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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat

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    Blackouts and darkness

    Hi everyone

    I want to ask a question that someone might be able to help with practical advice on houses.

    Is there anyone using a back up supply like an lpg generator, or solar or other way of providing power whilst black outs happen. Normakly black outs happen for no longer than an hour 1-3 a month in rainy season. Less in dry season.
    We have a house that has no air con, fans, 2 fridges, lcd tvs, all lights are led some 12v.

    My main thoughts are that some lights and power are needed for comfort and security.

    We have a large plot of land and to finish i will add i have looked into biomass generation and solar and would prefer this solution for ideas to extend to fully operational systems in the future. Im not interested in the idea that solar is not economical. I am interested in if i chose this method how would i do it correctly?

    I understand that for black outs which normally happen at night, can solar achieve lights and some power for an hour or more?

    I would also like to know if anyone has solar hot water and does these keep water hot at night so long after the sun has gone down? I know it might seem obvious but i just want a practical clear answer.

    Thanks

    Ben
    im hot its so hot today.......milk was a bad choice!

  2. #2
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    pseudolus's Avatar
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    For my current house I bought a 3kw generator that I snap on if the power is out for more than 10 minutes. I use it to run fans, lights, internet, TV.

    Quote Originally Posted by benlovesnuk
    biomass generation
    In the new house, we are going this route but only to power a central aircon (lpg converted aircon unit). I did consider using the gas for power as well, but decided against it for various reasons, not least because I did not want something else chuntering all day, and power outages are so rare for us, its simply not necessary. With aircon out off of the system, solar could easily take the place for most of our usages, except for the oven.
    Originally Posted by bsnub "No wonder I drive a tesla"

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    You want one of these.

    Or a couple of these

  4. #4
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    I do not know if this helps, I met an American who lives in Cambodia and has made his home there, the village he lives in has no electricity, so he installed solar panels that converted the suns energy into electricity.
    It is being done all over the U.K, and our sunshine is not all that bright, yet solar panels are generating electricity in grey skies here.

  5. #5
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    We have a 12 volt buss through the house and have a few LED lights connected to it. Used it several times last month as we had some rocking thunderstorms that kept knocking the power out. We have used more than 6 hours of light from a motorcycle battery that is always on trickle charge. Have been meaning to buy a 12 volt cooling fan to put by the bed for a little air movement. You could certainly use a solar panel to keep a battery charged, but a trickle charger uses so little power that I don't think the economics make sense.
    Press On Regardless

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat terp80's Avatar
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    Question

    Good subject! I have been thinking about it too. I would like to have alternate power for the fridge and one or two plugs on each of 2 levels (floors) in my new house. Any suggestions of things I need to do now - conduit/prewire, etc.? No electrics have been run yet, but will be soon. See: http://teakdoor.com/construction-in-thailand/127055-newbie-build-chiang-mai-don-kaew-20.html#post2787723

    Thanks, Terp

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terp80
    I would like to have alternate power for the fridge
    Never had a problem with the fridge due to power failures even if it's off for hours. If I was doing a new build I'd install a back up lighting system that could run on an inverter.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat terp80's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by terp80 I would like to have alternate power for the fridge Never had a problem with the fridge due to power failures even if it's off for hours. If I was doing a new build I'd install a back up lighting system that could run on an inverter.
    Thanks Pragmatic. I was thinking about when I lose power at my TH in Maryland due to storms. Sometimes out for days at a time - and always when it was either extremely hot or extremely cold.

    Right, a few hours no prob with the fridge. I'll get with my a/b about putting in an inverter backup system. Thanks again.

  9. #9
    Lord of Swine
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    You don;t want to hear it, but unless you are knowledgable and skilled enough to assemble and maintain a solar/deep cycle battery setup yourself, it will be expensive.

    There are plenty of solar, off grid forums that can teach you how to do that.
    I just went and spent 10k baht on a chinese genset instead. 3kw is enough to run most of the house.

