- What is Solar Battery Backup?
- Are Solar Battery Backups Worth it for a Greenhouse?
- What to Look for in a Solar Battery Backup for Your Greenhouse?
- What Size Solar Battery Backup Do You Need for a Home Greenhouse?
- The Best Solar Battery Backup for Your Greenhouse
- Tips for Using Solar Battery Backup in Your Greenhouse
- Other Tips for Making Your Greenhouse Greener Than Green
For environmentally-conscious greenhouse owners, going green is about more than just the plants inside. An energy-efficient, self-sustaining greenhouse takes green to the next level. Solar battery backups, also known as portable power stations, offer a solar-powered solution for running your greenhouse fully off-grid. With battery storage to capture sunlight during the day, solar backup batteries provide renewable energy around the clock.
Solar battery backups make it easy to decarbonize your greenhouse. They allow you to cut the cord from the electrical grid, eliminating fossil fuel energy use. A solar backup battery lets you harness freely available sunlight to run everything in your greenhouse, from lights to HVAC to hydroponic systems. With the right solar battery station for your needs, you can make your greenhouse greener than green this year.
What is Solar Battery Backup?
Solar battery backup refers to a system that stores energy collected from solar panels. In the event of a power outage or during times when the sun isn't shining, the energy stored in the battery can be used to power a home or business. It provides a continuous source of energy by storing excess solar power during the day and supplying it as needed, offering a self-sufficient energy solution.
These solar generators come in a range of capacities, from 500-watt-hour models capable of charging phones and powering camping accessories, to 2000Wh+ capacity models that can run essential appliances like mini-fridges, fans, pumps and more.
Solar backup batteries offer complete off-grid power for temporary or permanent use. Unlike diesel generators, they produce zero emissions and operate silently. Combined with solar panels, they create renewable energy stations for reliable green power anytime the sun is shining.
Are Solar Battery Backups Worth it for a Greenhouse?
For greenhouses, solar battery backups provide a cost-effective way to store solar energy and power operations entirely off the grid. The stored solar energy can be used to run any electrical systems or devices in the greenhouse, including:
- Grow lights like LEDs or fluorescent lamps
- Ventilation systems like exhaust fans and circulation fans
- Air conditioning or heaters to control the temperature
- Pumps and irrigation controllers for hydroponics
- Security cameras and motion sensors
- Electric garden tools like weed trimmers or leaf blowers for maintenance
The economical and ecological benefits make solar battery backups a smart investment for greenhouses:
- Cost Savings: Solar energy stored in a battery is far cheaper than relying solely on grid electricity. Solar battery systems have payback periods of 4-8 years, after which they provide free energy from the sun. They protect against utility rate hikes for decades of future savings.
- Energy Resiliency: Solar energy stored in a battery can supply power to the greenhouse even during utility outages. The greenhouse has its own energy reserve onsite for self-sufficient operation.
- Reduced Emissions: A solar battery backup eliminates greenhouse gas emissions associated with fossil fuel electricity from the grid. It enables 100% zero-emission operation.
- Grid Independence: Solar batteries allow greenhouses to sever reliance on the traditional electrical grid. You have full control over your energy supply.
- Sustainability: Solar energy is a clean, renewable resource. Solar battery backups are a sustainable system for greenhouse power needs.
- Low Maintenance: Solar battery backups are plug-and-play. They require no fuel or moving parts. Solar panels self-clean when it rains. The only periodic maintenance is cleaning dust buildup.
For greenhouse owners who want to go green, from powering grow lights to running hydroponics systems, solar battery backups present the most practical path to carbon-free operation. The benefits in costs, resilience, emissions and sustainability make solar power stations a worthy investment.
What to Look for in a Solar Battery Backup for Your Greenhouse?
Choosing the right solar generator for your greenhouse depends on your power needs and budget. Larger growing areas with more power-hungry equipment require higher capacity batteries than smaller hobby greenhouses. Consider the following factors when selecting a solar battery backup:
- Power Requirements: Add up the wattage of all lights, fans, pumps and other equipment that will be powered in the greenhouse. Choose a solar generator with enough capacity to exceed your total wattage needs, especially if multiple devices will operate simultaneously.
