Solar Power

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rjj04
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Re: Solar Power

Post by rjj04 » March 12, 2018, 12:36 pm

bluejets - do you have a reference link for the solar water heater system you mentioned... sorry I couldn't find it on the links you gave? I'm happy to entertain any ideas that can help those of us who can't use all our power during the day and are giving free money to PEA :lol: Thx for the post.

One interesting point I found out lately (sorry no reference) is that when these battery manufacturers spec X cycles at Y DOD, what that is supposed to mean (by industry standards) is that after that many cycles your batteries would still be at 80% of design capacity.... that is they would still have many cycles left on them. This is similar to solar panels that are spec'd for 20-25 years and after that point they should still be producing at 80-90% of their design output. So, good news there, though I doubt I would trust most of these manufacturers to hit this standard, but even if they are close, that might give at least several more months of usage.



bluejets
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Re: Solar Power

Post by bluejets » March 13, 2018, 6:32 am

Hi rjj04,
Hot water unit is an electric storage unit and used as such.
It is possible to connect to a solar heater collector and circulating pump if required as the provision is there.
However the latter is not how my system is setup.
Link to the one I used is below.
There may be other brands in Thailand, but I have not been looking so not much help there.
Key words are storage electric.

http://www.thermann.com.au/products/lar ... ic-storage

As far as quoted battery life, it would depend largely on country of manufacture and the amount one pays for quality but with the quoted cycle numbers I would be very wary of any lithium setup. If you get more time than quoted then great but when a manufacturer quotes number of cycles, I would tend to forget the years lifespan as it really does not mean much. Trouble is, most of this stuff has not been around long enough to prove any claims of lifespan. Also, some of the suppliers quite simply disappear after a short period and no amount of warranty claim complaint will do any good.

As an example, rc model aircraft had moved in recent years to electric using both Lithium poly and LiFe cells as the claim was it is clean and no noise etc. etc. Problem was the batteries were costing big bucks. So along come the Chinese with their cheap brands. Soon people found they needed more of the cheaper units as the Ah rating was not anywhere near the claimed amount. Then after a shorter than expected timespan, cells started to bulge and bugger up. Trend now is tending back to the old tried and proven methanol power engines, with a new kid on the block(relatively for modelling), spark ignition petrol.

In contrast, the lead acid wet cell has and seems very hard to beat really.(not for rc...bit on the heavy side)
Still, the idea with my hot water is one energy storage solution and it works for me. Life of the internal storage tank varies depending on water quality.
For example, original Rheemglass unit I fitted here in '86 was still going strong in 2013 but the 1 in 100 year flood took care of that, hence the new Theramann brand.
In comparison, my brother was on his 3rd unit in the same 27 years but lives maybe 8 klm away, different water(all treated town supply).
My apprentice lived on a farm about 20k out of town with a Rheemglass on tank water and still ok after 40 years.

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fhorst
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Re: Solar Power

Post by fhorst » March 14, 2018, 8:38 am

Hello all,

Thank you for all the good posts.
I read many of them.
My wife bought mono solar panel 300w at Big C...
(Yes.. I know... 9.000 each?

She had no idea she also needed PWM or MTTP and inverter to get her 2000w water pump running :-)
Sweet but sometimes not smart..
And many times she surprises me how wise she is.

Getting of track here.

Do you guys have experience with the panels
(300w polycrystalline) at DoHome (Udon Thani)?

They are dirt cheap... below 6000..
Do you have experience with warranty issues with DoHome?

Also their batteries are competitive... or cheap.
120ah BK below 4000

Exact prices, I need to recheck..

With all information and so many positive about Amorn..
I only see a really expensive shop....

FYI:
Recently moved close to Phen (25km) from Holland.
Living 100% off grid... nearest grit point +/- 5km.

Now using 2 x 300 mono, good 24v PWM, 4 x 120ah flooded and 2000w inverter.

For our home I need some extra power..
I have 2 x MTTP controllers, 2x 6000 watt inverters.
And looking for 12 to 16 x 300 watts polycrystalline panels. + matching flooded batteries. (12x 120ah)
Setup is 48 volts.
Panels go on the ground, as we have space + easy maintenance..

I used Google to find the best location to buy the panels and batteries...
Udonmap looked a good place to start.. as "all" you guys have been in this situation :-)

The panels at DoHome are Schutten, good brand.

All experience feedback with DoHome is appriciated!!!
If it can't be done, it never happened..

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fhorst
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Re: Solar Power

Post by fhorst » March 26, 2018, 1:41 pm

We live on a farm, about 8km to the closest grid.
100% solar only :-)
( and for spare / temporary high power request a 6000w generator)

Now we have 2 x 300w mono crystalline and 4x 120ah wet cell.

As we are planning to build our own family house, for my wife and I and out kids....
I need a house... and extra solar power ..

At DoHome I've seen 300w polycrystalline panels.
Price 5990 baht each
This seems like a fair price.

Anyone has experience with the DoHome panels?
When you buy 16, does DoHome give discount??
It would be good for me :-)
Especially as we also need the batteries, and DoHome price seems fair on those as well :-)

If someone know a better deal please do let me know.!
If it can't be done, it never happened..

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Re: Solar Power

Post by bluejets » March 27, 2018, 6:07 am

Poly have a few differences from mono and you can look up reviews online for these. They may or may not make a difference to your install.