  10. #10
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    Candles in safe lamps ...... and Necron's 10 000 Baht generator sound like more than enough .And candlelight is so pleasant !



    Wasp

  11. #11
    Member Drainpipe's Avatar
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    yes, candles or gas lights!

    Quote Originally Posted by benlovesnuk
    I would also like to know if anyone has solar hot water and does these keep water hot at night so long after the sun has gone down?
    of course they do, they have an insulated hot water tank

    depending on the make, they can keep the water warm for a couple of days. Of course, as the water temperature goes down, then the water stays warmer longer (differential temps).

  12. #12
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    We have a solar hot water system for the 2 west end bathrooms of the house. The water is so hot, we barely use any.
    I'm also planning on setting up a solar & wind station, using deep cell batteries. We have a nice chunk of land for it.
    Steve

  13. #13
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    Hi

    Thank you to everyones comments. I understand most of everyones points, as I mentiioned Im not as interested in pricing or economy but simply practical advice which Ive got so thanks everyone.

    Im interested in the genset, the biomass generator and solar pv.

    Please feel free to add some more comments.

    I will explain further our situation. We are at the end of the power line and there is a business in between that should be using 3 phase but isnt. This was causing issues, although less now. Howeverit made me think about alternative methods. Our electric currently costs 50 badt a month however, initial costs or payback are not my concern. I realise if proper deep cycle batteries are used there is an expense but the can kast upto 25 years.
    Initially im looking at a back up system tieing in the mains but looking to experiment with idea of full dependance with mains back up for the future. By this I mean start buyimg panels and then adding as and when.
    As I mentioned we dont have aircon or an oven but if we got these I would maybe use these on a tied power grid system. I know that seems a bit complicated but this is why I wanted to flesh it out with you chaps.

    Necron99 - you make an interesting point, I understand your premise that they can be high maintenaince, I dont quite believe its beyond my power of understanding, but appreciate your honest opinion. I wonder if you would mind explaining further your point about the genset.

    Thanks guys any more for any more?

  14. #14
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    Hi

    I just checked out the genset, I would only really consider a biomass generator, or similarly lpg.

    However clean, quiet and hobbyist is where im thinking of going with the pv's.

    I am happy to spend some money at the same timeI think some diy is good to understand whats what, whether thats buying the equipment to then getting someone to fix it properly. Does anyone know if PEA have people who do this?

    Once again thank you for looking

  15. #15
    Lord of Swine
    Necron99's Avatar
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    If your main aim is being off grid or some type of self sufficient, by all means look at options.
    The reality here is that leckie is cheap, particularly of you are not air con mad.

    Our power goes out about once a month for 3 to 8 hours.
    A tiger brand 3kw genset is wired to 4 special power points and is enough to run lights, fridge, fans and tv/computer during the day and aircon at night if needed.
    About 10k with a thai warrantee and the no leckie problem is solved.

    Payback in time, investment and other costs for a green alternative is just not viable yet imho.


    As to solar heaters, if you get a solarheart or similar in LOS it is massive overkill unless you need piping hot on demand for 5 or more people.
    A few thousand baht on black pipe array on your roof and an insulated barrel with heat driven circulation should cover it in the tropics..

  16. #16
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    Necron99 - Thank you I appreciate your ideas and understanding of the subject.

    I understand your points and the reason for not wanting to invest in this yourself, however both options you mention are not a consideration for me. I have a traditional wood house the idea of a black metal tank anywhere does not really fit in as it has to be exposed.

    I appreciate the point about costs but again I will say again this is less my concern to function, aesthetics and longevity or sustainability.

    I myself dont want a generator rattling on, Although an lpg or biomass generator seem to make less noise and smoke I believe.

    As I mentioned I pay very little for electric, it is not a cost issue but a security and confort issue, coupled with quiet and clean.

    Thank you again for your input and time for looking at the thread.

  17. #17
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    Albert Shagnastier's Avatar
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    Koh Phayam.