- Battery Capacity: Solar generators range from 500Wh to over 2000Wh battery capacities. The battery capacity largely determines how many watts it can support and for how long. Aim for at least 500Wh to power essential off-grid greenhouse equipment. 1000Wh or above is best for running many devices over extended periods.
- Inverter Size: The inverter converts the DC battery power into standard 120V AC power. Make sure the solar generator's inverter wattage exceeds your expected power draw. At least 500W is recommended for a small greenhouse and 1000W+ for a larger growing area.
- Output Ports: Look for multiple 120V AC outlets to plug devices into, as well as USB ports to charge phones/tablets and 12V DC ports for things like fans. Cigarette lighter ports are also handy for connecting pumps or other 12V gear.
- Solar Recharge Rate: Faster solar recharge allows the battery to refill quicker on sunny days. 200W-300W solar panels are optimal for greenhouse uses. Some units have built-in solar controllers to easily add more panels.
- Battery Chemistry: Lithium-ion phosphate (LiFePO4) chemistry is the safest and lasts 3000+ lifetime cycles. Lead acid is poorly suited for solar storage and should be avoided.
- Warranty: Look for at least a 2-year warranty on the entire system. Premium batteries offer 5-10 year coverage for longer-term confidence.
- Price: Capacity, features and warranty coverage affect the price. Expect to pay $300-$2000 for quality solar generators suited for greenhouse applications. Compare costs per watt-hour when assessing options.
Investing in the right size solar generator upfront will provide reliable, renewable power for your greenhouse for years to come.
What Size Solar Battery Backup Do You Need for a Home Greenhouse?
For a small to medium home greenhouse, a 1000Wh to 1500Wh lithium solar generator is ideal. This size capacity can power a 300W grow light, small AC, exhaust fans, and other equipment to sustain plant growth. Here are typical solar backup needs based on common home greenhouse uses:
Small Seed Starting Greenhouse
500Wh capacity solar generator
- (2) 40W seed heating mats
- Small 50W exhaust fan
- Grow light timer
- Battery maintainer for electric tools
4x8 Walk-In Greenhouse
1000Wh capacity solar generator
- 300W LED grow light
- 100W circulation fan
- 10" clip fan
- Seedling heat mats
- Small security camera system
4x12 Hobby Greenhouse
1500Wh capacity solar generator
- 300W full spectrum LED grow lights
- 300W exhaust fan
- 1000W electric heater
- Digital temperature controller
- Electric composter or tiller for soil maintenance
8x12 Expanded Home Greenhouse
2000Wh capacity solar generator
- 600W metal halide grow light
- 12,000 BTU window air conditioner
- Dual 300W exhaust fans
- Automatic louvre vent opener
- Hydroponic water pump
- 2000W electric heater
These recommended capacities will power critical systems for about 1-3 days on a charge, depending on sunlight. For frequent overcast periods, consider adding backup solar panels to recharge the battery faster.
Ideally, select a solar generator with a 300W or 500W inverter capacity to comfortably exceed the peak wattage that will be pulled. Many quality units from Growatt meet these criteria for powering home greenhouses sustainably off-grid.
The Best Solar Battery Backup for Your Greenhouse
Growatt INFINITY 1500 is a revolutionary solution that ensures your greenhouse never runs out of energy. This state-of-the-art device, specially crafted to support up to 800W solar input, offers outdoor charging like no other, completing solar charging in an astonishingly rapid 2.5 hours! With a colossal 1512Wh capacity and 2000W output, this power station not only provides an efficient charging experience, going from 0% to 80% in just an hour, but also includes 12 diverse outlets to cover all your needs. At the unbeatable sale price of $1,199.00, down from the original $1,599.00, the INFINITY 1500 is your greenhouse's best friend. Reliable 24/7 backup power with an included UPS ensures that your plants thrive, come rain or shine.
Tips for Using Solar Battery Backup in Your Greenhouse
Here are some tips for using your solar battery backup effectively to power a greener, more self-sufficient greenhouse:
Maximize Free Sunlight
Position solar panels in an open, unobstructed location pointing south for optimal sun exposure. This allows the battery to recharge faster.
