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Thread: Solar panels

  1. #1
    Fag an bealac!
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    Solar panels

    Someone was telling me that new homes being built here(Ireland) have to have some form of alternitive energy scource in the near future.

    Does anyone know anything about solar roof tiles, what they cost in Thailand/china and would it be worth importing some to sell, also what is involved in installing them?

  2. #2
    watterinja
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    An odd thing over here seems to be that the locals seem to prefer sploshing with cold water, to taking a cleansing, warm shower. When I first landed here I also enquired as to why folks were not using solar systems. Seems there is little, or no interest. Strange, in my view.

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    because they are bloody expensive!!

    the cheapest solar water heater is B30K, which would be a few months salary for most Thais

    any hot water system is expensive for most people, even a shower heater

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    For alternative power generation, solar isn't quite cheap enough to make it a viable alternative for single house purposes.

    The cost of replacing the storage batteries every 3 years or so and the panels (10-15 years?) compared to the (relatively) cheap cost of power here means it doesnt make financial sense.

    Once there's a further breakthrough in panel and storage technology hopefully that will change. Although at that point I expect them to be banned in Thailand by EGAT
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  5. #5
    watterinja
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    You know, the cost aspect is not really an issue, if there is a will - for a solar water heater, that is.

    My Dad & I built a simple unit when I was a kid. Copper pipes bolted to a rear metal panel - painted black & installed in a wooden box, with a glass/perspex cover - piped up with simple tubing to a storage tank.

    It was cheap & gave enough hot water for a family of 3 people. It cut our electricity bill by something like 30 - 40%, if I remember correctly.

    The total cost in those days would probably have been less than THB 5000 equivalent - if even that.

  6. #6
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    Seems you could snake pvc pipe back and forth on a roof to generate hot water. Installation probably not suited for a tile roof though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by attaboy
    Seems you could snake pvc pipe back and forth on a roof to generate hot water.
    The sun and heat generated destroys the pipe and joints.

    Solar water heaters are easy to make though as waterninja has pointed out, the Uk houses already have hot water insulated storage tanks, so all you would need is the water heater solar panels made up and shipped and a small pump and thermostat.

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    ^oh yeah, uv rays. Forgot about that. Even schedule 80 pipe would get brittle eventually.

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    Here's one I made on Saipan to replace a commercial one that lasted about 20 years:


    I just made a manifold out of black ABS pipe.


    This is the one it replaced.


    Here it is on the roof all hooked up. Worked fine, but no hot water until the sun was up for an hour or so.

    The CPVC water pipe you see on the roof has been there for nearly 30 years. No sun damage at all to either the pipe or the joints.

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    so do you think i could make money importing solar stuff to Ireland?

  11. #11
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    Maybe could, but seems if there was a profit in it that someone would already be doing it, check around and see whats available and what it would cost you to do it and pencil it out, you are a smart guy, should not take much to do it.

    I have a friend that started buying batterys from Phone companys, going to get them and selling them and other stuff from his home, now he has a large shop in Bonners Ferry Idaho and is a fairly large business, makes some money but works a few hours also, same as any business.

    He has a very informational web site, check it out and maybe get some ideas, North west energy storage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbil
    The cost of replacing the storage batteries every 3 years or so and the panels (10-15 years?) compared to the (relatively) cheap cost of power here means it doesnt make financial sense.
    I've always thought that even if they used a direct system that supplimented the mains electricity (rather than being stored for later use) it would be of great benefit.

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    ^ The cost would be very high for a minimal amount of electricity at grid voltages running directly to the grid.

    One panel for 35 Volts and 170 watts [4.8 amps] is about $800 US. and to get them up to 220 V. would take about 6 panels, and that is only about enough juice to run a large color TV.
    And with cheaper panels it would cost about $600 US. for 17 V. so would be 12 panels to come up to line voltages. and that is only during the sunny part of the day.

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    If Thailand had insisted that all new buildings had solar roof panels to assist the normal power supply, I think the cost of solar panels would plummet.

    I believe solar panels are actually limited in supply by the Thai morons, err, I mean government. I think this was mentioned in the other thread that covers the exact same topic.

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    The prices I quote were from my friends site in the US. and there is a fair market for them there and every year they go up but the quality of the panes also goes up.
    I do not think that they will ever be what we would consider cheap.

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    there seems to be some confusion in the term "solar panels"

    One is the Solar hot water panels, the other is the solar power generating panel

    the former is relatively easy to make, although copper prices are making them more expensive

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    Normally speaking "Panels" are in ref to solar photovoltic panels,, and solar water heaters are never refered to as "Panels" but solar heaters. Except by the very novice speaker.

    and with the solar heater coils inside a sealed black interior box with a sealed glass lid [which would be a solar oven] you can get a max temp of 350 deg, F. so infact you can boil water. you can also bake bread in them.

  18. #18
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    wonderful

    it seems there are a lot of posters who are very novice above, about 50% it seems

  19. #19
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    Panels are a series of small mini volt cells hooked together in series to make what ever voltage you want, then those are run in parallel to get what ever watts that are requited for that panel.
    Then any number of those panels are ran in parallel to put what ever watts you want to put into your storage bank.

    Heaters are just a series of tubes hooked together.
    Home Mart here in Phetchabun sells the solar water heaters at their shop.

    But solar usage is a newer thing and the correct nomenclature is also strange to the newer users.

  20. #20
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    hi all newbie here
    lots of tv,s /radios have a transformer inside that steps the voltage down from mains supply to either 12volts d/c or 24 vdc
    if you hitch the leads from a photo/v/cell of the correct voltage and enough power (watts) directly to the output side of the tranny it will work ok
    even better, include a car battery as a storage resource
    i saw this done in the dom republic

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