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UV Ozone Generators vs. Corona Discharge Ozone Generators - Which is Best for Hydroponics?

For home and hobbyist gardeners that use Hydroponics for indoor gardening, it is important to properly cleanse the air of plant, reservoir and mildew odors. Installing an ozone generator will eliminate these odors in your grow room. With all of the choices available, which one will work the best and be the right choice for your odor solution?

There are two main types of ozone air generator products which will actually eliminate odor; ultraviolet (UV) and corona discharge (CD) ozone generators. There are similarities between each, but they have some fundamental differences that are important for potential buyers to consider. The following paragraphs will further outline UV ozone generator and corona discharge ozone generator information and some positive points to look for when buying an ozone air generator.

UV ozone generators create ozone similarly to how it is created in the upper atmosphere. When air is passed over the UV lamp, the oxygen molecules are split apart into single oxygen atoms. The single atoms naturally try to seek stability and do so by bonding with other oxygen molecules to form ozone. The UV rids the air of contaminants by rupturing the cells of the organisms. A UV ozone generator is very effective at creating ozone and purifying the air for good growing conditions, eliminating odor, killing bacteria and controlling fungus and mold when properly used. The UV is also effective at deterring spider mites and other airborne pathogens that can inhibit or harm Hydroponics plant growth. One of the most powerful UV ozone generator products is the Big Blue, which produces ozone at 750 to nearly 4,000 mg/hr, depending on the size of the unit you purchase.

By contrast, corona discharge ozone generators, such as an Air Maid, create ozone similar to how it is created in lightening. These CD ozone generators create an electrical field or corona over a dielectric surface. When dry air passes through the corona, the oxygen molecules split apart into single atoms and then seek to group into stable groups of ozone in the same way described previously. Corona discharge ozone generators come in three different types based on frequency. Low frequency generators are between 50 and 100 Hz, medium frequencies range between 100 and 1,000 Hz, and high frequencies are over 1,000 Hz. The higher frequency generators are generally more efficient and reliable.

Potential buyers should be aware of three things before deciding to buy a CD ozone  generator. First, the air must be dry, less than 10% humidity, for corona discharge ozone to be efficient. As relative humidity increases, ozone output decreases. This can pose problems in a Hydroponics grow room. Also, care needs to be taken when in your grow room considering the electric arc used by produce the ozone. Make sure that the area you are standing in is free of water when you maintain your Corona Discharge ozone generator weekly. Second, 85%-90% of the electricity used to generate ozone also generates heat, so steps must be taken to remove excess heat. Third, corona discharge ozone creates Nitric Acid, which is very corrosive to internal parts, can cause premature failure, and significantly increases the frequency of maintenance to keep the unit clean and running properly.

When you are choosing an ozone air generator, you will want to find one that works effectively in a variety of environments and does not require too much maintenance or hassle. A UV ozone generator does not create any nitrogen oxides (Nitric Acid), which is common with CD ozone generators. Humidity does not affect the output of ozone in UV ozone generators, which is a great feature since Hydroponics grow rooms naturally become humid and warm. Further, a UV ozone generator requires very little maintenance, usually only requiring the bulbs to be wiped down after each growing season, or every 6 months. The Corona Discharge ozone generator should be wiped down weekly to ensure full and proper performance.

Obviously, each Hydroponics gardener has their preference for odor control. I personally do not have time to deal with weekly maintenance of my ozone generator, and compensate for the humidity and heat in my grow room. So my preference is the Big Blue UV Ozone Generator. It's lightweight, 100% effective, works great in humid Hydroponics grow rooms, and I only have to wipe the UV bulbs twice a year. It's also easy to install, safe to use, and I also use it to sterilize the grow room at the end of each plant cycle.

With so many benefits and ease of use, you owe it to yourself and your Hydroponics grow room to seriously consider purchasing a UV ozone generator instead of a Corona Discharge ozone generator.

About the Author

Marcia Price is a specialist in Hydroponic Systems and Big Blue Ozone Generators. Removing plant odor is a must in an indoor grow room. Big Blue is the most powerful and efficient plant odor eliminator on the market, with multiple UV lamps and settings to stop odor in stages. To purchase a Big Blue UV Ozone Generator from 4" to 12", visit Natures Hydroponics.

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