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  1. #1
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    Mr Earl's Avatar
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    Photovoltaic availability?

    Are there any manufacturers or distributors of solar panels up in Bangkok?

    I'm building a simple off the grid house and want a fan and a couple of lights.

    I figure I can make my own system with a single solar panel, car batteries and a power inverter. I want to make it as cheaply as possible.

  2. #2
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    This one is in Hua-Hin
    Solar Energy Asia


    The inverter will cost you 10-20% of your stored energy
    Could you use 12v lights and fans ?

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    Most things like clocks and such will run off of 12V without much trouble, Fans do come in 12V and are used especially where you have a bypass on your regulator on your battery bank to use bypassed current when batts are full, and 12V lights are easy to make and some nice fancy ones are sold.
    But you have to be sure to use heavy enough wire as it takes about 10X the size that it does to run 120V and 20X as big as 220V.

  4. #4
    Love Thailand Carnwadrick's Avatar
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    How about solar power for the well pump how will that work.do you have to use a special pump..different motor from the norm..I don't know shit about mechanics or electric but would like to save on electric bills

  5. #5
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackgang
    But you have to be sure to use heavy enough wire as it takes about 10X the size that it does to run 120V and 20X as big as 220V.
    I would go for 12v strip lights which are 1A each or maybe LED lighting.
    That would keep the wiring down to smaller sizes.
    A 100w incandescent would discharge a car battery in a few hours

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    blackgang's Avatar
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    On 1 I used all 12V and had like 12v tail lite auto bulbs and they were OK for reading, but then they came up with a company called Alpinlites, some were bulb and some were florescent, that we used on boats and in low voltage cabins and they were nice, but on my second cabin I had a very large bank of batterys, 2000 AH bank, and a 600 W. converter and ran 120V 15 and 24 W fluorescent bulbs and that was the best I have had, infact the same bulbs we use here except a different voltage.
    And there I had the type charge controller that when the batts were full the switch routed the panel voltage to run the circ ceiling fans so no juice was wasted.

  7. #7
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    ^
    But surely that was recharged from an engine and not a solar panel.
    Earl will have to keep his consumption to an absolute minimum or spend a fortune on panels

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    blackgang's Avatar
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    In the summer there was no need for a gen set as we got sun from 0500 til 2200 and had about 250 W of panels [2-125w].
    But in the winter the sun was only up for a couple hours a day and never hit the panels so yes, I had built a special 12v alternator that was driven by a 17 HP. single cyl. Wisconsin gasoline engine that produced 150 amps of 12v power when the batts were low and then when the charging current dropped to 25 amps at 15.3 volts my bank was full and I shut down, which took less than an hour for less than a gallon of gas and only had to do that every couple of months unless she watched to much TV. [from batts-10 amps,from inverter-1 amp.]
    We did use what electricity was needed, had a 600W micro, A small toaster which hardly ever got used, lights all over the house and yard lights,12 water pressure pump from cistern, but comfort heating was done by wood, which boosted the heat to hot water heater, which was propane fired, Propane reefer and cook stove.
    But we also had a 5000W 120/240 gen set and ran it to power the washer and dryer in the winter months which ran from October when we started to ride sleds 10 miles to where we parked our 4X4s until may when we could again drive to the house.

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    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Here are a couple of links that are handy for low voltage info and parts needed

    Wiring Size Guide
    Northwest Energy Storage - Alternative Energy Solutions :::::::::::::::

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Earl
    I figure I can make my own system with a single solar panel, car batteries and a power inverter. I want to make it as cheaply as possible
    Instead of normal car batteries you should be using a deep-cycle battery. they are more expensive, but are designed for constant charging and discharging, and supplying a steady flow of power. Normal car batteries are designed to give a big burst of power for a few seconds when starting your car, and will soon die if you flatten them a couple of times !
    Use 12v fluro lights, or LEDs if you can get some of the latest, brighter ones, not 240v lights through an inverter.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carnwadrick View Post
    How about solar power for the well pump how will that work.do you have to use a special pump..different motor from the norm..I don't know shit about mechanics or electric but would like to save on electric bills

    yes, LED lights are the way to go

    The well pump could be wind powered, if you have any wind. They were typical in cowboy movies of the 50s, and could easily be made up now

  13. #13
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    I think we need a bit more info from Mr Earl here
    What are you trying to achieve ?
    What is your budget ?

    One 180watt panel from here Solar Panels | Farnell TH will cost you 94,343 baht

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thetyim View Post
    I think we need a bit more info from Mr Earl here
    What are you trying to achieve ?
    What is your budget ?

    One 180watt panel from here Solar Panels | Farnell TH will cost you 94,343 baht
    Bugger those are expensive. (I'm going to have less than that into the entire house)

    Well budget isn't big enough for any fancy shit.(I guess the inverter is out)

    I reckon I'll just be using 12v lights and looking for a 12v fan to run.
    I see how long they can run from a couple of deep cycle marine batteries.
    I've already got a 1.2v solar charger from an auto supply place in the USA.

  15. #15
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    A 12v fan can be bought for about 400 baht from a car accessory shop but they are not very powerful.
    If you need a stronger one one then try a 2nd hand car radiator cooling fan (about 500 baht)

    If you have someone to ship from USA for you then a 125W solar panel will cost under 25k baht but plus shipping and taxes and of course risk of damage.

  16. #16
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    Maybe I'll just go AAA for lighting.
    I've already got one of these.(which is great)


    When I get too hot I'll hop on the motorcycle and ride into the mountains.
    Or.. I could rig up up a human powered fan staffed with naked massage ladies.

  17. #17
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    Isn't there a stream on your property? You might look into a water wheel generating electricity.


  18. #18
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    ^ Good idea.

    Wind or water power generation is much cheaper than solar.

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    solar power sounds great, but the cost is too high

    so unless you live somewhere very off-the-beaten-track, it is not worthwhile

    a small generator makes more sense...sorry about the environment

  20. #20
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    I was in BigC today and in the torch/flashlight section they had a pack of three stick-on LED lights for home/car/camping use.

    You just stick it in place and hit the on switch.
    A set of batteries lasts 100 hours but I couldn't see which batteries is takes.
    At 129 baht for three sounds just the ticket

  21. #21
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    solar is awful expensive and you need enough battery power to last you thru the night, but Hydro is the best if you have just a few feet of head from a stream then a Pelton wheel is the way to go as they will supply power to your batterys 24/7.

  22. #22
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    Mr Earl's Avatar
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    I just discovered the hydraulic water ram pump

    You can pump water without any outside power source.

    really interesting stuff

  23. #23
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    I was interested last year but the engineer said 14 to 20 years payback in Thailand as there's no subsidies, tax breaks or power buy back scheme.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Earl View Post
    Are there any manufacturers or distributors of solar panels up in Bangkok?

    I'm building a simple off the grid house and want a fan and a couple of lights.

    I figure I can make my own system with a single solar panel, car batteries and a power inverter. I want to make it as cheaply as possible.

    Bangkok Solar make a whole system. Not sure where you buy one. Some surfing and a phone call may solve that.

    If I find the pictures i'll post 'em.

  25. #25
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    Energy audit is to plan what you will likely need
    Germany is hoovering up panels and keeping price high sadly they are not cost efficient unless you have lots of guaranteed sunlight and no alternative the windmill watermill all turn awheel as can a generator .The real breakthrough will be getting a mozzie powered treadmill !
    Good luck
    Round here many remote houses salas etc have small arrays donated by outsiders largesse and no doubt may be available for re-sale at a reasonble rate

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