Shots from Natural Heroes

Close up of a GH solar panel.

Row of solar panels on
GH factory roof.

Roof of GH manufacturing facility.

Close up of solar panel row on
GH facility.

Major underwriter of Natural Heroes

A new 13 episode series on PBS Winner of the 26th Annual Telly Award for Film/Video in the category of Nature/Wildlife!

Independent Filmmakers focus their lens on the natural world and the people that are making a difference for all of us. Do not miss this first national television series of independent films on the environment! All over the nation, ordinary citizens are finding ways to bring clean air and water back to their communities, preserve open spaces, protect endangered species, and ensure that their schools and neighborhoods are healthy. A host of independent filmmakers have created shorts, documentaries, and educational programs focused on world-changing individuals ó and our goal is to get these stories out to a national audience to inspire others to act.

Times and dates that Natural Heroes airs on PBS stations nationwide are available on the Natural Heroes web site. Click here to go to the Natural Heroes web site.

Hydro for Hunger major contributor
A continued support of hunger relief organizations

Hydro for Hunger is an initiative by participating independent hydroponic merchants in support of hunger relief organizations including the Institute for Simplified Hydroponics (ISH). ISH is a non- profit organization dedicated to reducing world hunger through the power of hydroponic gardening. Using interactive Internet-based training programs, the Institute for Simplified Hydroponics helps provide people in developing countries with the knowledge and tools to become self-sufficient through simple, small-scale hydroponic food production techniques. The goals of the ISH are achievable, and with assistance from you, the results could be revolutionary.

Solar Power, the power contributing to the future
Commitment to the environment

General Hydroponics has one of the largest solar power installations for manufacturing in Northern California. In August of 2004, GH installed a new 75KW solar array on our factory roof, which now provides roughly half of the electricity GH uses for manufacturing. General Hydroponics has the first Ballard Power Systems 85KW inverter in California, allowing us to sell power back to the utility company! This 1.2 million dollar installations but one example of how seriously we take our environmentalism. General Hydroponics is truly a green company, using not just the words but taking significant actions.

Solar Energy Basics
Sunlight- solar energy- can be used to generate electricity (now for hydroponic pumps, lights, ect), provide hot water, and to heat, cool, and light buildings.

Photovoltaic (solar cell) systems convert sunlight directly into electricity. A solar or PV cell consists of semi conducting material that absorbs the sunlight. The solar energy knocks electrons loose from their atoms, allowing the electrons to flow through the material to produce electricity. PV cells are typically combined into modules that hold about 40 cells. About 10 of these modules are mounted in PV arrays. PV arrays can be used to generate electricity for a single building or, in large numbers, for a power plant. A power plant can also use a concentrating solar power system, which uses the sun's heat to generate electricity. The sunlight is collected and focused with mirrors to create a high-intensity heat source. This heat source produces steam or mechanical power to run a generator that creates electricity

Solar water heating systems for buildings have two main parts: a solar collector and a storage tank. Typically, a flat plate collector- a thin, flat, rectangular box with a transparent cover- is mounted on the roof, facing the sun. The sun heats an absorber plate in the collector, which, in turn, heats the fluid running through tubes within the collector. To move the heated fluid between the collector and the storage tank, a system uses either a pump or gravity, as water has a tendency to naturally circulate as it is heated. Systems that use fluids other than water in the collector's tubes usually heat the water by passing it through a coil of tubing in the tank.

Many large commercial buildings can use solar collectors to provide more than just hot water. Solar process heating systems can be used to heat these buildings. A solar ventilation system can be used in cold climates to preheat air as it enters a building. Moreover, the heat from a solar collector can even be used to provide energy for cooling a building.

A solar collector is not always needed when using sunlight to heat a building. Some buildings can be designed for passive solar heating. These buildings usually have large, south-facing windows. Materials that absorb and store the sun's heat can be built into the sunlit floors and walls. The floors and walls will then heat up during the day and slowly release heat at night- a process called direct gain. Many of the passive solar heating design features also provide day lighting. Day lighting is simply the use of natural sunlight to brighten up a building's interior.

Conservation is the Number One Goal of Hydroponics

Hydroponics conserves land, water while offering a product that is higher in nutrition

Growing plants in nutrient solutions instead of soil draws growers to the sciences and technologies. It broadens and heightens their horizons, bringing them to concepts of the Space Age: feeding an ever-increasing world population, space travelers and space stations.

In the process, through hands-on experimentation, gardeners learn not only all phases of plant sciences, but also the basics of chemistry, physics, general biology, ecology, engineering, math and even computer science.

Hydroponic projects can easily be done in the home beginning with very simple and inexpensive materials. Low-cost systems can be bought for as little as $50. The diversity of available plant material, different growing systems, nutrient variations, and environmental changes, make hydroponic projects very flexible and can be expanded upon year after year.

Hydroponic techniques are not new, but have gained prominence because they hold promise of water conservation, reducing soil and water pollution and allowing high yield, high quality crop production in controlled environment. Thus, it helps overcome limitations imposed by Mother Nature.

Hydroponie, bioponie, système hydroponique, engrais, substrats, additifs

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