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  1. #1
    cnx37
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    Solar Heating Systems in LOS

    I haven't observed much action in this area. Anyone have experience? Anyone have recommendations? Suppliers? Cost-Benefit Analysis?

  2. #2
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    rickschoppers's Avatar
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    You hit on the answer in your first comment. I have thought many times about solar energy, but in Thailand the electricity is so reasonable, there is not enough savings to make it work the effort. I will put up with the power outages and probably just wind up buying a gen set in the future.

    If anyone can show me a beneficial cost analysis, I am all ears.

  3. #3
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    We have a solar hot water heating system for the 2 bathrooms on the west end of the house. It came with the house, although they originally installed it on the north facing roof (Doh !!). I finally convinced them that putting it on the south facing roof will get it a little more sunshine.




    I've yet to really avail myself of it, as whenever I've been there, the "cold" water is just the right temperature for my shower. However, now that our water storage tank is actually covered by dirt (it's uncovered in this shot - the grey, dimpled tank on the right side of the house), I might actually need to use it. It does make very hot water. I had to flush it after we installed the water filters.

    I'm eventually planning on setting up a simple solar and wind generator system on our second lot. Will it save us tons of money ? No. But I work in the power generation business and I see it being more of a hobby and something to mess around with. We get plenty of sun and, often, a nice breeze.

    I'll put my son's BSEE skills to work to help design it, with the emphasis on using locally available stuff (such as deep-cycle batteries). Solar cells and wind generators will be sourced from eBay, if possible. The batteries will all be located in a shed on the second lot. An inverter will feed AC back to the house.

    It would be nice if I could generate enough power to allow me to operate one a/c unit during the day (for my office). Like I said, it will be a little hobby.


    Steve

  4. #4
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    Steve, if you are already in the business, what are your thoughts about using solar power in Thailand? It definitely makes sense in the US and our neighbors receive credit because they have an extensive solar system. I just do not see it being the same in Thailand.

    The main advantage would be during power outages, but the cash outlay is significant for a good system.

  5. #5
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    Dr Andy was knowledeable about this I spoke to him and like many decided hardly worth the green points

    Plus independance small footprint off grid when power cuts

    Cons Very poor workmanship
    Local jek stickies rarely invest in it in cloudy North
    Electricity so cheap as we onlu use arcon 100hrs a year and fans Apri-Sep here
    As others say tap water is often as hot as need by midday
    I still plan a back pipe roof gravity fed shower for the pool more as DIY puzzle than to save cash

    There are some knoledgeable helpful okkers on the other chanel
    All the gear is sold mass overproduction n China ccan price t all on Aliexpress

    One rider unless going native and prepred to have soley solar you'll have 2 ssystems pumps outlets heaters etc so few cost savings

    The few places it may pay off is eco gh where it is a marketabel plus and clients use lots of unmetered water the owner is billed for

    Unlike Oz chance of PEA paying producers here seems low they are busy planning a nuclear Siam,I hope I pass away before the waste management issues appear
    I used to have a job at a calendar factory.
    I got the sack because
    I took a couple of days off.

  6. #6
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    The main advantage would be during power outages,

    This can only be true if you have batteries.

  7. #7
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    Cost of solar power and batteries vs gen set and fuel for power outages?

    Not seeing the savings here in TL to make solar worthwhile.

  8. #8
    cnx37
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    I was curious more than anything - not really serious. Saw something on TV (I think).
    For now, for the next decade, count me out.
    There would need to be a real incentive for me to participate eg blackouts (no electricity is a factor in CNX.)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickschoppers View Post
    Steve, if you are already in the business, what are your thoughts about using solar power in Thailand? It definitely makes sense in the US and our neighbors receive credit because they have an extensive solar system. I just do not see it being the same in Thailand.

    The main advantage would be during power outages, but the cash outlay is significant for a good system.
    My thoughts ? LOL

    It's a nice part of the overall energy mix. Too many people think solar is the answer to all our energy needs, but don't understand how electric grids works. It's also not as dependable as conventional fossil fuel plants. And, as Germany has found out, it's very expensive.

    Solar and wind both have their drawbacks as well. I wouldn't throw all my stock in them.

    I've never looked into it here in the US, but not sure if I would do it, even with tax credits. You'd have to have a large amount of solar arrays, before breaking even.

    Like I said, in Thailand, it will be more of a hobby and something I'd like to play around with a little. We've got a large plot of land, where I can situate a mix of cheap wind generators and solar cells. They will be set up so that if one fails, it can be easily accessed, disconnected and replaced. Maybe the system will also supply my future man cave as well.

    I haven't experienced a power outage in Nakhom Pathom, yet, but it would be nice if the batteries can feed into the house to keep some fans going and maybe the fridge cold.

    A gas powered little gen set wouldn't hurt to have for emergencies.

    Steve

  10. #10
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    I know a guy who used to be one of the directors of Bangkok Solar - pretty big player. They are being decimated by cheap Chinese imports, he says this is the way to go.

    Certainly achievable, but the set up costs are rather expensive still so you would need to do it for reasons other than financial.

    In the mean time, get a generator. I bought this one

    Products

    Looked at the pricier Japanese ones, but I only used it for about 12-18 hours this year max, and just not worth it. I paid 8k baht for it, and it pumps out power to run most things we need.
    Originally Posted by bsnub "No wonder I drive a tesla"

  11. #11
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    OP, since you are in Chiang Mai, I'm surprised that you haven't seen the solar company on the superhighway. (left hand side as you are heading from the Chiang Rai Road towards Big C Extra. I think it's called ABO (not a joke).

    edit: I've found their website. http://www.abotrading.co.th/solar/

  12. #12
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    OT but another method not so common here is the reclamation of heat from A/C to transfer to hot water.

  13. #13
    cnx37
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    palexxxx - never seen the sign. Not really interested - more curiousity. You guys can take the lead. ABO - very native? Metho/cheap wine. In years to come, the whities may be following suit re alcohol consumption.

  14. #14
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    Use a low-power air-to-water heat-pump, powered by wind/solar panel -> battery -> inverter.

    I have some of my designs on yachts.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnx37 View Post
    I haven't observed much action in this area. Anyone have experience? Anyone have recommendations? Suppliers? Cost-Benefit Analysis?
    In 2008 I installed a solar hot water system in my house in Hua Hin. It was a European-style system, which I could «invisible» install on a flat roof. Our village regulations unfortunately don't allow other systems.

    So far, the system newer really worked and the support from the local dealer wasn't very good. After 2 years, the stainless steel tank leaked and I decided to remove the whole system.

    Everybody then recommended a simple system like from Solart, but the village regulations prohibited this.

    I changed then to an «indirect» solar heater: a air-water heat pump from Energy Master . This systems works fine since then.

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