Hmmm most attics have those aluminum turbine looking things on them (at least my old house did). And if your attic is sealed completely...wow...no wonder it gets hot :smile:. My old attic had the turbines as well as vents around the edges of the roof on the underhang. I would suggest against making new holes unless you know what you're doing :smile:.

If you're dead set on making holes and your attic is well sealed here's what you do. Make holes going into your house instead of outside. Don't turn your heat on and let your house get to ambient temps (open windows and such) and suck air through holes in the attic floor/bedroom roof. You could also exhaust back down into your house in a different room but that's whole nother situation.


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InvisibleGod
Yahweh

Registered: 09/26/08
Posts: 434
Re: A couple of beginner questions (moved) [Re: BlargIAmDead]
    #126043 - 09/27/08 04:52 PM (8 years, 2 months ago)

Yes, I was surprised that there were no turbine things or vents...then again, it is a very old house ('60s or so), complete with awful ventilation and insulation.  I think there is some sort of ventilation on the underhang area, but it's a bit hard to get to until I clean up in there, so I'm not sure yet.

As far as holes go, I'd really rather not have to cut up my house, so I'm going to think this over well and do more research before I make any rash decisions.  My bedroom is adjacent to the attic, so I might be able to make a discreet vent near the window into it.  Or perhaps inside of the closet, and I could leave the closet door partially open most of the time for air exchange.  There are plenty of options that I'll need to consider.


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InvisibleGod
Yahweh

Registered: 09/26/08
Posts: 434
Re: A couple of beginner questions (moved) [Re: God]
    #126244 - 09/28/08 09:07 PM (8 years, 2 months ago)

So I took a few measurements in the section of the attic that I've decided to close off with plywood, particle board, or something even cheaper, and paint flat white.  Below is a diagram I threw together (the line 5 feet up marks the beams that I would like to hang my light from).



I also put a thermometer up there this morning and checked every hour.  At noon, it was 92ºF.  By 3pm it had gotten up to 108ºF and stayed there for another hour or so.  It had finally dropped below 100ºF by 7pm.  Compare that to 61º-87ºF outside today.
To combat heat, I was planning on venting the room with a fan strong enough to recycle the ~300 cubic feet of air every 3 minutes or so, while pulling in cool air from my bedroom (which I tend to keep around 75ºF, but will probably be cooler as it cools outside).  By the time it averages around 60ºF outside, I'll have the room all set up and start fine tuning my cooling options.
Any advice or suggestions on this proposed setup would be greatly appreciated.


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OfflineSirius
Saturn Ascends


Registered: 04/20/08
Posts: 1,540
Loc: The Milky Way
Last seen: 7 months, 14 days
Trusted Cultivator
Re: A couple of beginner questions (moved) [Re: God]
    #126441 - 09/29/08 07:42 AM (8 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

God said:
I also put a thermometer up there this morning and checked every hour.  At noon, it was 92ºF.  By 3pm it had gotten up to 108ºF and stayed there for another hour or so.  It had finally dropped below 100ºF by 7pm.  Compare that to 61º-87ºF outside today.
To combat heat, I was planning on venting the room with a fan strong enough to recycle the ~300 cubic feet of air every 3 minutes or so, while pulling in cool air from my bedroom (which I tend to keep around 75ºF, but will probably be cooler as it cools outside).  By the time it averages around 60ºF outside, I'll have the room all set up and start fine tuning my cooling options.
Any advice or suggestions on this proposed setup would be greatly appreciated.




Couldn't look at your diagram right now because the Growery's image server is being a bitch. Anyways, those kind of ambient temperatures as you were measuring will really make it challenging for you to keep it cool enough underneath a 600 watt HPS. I don't have too much hard data on the temperatures of our 600 watt HPS, but I do know what happened the other day. The thermometer hangs in the middle of the cool-tube about ten inches underneath or so (you're going to want your plants about 12" away from the lamp, if you're closer to 24" you're really just wasting most of your light). With the air conditioner in the next room keeping the thermometer reading 20°C/68°F, I had closed most of the door that leads into the room for a few minutes to accommodate what I was working on, and in minutes, it shot up to 26°C/78°F. From what I remember, ambient in the room when the lights are off and there is no air conditioning is about that, 26°C/78°F, and the temperatures would easily be pushing into the 90's and perhaps beyond.

The recommended exchange of air for the plants to have in general for respiration purposes is replacing twice the volume of air in the room in one minute, so consider that as a general guideline (I don't think it matters too much if you were closer to refreshing it only once a minute). Anyways, I mention this because once we tried to setup the 600 watt HPS in a closet that was much smaller, and the extractor fan had enough cfm's to replace the air in the closet like eight times a minute, and with the ambient from the closet outside was probably around 26°C/78°F or lower, the temperatures inside the closet a couple feet away from the HPS was still closer to 100°F. Even if you succeed in bringing the ambient temperatures in your attic down to 75ºF, I think you're going to have too much heat - maybe not quite enough that growing will be possible, but definitely too much for you to be anywhere near growing them in optimal conditions, since that ambient temperature itself is right where the final temperature should be.

The amount you'll invest on extractor fans attempting to solve this by moving air around is going to be costly, and you aren't going to see too much of a gain for it to be worth it. Your best option is definitely going to be to condition the air instead of moving it. If you are in the States, cheap window A/C units are readily available (in fact, now is about the time places like Wal*Mart will be marking them down as the season is ending). There are even ways to construct some kind of holding box so that it isn't necessary to actually install it through the wall, which I can dig for later if you are interested.

Anyways, that's my thoughts and experiences trying to be able to use our 600 watt HPS. In the end, when you finally get it working for you, where you can actually keep it as close to the air-cooled reflector as you can (we actually experienced light-bleaching because they grew to being 5" away :lol:), you'll love the results. :yesnod:


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InvisibleGod
Yahweh

Registered: 09/26/08
Posts: 434
Re: A couple of beginner questions (moved) [Re: Sirius]
    #126479 - 09/29/08 12:24 PM (8 years, 2 months ago)

Thanks for the detailed reply!
I was afraid that would be the case, and was considering the option of investing in an air conditioner.  My adjacent bedroom has a window unit in it, but I don't think it would be very efficient to duct its output 20 feet through the attic.
Would it be possible to set up a window unit inside of the room to recirculate the air from inside, maximizing cooling?  I know there are portable air conditioners, but I figured the same effect could be achieved with a window unit, as long as you mount it to something and empty the drip tray frequently enough...


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OfflineSirius
Saturn Ascends


Registered: 04/20/08
Posts: 1,540
Loc: The Milky Way
Last seen: 7 months, 14 days
Trusted Cultivator
Re: A couple of beginner questions (moved) [Re: God]
    #126499 - 09/29/08 01:35 PM (8 years, 2 months ago)

Yep, you can make a box to run a window unit inside... I'll see what stuff I can find on that...


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InvisibleGod
Yahweh

Registered: 09/26/08
Posts: 434
Re: A couple of beginner questions (moved) [Re: Sirius]
    #126527 - 09/29/08 03:07 PM (8 years, 2 months ago)

I thought about it a bit, and did a little research, and decided that putting a window unit in there would be quite easy, and my best bet at making this project feasible.
I figure I could mount it partially in the wall that I use to close off the room from the rest of the attic.  The hot air from the back can vent into the room's exhaust duct (so it can be scrubbed by the carbon filter).  The side and top intake vents can be kept inside the room, so the air will recirculate and stay cooler.  I'll put a drip pan outside of the room to catch condensation.
Sound reasonable?


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