Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

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buksida
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Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by buksida » Wed May 22, 2013 1:03 pm

poosmate wrote:Why not promote solar power in homes with excess/unusable able to be fed back into the grid?
Maybe too easy?
Solar panels and associated equipment is not so expensive as in the past and the system is widely used in Europe including the UK-Famous for its year round sunshine.
Taking this quote from the blackout thread, I thought I'd start a new one since I am interested in solar for our home.

The power supply is pretty shocking (scuse the pun) where we live, we get regular blackouts and I have a nice collection of fried appliances (see viewtopic.php?f=10&t=22417).

Edit: I have also noticed our bill has almost doubled since the start of this year - so electricity in Thailand is not getting cheaper!

So I am interested in solar however from what I have read it is neither cheap, nor practical to have a system that generates enough juice to keep most things running in a typical household.

Does anyone have solar installed, if so what were the costs, savings, how much power do you get, did you have to re-wire the house?

Be nice to have a dedicated thread on this for the purposes of research and information ...
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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by BOZ » Wed May 22, 2013 1:10 pm

I would be very interested in looking into solar.... In the states, homes systems produce more electric then on home can consume, so a surplus is available to a grid... Would love to power my home a run my aircon when ever I want (always) with no worries of additional cost...
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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by bsdk1960 » Wed May 22, 2013 1:11 pm

I agree,could never understand why a country with so much sun not have more solar energi,but I suppose theres
to many inerests in keeping it the ways it is.
Hopefullyin a few years ill start build a new house on our land and hope at that time we can use solar and wind power but who now.

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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by poosmate » Wed May 22, 2013 1:20 pm

Major problem is not being able to store excess electricity without batteries and control systems. For the system to be cost efficient it must be able to sell excess to the electric company - effectively getting them to store it for you and selling it back when needed.
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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by Dannie Boy » Wed May 22, 2013 1:38 pm

A few years back a guy who was finishing my house was into solar power and installing systems as far away as Koh Samui, but when I spoke to him about the economics he told me that for water the payback wasn't too bad, maybe about 4 years, but for powering a house with ac, it would take about 12 years - as others have said, partly because there is no mechanism for selling any excess electricity to the grid. Of course the cost of installation could come down and make it more affordable (shorter payback period) in which case I'm sure there would be a lot of interest.

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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by STEVE G » Wed May 22, 2013 2:07 pm

....for powering a house with ac, it would take about 12 years
I would consider that, I have more than 12 years until I retire and I don't intend building another house so the idea of having free electricity in my retirement would be attractive. Any idea of the cost of installation?

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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by Dannie Boy » Wed May 22, 2013 2:26 pm

STEVE G wrote:
....for powering a house with ac, it would take about 12 years
I would consider that, I have more than 12 years until I retire and I don't intend building another house so the idea of having free electricity in my retirement would be attractive. Any idea of the cost of installation?
We didn't get that far or if we did, I don't recall how much the cost was. I will try and find out if the guy is still based in HH - before he was living with a Thai woman who were jointly doing refurbishment work on houses but have now split up, I know she is still here but not sure about him.

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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by buksida » Wed May 22, 2013 2:38 pm

PM me the details if you can dig them out - I'd certainly be interested in a quote for an installation.

Realise I cant power the whole house but it would be nice to have a backup to keep the computer, a couple of fans, and the fridge on. We have our own water source so self-sufficiency on the power front is definitely something for the future.
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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by Dannie Boy » Wed May 22, 2013 2:48 pm

buksida wrote:PM me the details if you can dig them out - I'd certainly be interested in a quote for an installation.

Realise I cant power the whole house but it would be nice to have a backup to keep the computer, a couple of fans, and the fridge on. We have our own water source so self-sufficiency on the power front is definitely something for the future.
Sorry buksida, but my wife just phoned the Thai woman and she doesn't have any contact with her former partner, even though she believes he is still in HH. Not sure if I will be able to track him down, but if I do then I will pm you for sure. :cheers:

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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by barrys » Wed May 22, 2013 5:08 pm

The problem with home-produced solar energy is, as already mentioned, that you cannot (yet) sell it back into the grid and cannot use it directly to power appliances - it has to be stored, e.g. in batteries, normally 12 volt blocks.
As most people's appliances are 220/240 volt, you will then need an inverter, which itself consumes energy. So it would obviously be better to have 12 volt appliances, but they tend to be much more expensive.
As far as running air-cons from stored energy is concerned, it's hardly a goer since the units consume anything from 1.5 to 3.5 KW/h as opposed to only around 100 watts/h for a ceiling fan.

