Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

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thorntonci
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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by thorntonci » Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:01 pm

I know this is a bit old but have you thought about having a bank of rechargeable batteries installed with an inverter. They can be kept charged through your mains power and then kick in when the power goes down. Depending on the size and number they should keep basic power for lights, fans, TV etc for a few hours. Doesn't save money but may help with the frustration.

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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by dundrillin » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:55 am

For breakdowns a petrol generator is your best bet in my opinion. A two ac/dc outlet can bet bought very cheaply,this can keep your freezer and computer/tv going till the power is restored. If you need more outlets then buy a bigger one. Solar power will soon be interesting for Thailand as both Tesla and Cambridge University say the have solved the battery storage problem. We'll see.

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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by buksida » Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:14 pm

Anyone got a rough idea what I'd need to power a PC using solar? It has a 650w power supply, the screen is about 30 watts, would need to be on for 12 hours per day, the battery can charge off mains over night.

Our local supply is terrible, outages, spikes and surges are a daily occurrence, its only a matter of time before the motherboard blows again.

Suggestions on suppliers and specs appreciated.
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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by hin » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:23 pm

You possibly also need a good automatic voltage regulator for your other stuff - TV, sound system, lap top & iPad chargers, etc. Evidently not available in Thailand, PM me - I will tell you where to get one. We had same problem, surges, spikes, outages. Cooked power supply on my Mac Book Pro and also the charging circuit inside the MBP. Then finally cooked our brand new 1000 Amp Hour UPS, cooked an unprotected TV, and smoked our automatic voltage regulator that I bought in Malaysia 12 years ago but did not hurt it and no harm to the TV it was protecting. I put a recording Fluke meter on our line to monitor voltage for 24 hours. Low as 206V, high as 167V. Phoned power company, came right out. checked voltage and it happened to be high in house and at meter, went away to check substation. Less than an hour later 2 big wheel muckity mucks with nice clothes and neck ties visited us, probably to smooth things over in case we might be irate or thinking about a serious complaint. They said their transformer was old and had gone bad and they were replacing it. We ordered 4 more AVRs from Malaysia, for other rooms in our house and one for mother in law. Thankfully no more wild surges and spikes after the new transformer but it is comforting to know our electronics are protected in case of some other problem or a nearby lightning strike - but nothing protects against a direct lightning hit.

I had total solar on my boat. Worked well but not cheap initially. Also had a windmill but the solar was efficient enuf that I didn’t install it.

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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by Nereus » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:24 pm

You need an inverter. 12 or 24 volts to 220 volts ac. Charge the battery(ies) however you want.

http://www.aimscorp.net/Thailand-Power- ... anels.html

Don't know about these bods:

http://solaris.co.th/en/
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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by buksida » Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:48 pm

Your power woes sound very familiar hin, I've got through countless UPS units and won't be buying another one.

Any idea how to calculate the spec of the system, some of the kit on those websites is serious money!
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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by hin » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:08 pm

Like Nereus said, your primary issue is an inverter and a battery bank with minimal solar or whatever charging method you choose because you will kick it with the grid.

Actually, if your outages are not long lasting you may only need batteries, an inverter, and a small but well regulated conventional 220 volt battery charger to keep the batteries floating. Capacity depends on how much you intend to hook onto your independent floating system and the duration of anticipated outages. And you will need to protect the 220v charger from the spikes and surges that are plaguing you.

The better inverters also serve as chargers and are designed for exactly the floating type of system you are probably hoping for. BUT you do need to protect the charger.

A worthwhile component would be a digital 12v amp hour meter that measures how much you are taking out of your batteries and how much is being put back. It eliminates the guess work so can extend the life of the batteries by alerting you if you are cycling too deeply.

So in summery, if outages are only short duration probably all you need is a battery bank, an inverter/charger, and an automatic voltage regulator to protect the charger. Essentially a large self assembled UPS. A 12v amp hour meter would be especially helpful but not completely necessary if you have a good digital volt meter to monitor precise state of charge of your batteries so you can adjust your usage accordingly.

I have been away from that stuff for a long time but a good source for that kind of info used to be: http://www.homepower.com/

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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by Nereus » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:26 am

Its the old story of: "you cannot get something for nothing!" For costs you have to take into account of what it is worth to you. Go on replacing burnt up equipment, or buy some insurance by way of keeping expensive items off the grid.

One major cost is the batteries. To have any sort of life out of the batteries you need to use "deep cycle" type.
They can cost around 10k to 12k Baht or more, for a minimum size 12 volt 80 to 100 Ah unit. Depending on the size and load of the inverter you may have to have up to 10 of them, but less will just mean a smaller usage time.

The efficiency of both the inverter and the load needs to be carefully considered. Inductive type loads can mean what is termed "power factor", being as low as 0.40. Basically means that your inverter has to be able to supply a lot more watts than what appears on the name plate of the appliance. The inverter itself may also have only 50% efficiency if partly loaded.

Rather than clog this thread up, I will add a couple of links that have some good info.

http://www.solar-facts.com/

http://www.powerinverters.org/pages/Inverter-FAQs.html
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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by Nereus » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:25 am

Here is another website with prices:

http://www.thaisolarmarket.com/shop/3k- ... 12v-100ah/

Some of the electric golf carts have to change their batteries out regularly. It may be possible to track down some used ones, as they will probably be still good enough to use as storage batteries.
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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by buksida » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:40 am

Thanks for the feedback - had a feeling this would be expensive. I had hoped an inverter and battery for one computer only would't cost the earth. I thought of starting small and gradually building the system up. It probably is cheaper to buy another PC for backup and clone the hard drive ... or just keep replacing motherboards, power supplies and graphics cards. :roll:

The outages are about 2 hours a time, this happens when the transformer explodes - which is about twice a week, you get an almighty bang which sends a huge surge down the line and trips all of my breakers (which thankfully have protected many of the household devices - but not all of them). The computers just shut down instantly as the UPS is also fried.

In addition we get brownouts, spikes and cutouts which can last a second or a minute - this happens a few times a day. Will check those links out, thanks.
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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by STEVE G » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:56 pm

If you Google " homemade computer battery backup" there are a whole lot of ideas that range from the potentially lethal to some that look quite professional. They basically combine batteries with a charger and inverter and shouldn't cost too much depending on how good a battery you use.

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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by PeteC » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:40 am

The below link may be a bit extreme, but worth reading I guess for ideas. Pete :cheers:

http://thehomesteadsurvival.com/off-gri ... ity-needs/
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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by malcolminthemiddle » Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:29 am

The 5kw grid-tie + battery back up is the option we have chosen.
Inverter Solar Hybrid 5KW.jpg
Inverter Solar Hybrid 5KW.jpg (22.2 KiB) Viewed 455 times

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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by Nereus » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:43 am

The 5kw grid-tie + battery back up is the option we have chosen.
Tell us more. As far as I recall a grid-tie inverter needs to be connected to the grid, as that is where it gets its reference from. A solar set up with battery is completely isolated from the grid.

Until this country joins the rest of the world, as far as I know private house type solar systems cannot be connected to the grid.
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Re: Solar power setup for your home in Thailand

Post by Nereus » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:20 pm

Here are some marine type inverters. Good quality components, and maybe a bit cheaper than some of the others. Not all of them shown as being in stock, but I am sure they would soon get one on order. These are pure sine wave, so suitable for computers, although I would opt for the 500 watt unit.

http://www.asap-marine.com/shop_by_cata ... -2014-2232
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