How to Use the Ecotechnics Evolution CO2 Controller
This guide is only a brief summary of how to use this piece of technical equipment. Please read the supplied instructions before using it for the first time and ensure that ALL wiring / electrical work is performed by a fully competent person.
The Ecotechnics Controller has five inputs, into which other pieces of equipment will need to be wired. Position the unit so that it is face down on a flat surface and look at the four inputs on the lower side of the unit.
The first input on the left-hand side is the stat input. This can be used to connect an Ecotechnics Evolution Fan Speed Controller in order to lower or halt extraction during dosing according to the user's specifications.
The second input connects to the Ecotechnics CO2 Regulator or solenoid gas burner. The CO2 Regulator screws on to a gas cylinder, administering doses as prescribed by the Evolution Controller’s on-board computer. CO2 Regulators are available separately HERE.
The third input is the fan input. This is where standalone duct fans are to be wired when they are not already wired into a fan speed controller system.
The fourth input is the power input. This input is for supplying the controller itself with power.
The final input on the right-hand side is a smaller RJ 11 socket connector. This is used to connect the NDIR CO2 sensor. By connecting to CO2 sensors, which are separately available, you can regulate the CO2 dosages according to how much CO2 is actually present in the atmosphere, as detected by the sensor. Dosages can be regulated without a sensor by programming in your grow room size; however, using a separate sensor to help control dosages will ensure that levels sit consistently in the optimal zone.
Now flip the unit back over, so that you see its buttons and display screen. You’ll notice that the unit has only three buttons: ‘up’ and ‘down’ buttons and a ‘set’ button. The ‘set’ button is actually for scrolling through different setting options and the ‘up and ‘down’ buttons are then used to adjust the parameters.
You’ll need to set the volume of your grow area in cubic meters. In the instruction PDF, which can be found in the ‘attachment’ tab below, there’s a handy chart with the area figures for a list of popular sizes, though this can be worked out fairly easily by multiplying the length width and height of your grow area in meters.
Next, use the ‘set’ button to move onto the ‘CO2 Level’ screen and use the ‘up’ and ‘down’ buttons to choose your desired concentrations measured in parts per million (ppm). Note that ambient levels are between 300ppm and 400ppm. In the right conditions, plants can make good use of CO2 at levels between 1000ppm and 1500ppm. The Ecotechnics controller can tell the (separately available) CO2 regulator to administer dosages of up to 10,000ppm, though we recommend going no higher than 1600ppm. As is the case with so many issues related to successful growing, we recommend starting out at the lower end, reading your plants and working your way up.
Scrolling through the options using the ‘set’ button will take you through the options for gas sources and for gas flow rate in litres per minute. The CO2 regulator stocked we stock for the job has a preset flow rate of 17 lpm.
The next setting is the ‘CO2 Deadband’ or the level that CO2 in the atmosphere can drop to (as detected by the separately available sensor) before more CO2 is administered back to the target level. To clarify, the ‘CO2 Level’ setting determines the levels administered when dosing and the ‘CO2 Deadband’ setting determines the reading that levels in the atmosphere must drop to before a fresh dose is administered again. The lower the deadband setting, the longer your gas cylinders will last, though this comes at the expense of maintaining a consistent environment.
The ‘Day Setpoint’ feature allows you to stop dosing with CO2 during dark periods automatically, thanks to the light sensor on the front of the controller. Set the percentage at the level of light that you would like the grow area to drop down to before CO2 stops being dosed. For most indoor growers, exact percentages will not be significant as lighting is generally set using timers, turning on and off sharply without a gradual decrease in intensity. Note that, because the light sensor is on the unit itself, the unit must be inside the grow area to make use of this feature. It won’t work if, for example, you have it positioned outside a grow tent.
The remaining settings are related to fan cycles and will vary depending on how you decide to use the controller with your extraction system. For example, wiring a duct fan directly to the Ecotechnics Evolution CO2 controller will require different settings than when wiring to a fan speed controller. For a comprehensive breakdown, please consult the manual or the PDF in the attachments tab below.
Total load: 1500 watts
Power Consumption: 15 watts