The key here is not energy production but energy conservation.
This has to start with insulation of the entire house and passive solar measures from the outset: e.g.
1. New Cool-type roof with white reflective tiles, 21 baht each compared with 16 baht for non-reflective, so only around 10k baht more expensive for a 200 m2 home (the manufacturers claim reflective values of up to 85% and 30% reduction in air-con consumption for this measure alone).
2. Roof space ventilation is also essential, i.e. slats to allow updraft under the eaves and vents in the gables to promote air circulation.
3. Reflective insulation on top of ceiling boards.
4. Wall insulation, e.g. by creating a second skin with a cavity and/or keeping direct sunlight off walls and windows.
5. House raised above the ground approx. 90 cm to also allow air circulation from below.
6. Facing the house in the right direction, taking account of the path of the sun and prevailing breezes.

Using LED lights also reduces consumption considerably and these could then easily be run from stored solar energy.

It would be feasible to run a small solar system for lighting, fridge, computer, TV, hifi, fans and other low-consumption devices.
This could comprise, for example, 6-10 solar panels, 4 banks of 12 v batteries, an inverter, charge controller, switches and wiring.
Ball-park cost estimate for purchase and installation of such a system is around 200-250k baht.
This would obviously be very useful as a back-up system but could also be used on a permanent basis.

We are presently building such a system for ourselves, which will be used to charge our 2 electric cars, 1 electric motorbike and then our storage batteries for the in-house purposes mentioned above.

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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by buksida » Wed May 22, 2013 6:25 pm

250k - holy power surge Batman ... at our current rate of consumption that would take 13 years until it paid for itself if we never paid another electric bill. :shock:

No wonder people don't use solar energy here! Fancy bricks and roof tiles are good in theory but when you have kids that leave anything with a switch on it all becomes academic!

I still like the idea of a very basic system to keep fridges, computer, fans, lights running when we're blacked out - but if those are the costs then I can live with the darkness!
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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by Dannie Boy » Wed May 22, 2013 6:46 pm

buksida wrote:250k - holy power surge Batman ... at our current rate of consumption that would take 13 years until it paid for itself if we never paid another electric bill. :shock:

No wonder people don't use solar energy here! Fancy bricks and roof tiles are good in theory but when you have kids that leave anything with a switch on it all becomes academic!

I still like the idea of a very basic system to keep fridges, computer, fans, lights running when we're blacked out - but if those are the costs then I can live with the darkness!
Or maybe a petrol generator?

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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by Bristolian » Wed May 22, 2013 7:04 pm

I know that this is a solar power thread but has anyone considered geo-thermal power. The temp difference between ground and several metres deep should be enough and the temperature difference is constant day and night giving constant generation potential. An electrical boffin friend of mine says that it is possible, inexpensive, maintenance free and easy to do. Of course it needs to be a house with space around to bury the pipes. Does anyone know if my boffin friend is on the right track. Basically pipe work radiators buried around the house with heat exchangers and pump???
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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by StevePIraq » Wed May 22, 2013 10:29 pm

There is absolutely no justifiable reason for domestic solar power in Thailand, the cost of electricity is so low compared to Europe that the pay back term is totally unrealistic unless of course one lives in a remote area where your initial connection cost is high, then it is worth considering. Even in Europe the pay back period with reverse selling to the utility is in excess of five years and solar panels still do not have a long life span. it just is not worth it.
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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by STEVE G » Thu May 23, 2013 4:04 am

.....and solar panels still do not have a long life span. it just is not worth it.
There are solar panels for sale that guarantee 80% output after 25 years so if you consider what the cost of electricity might be in Thailand in 25 years time with the present rate of inflation, it might well be worth it in the long term.

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