- Use LED grow lights instead of HPS or metal halides to cut lighting power demand significantly.
- Set lamps, fans and other equipment on timers and smart controls to minimize runtime.
- Take advantage of passive solar: points vents south and allow maximal sunlight in to reduce supplemental lighting/heat needs.
- Know the wattage ratings of all connected devices. Do not exceed the battery's inverter capacity or outlet voltages.
- Stagger operation so high draw appliances (ACs, pumps) do not all run simultaneously.
- Clean solar panels regularly with water and vinegar solution for maximum output.
- Keep battery above 30% state of charge. Fully recharge at least monthly for optimal battery health.
- Select solar generators that enable connecting external batteries or solar panels to increase capacity over time as needs grow.
- Choose charge controllers capable of handling higher wattage solar input, permitting additional panels to be added down the road.
- Locate lithium batteries away from flammable materials and provide adequate ventilation around units.
- Keep portable solar generators sheltered from the weather and grounded appropriately.
- Use properly rated cords, and do not overload outlets.
By taking advantage of the natural sun and using solar backup power judiciously, a home greenhouse can operate sustainably year-round.
Other Tips for Making Your Greenhouse Greener Than Green
While solar battery backup enables running a greenhouse off renewable energy, various other techniques can reduce the environmental impact even further. Here are additional tips for creating an eco-friendly greenhouse:
- Passive Solar Design: Maximize sunny exposure and thermal mass to limit the need for powered temperature control systems. Glaze the south-facing wall and design an optimized roof angle to naturally maximize winter solar gain. Use materials like stone, concrete and water containers to absorb and slowly release daytime warmth. Install automatic ridge vents for passive cooling in summer.
- Rainwater Harvesting: Collect rain runoff from the greenhouse roof to use for watering plants instead of tap water. Rain barrels connected to downspouts store water and gravity-feed irrigation systems. Add filtration systems as needed.
- Composting: Turn greenhouse plant waste and kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich compost using worm bins or compost tumblers. Use compost to amend soil mixes right inside the greenhouse for free fertilization.
- Green Pest Control: Introduce beneficial insects like ladybugs or nematodes to naturally control pest issues without chemical pesticides. Use biological controls and integrated pest management for non-toxic solutions.
- Efficient Supplemental Heat: If adding a greenhouse heater, select propane or electric models with high-efficiency ratings to get the most heat for energy use. Insulate heaters fully from the soil and plants to direct warmth where needed most.
- Energy Monitoring: Install an energy monitor to track solar battery usage. Knowing exactly which devices consume the most power helps to prioritize efficiency opportunities for reduced energy demand.
- Buy Local Material: Source greenhouse construction materials from local suppliers to reduce emissions from long-distance transport. Use sustainably harvested timber or look for used greenhouse frames and components.
- Recycle Everything: Compost or recycle 100% of plant waste, soils and other greenhouse materials. Repurpose old containers and materials for tools and storage. Recycle all plastic nursery pots, trays, netting and greenhouse plastic film.
With smart passive design, solar backup power, and eco-friendly practices, greenhouses can meet our needs while respecting the planet. A holistic, sustainable approach makes the healthiest greenhouse for people, plants and the wider environment.
Solar battery backup empowers greenhouse owners to harness freely available sunlight for running their operations renewably and affordably. Portable solar generators provide the most practical way for small-scale greenhouses to shift to zero-emission off-grid power.
When paired with energy-efficient equipment and sustainable growing practices, solar batteries enable greenhouses to move well beyond "green" to become models of ecological responsibility. Solar backup batteries allow greenhouse hobbyists and urban farmers to lead the transition toward localized, distributed clean energy production.
The sun provides all the energy needed to sustain plant growth and run our greenhouses, completely independent of the fossil fuel-dominated utility grid. Reliable and economical solar battery systems are now readily available to store that abundant energy for 24/7 greenhouse use. With simple technologies, we can grow healthier food and communities in harmony with nature - all powered by the sun. The future looks bright for greenhouses to become greener than green!