    This little island will be very big in the future.

    2 hours from Ranong on the Andaman coast.

    They are not on the grid and generators were the norm in the past. Now, due to technology and manufacturing progression (price effect), some places use solar 100% (not so many) and some use solar/generator hybrids (most).

    Great little island.

    Take a trip down there and have a chat with the locals. You'll find your solution and have a great holiday at the same time.

    Now who can say fairer than that

  18. #18
    Lord of Swine
    Necron99's Avatar
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    If cost isn't an issue pay 50k for a honda and you will have trouble hearing it run if you sat beside it......

  19. #19
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    Albert Shagnastier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99
    If cost isn't an issue pay 50k for a honda and you will have trouble hearing it run if you sat beside it......
    True.

    Gasohol, LPG and NG.

    All produced in Thailand (no need for import) and all cheap.

    Coupled with super efficient Japanese engine technology (given freely and untaxed as part of the international business agreements between Thailand and Japan) - it's looking good for the future

    As a side. Tether your desktop to your mobile connection these days. Fixed line monthly internet fees are rapidly going the same way as the dead sea scrolls Vs. email.
    Last edited by Albert Shagnastier; 30-05-2014 at 11:45 PM.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for that do you have any info on the model youre talking about?

    And housing information?

    Thanks

  21. #21
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    Yachts have been using alternative energy production for a long time now from wind, water and sun. The heart of the system is usually a large 3-4,000 watt inverter, capable of running freezers, fridges, microwaves and washing machines etc. and coupled to a large capacity battery bank. Deep cycle batteries of the gel or mat type are expensive and don't last a great deal longer than ordinary lead/acid batteries in the tropics. The latest technology uses the Lithium/Ion battery which is more compact, capable of deeper cycling and lasts up to 20,000 cycles (probably about 20 years).
    Check out this Octopus Electrical Phuket Thailand

  22. #22
    TD Fat Club VP Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benlovesnuk
    Normakly black outs happen for no longer than an hour 1-3 a month
    A good excuse to piss off down the boozer

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by benlovesnuk View Post
    Hi everyone

    I want to ask a question that someone might be able to help with practical advice on houses.

    Is there anyone using a back up supply like an lpg generator, or solar or other way of providing power whilst black outs happen. Normakly black outs happen for no longer than an hour 1-3 a month in rainy season. Less in dry season.
    We have a house that has no air con, fans, 2 fridges, lcd tvs, all lights are led some 12v.

    My main thoughts are that some lights and power are needed for comfort and security.

    We have a large plot of land and to finish i will add i have looked into biomass generation and solar and would prefer this solution for ideas to extend to fully operational systems in the future. Im not interested in the idea that solar is not economical. I am interested in if i chose this method how would i do it correctly?

    I understand that for black outs which normally happen at night, can solar achieve lights and some power for an hour or more?

    I would also like to know if anyone has solar hot water and does these keep water hot at night so long after the sun has gone down? I know it might seem obvious but i just want a practical clear answer.

    Thanks

    Ben
    Well solar is pretty effective for sure..Even I have installed solar panels on roof and power bill is down..

  24. #24
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    If the intention is just to overbridge the blackout time, a simple movable Honda for a few thousands is a best solution. Can be used also temporarily in a remote place instead of pulling a long cable.

    All the other "alternative" sources need quite a high investment that can be only recovered after a long term (everyday) usage. And that beside of a need of a certain technical knowledge how to maintain it. Also the lifetime of the batteries is to be considered.

    One thing is to be carefully regarded: Prior to connection of any backup system to the main board of the house installation, the main incomer from the city system has to be disconnected. And vice versa when the net comes back. A proper supervision of the net voltage (by a lamp if not by a simple V-meter) should be installed to know when the power supply is restored.

  25. #25
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    ^

    Oh come on ! Let's have some fun and parallel 90 degrees out of phase !!!

    What could possibly go wrong ?



    Steve

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