Best Ways Using CO2 Generator Systems
Carbon dioxide (CO2) generator systems burn either natural gas (NG) or propane (LP) to produce CO2. Burning these fuels will generate carbon dioxide, heat, and moisture during the combustion process.
These generators have a flow meter that regulates the flow of fuel into the system that is then burnt using a pilot light on the burner. Many of the newer designs of burner generators have tip-over shut-off functions (uneven-burning shut off which helps from causing a fire) or producing carbon monoxide that is lethal to humans and plants.
Also, some models allow for you to be able to bring in cold air into one side of the generator, cooling it off and picking up hot air to vent out the other side of the generator. If heat generation will be a problem for your garden, you will want to purchase one of these to prevent heat buildups.
These generators will produce around 12,000 – 28,000 BTU’s (British Thermal Units) of heat, which is enough to adequately heat an entire house. When you are using carbon dioxide enrichment you must have good air circulation for even distribution of CO2 for cannabis plants to be able to adequately take it up.
Carbon dioxide generators can burn any fossil fuel though it is best to use only high-quality grades. Kerosene is another type that works for CO2 enrichment though low grades of kerosene contain sulfur and can harm plants so always use the highest grade of kerosene or fuel available.
Be sure to never completely fill a propane tank since it expands/contracts with temperature changes and can release flammable gas from the pressure vent if it is too full. Propane and natural gas generators are about four (4x) times less expensive to operate than bottled CO2 emitter systems.
But, the setup cost is higher, the fuel cost is less expensive and the efficiency of burners is better given the amount of CO2 that is released. One gallon of propane costs $1.20 – $6.00 per gallon depending on where you live in with an average cost of $2.00 – $3.00 per gallon.
One gallon of propane contains 36 cubic feet of gas and over 100 cubic feet of CO2 (every cubic foot of propane gas produces 3 cubic feet of CO2). Depending on the size of the grow room, it can use a gallon or more a day so if it is a gallon a day then it would cost $60.00 a month or more.
One pound of fuel produces 1.5 pounds of water and 21,800 BTU’s of heat so if your room is smaller than 500 cubic feet then would not be suggested for you to purchase and run a generator system. You would be better off using a CO2 cylinder that does not produce heat.
CO2 generators can release toxic gases if the fuel is not properly burned and the main toxic gas that is produced by improperly burned fuel is carbon monoxide. This is visible by the gas burning with a red flame.
If the gas is burning with a blue flame, it is being properly burned. A CO2 monitor is necessary if you are sensitive to high levels of the gas or in general if you want to make sure that the proper amounts of CO2 are being supplied to your garden.
Many burner systems now include a CO2 remote monitoring system that detects the amounts of CO2 at different levels then turns on and off accordingly. If you build your own homemade generator, but be sure to check it frequently to see if the system is leaky or does not burn right, shut it off and go purchase a system.
CO2 generators are turned off at night since they create heat and humidity within the room and your plants need to absorb oxygen within their leaves and roots to remain healthy so this gives your plants a break. If using CO2, and yield does not increase then check to make sure all other components in your grow are running properly.
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