One is that Poly is easier to make and therefore cheaper to begin with but are less efficient so you need more panels.

What would be more important would be to buy from someone who will be around in 10 years or so if your purchaced panels begin to fail under warranty.

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rick
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Re: Solar Power

Post by rick » March 27, 2018, 7:20 am

To compare prices with Dohome you could look at the prices at Amorn (they have shop at Big C in Udon). Also they have a website to look at prices, although doesn't work perfectly.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by glalt » March 27, 2018, 11:52 am

Amorn is convenient for many of us. Unfortunately I am of the opinion that most of their products are overpriced.

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rick
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Re: Solar Power

Post by rick » March 27, 2018, 6:53 pm

Would tend to agree. I am just a micro solar power person (one proper battery, a couple of small Lion ones, lights and fan for emergency purposes) but at least i can SEE what i am getting. If i was buying something more substantial, i would look elsewhere as well. But for me, it sets the baseline for prices (although very limited range) - get Amorn price, then look at what is available online, then, is it worth the hassle of getting something online (given that delivery costs, import taxes and the astonishingly poor thai websites make anything else a bit of a leap of faith). Plus Amorn sometimes have sales. But i always find this thread informative and helpful.

I hadn't seen solar stuff at Dohome before, but have only been there once in the last year. The ring road roadworks make going there a bit of a hassle for me.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by ytrewq » March 28, 2018, 8:10 am

Highly recommend without reservation.

www.kjsolars.com

If you have a Thai speaker on your end who knows their stuff, kjsolar certainly knows their stuff; and all can be sorted over the phone so what is promptly delivered to your door is exactly what you need. They give great advice.

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rjj04
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Re: Solar Power

Post by rjj04 » March 28, 2018, 10:31 am

ytrewq wrote:
March 28, 2018, 8:10 am
Highly recommend without reservation.

www.kjsolars.com

If you have a Thai speaker on your end who knows their stuff, kjsolar certainly knows their stuff; and all can be sorted over the phone so what is promptly delivered to your door is exactly what you need. They give great advice.
wow, some cheap panel prices on that website...
305W, 10 year warranty 4750THB
300W, 10 year warranty 4900THB

one good thing about Amorn though is the convenience of taking things back. When one of my panels failed after a month or so of operation they replaced it easily. With these cheap brands the likelihood of some failures is higher. I actually had another failure inside the junction box of a panel but fixed/soldered it myself. Keep this in mind when buying panels and batteries (ie items that are hard to ship back) ;)

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rjj04
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Re: Solar Power

Post by rjj04 » March 28, 2018, 10:33 am

yes, the DoHome info was good, thanks

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rjj04
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Re: Solar Power

Post by rjj04 » March 28, 2018, 10:40 am

With these big retail outlets starting to sell panels and inverters, you'd think something had changed regarding PEA? Are all these people getting the run-around and locked meters as well? Especially as these outlets are selling direct to the public, not necessarily to professional solar installers who know how to jump through the PEA hoops.

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rjj04
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Re: Solar Power

Post by rjj04 » March 28, 2018, 10:47 am

fhorst wrote:
March 14, 2018, 8:38 am

The panels at DoHome are Schutten, good brand.
The two panels I had problems with were Schutten. The super cheap (five years ago) SunTech panels, possibly used (though Amorn insisted they were new... with paint and sticker material etc on them :) have been fine.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by glalt » March 28, 2018, 3:01 pm

rjj04 wrote:
March 28, 2018, 10:47 am
fhorst wrote:
March 14, 2018, 8:38 am

The panels at DoHome are Schutten, good brand.
The two panels I had problems with were Schutten. The super cheap (five years ago) SunTech panels, possibly used (though Amorn insisted they were new... with paint and sticker material etc on them :) have been fine.
The SunTech panels are the only bargain I ever got from Amorn even though they looked second hand. I got two of them and have had no problems. I wish I had bought a couple more. That bunch of panels sold out quickly.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by ytrewq » March 28, 2018, 3:42 pm

No, no, no.

You are not considering that stupid-[expletive] Trump slapped the tariffs on imported solar panels. That kills exports and the glut gets liquidated elsewhere. Then, ECON 101 kicks in = lower prices everywhere else. Especially Asia.

So, careful not to pontificate or infer about what is "cheap". Price means f-all when it comes to choosing quality. The various vendors and distributors often rebrand the exact same panel (and various other equipment) made by whatever manufacturer. Amorn does NOT manufacture solar panels, so there is no valid basis whatsoever to claim panels bought there are superior to any other bought in a big box store, online, or anywhere else.

As for returning to kjsolar, I imagine one would simply contact them about the specific problem and they would tell you their remedy. Some problems they might just ship a replacement and you hand the problem product over to the delivery people easy-peasy. Other problems, they may require you to ship first so they can inspect before sending a replacement or refund. Don't try to anticipate how they might behave when you really should just admit you have no idea because you have never been a customer. I bought a complete system, but my guy didn't order enough of something. KJ checked and found what we needed locally and arranged for my guy to just go get it from there (Udon) ON THE DAY! KJ then sent a replenishment shipment to that source.

I can count on one hand how many "without reservation" recommendations I've suggested during my 20 years in-country and it gets me heated when those who haven't a genuine clue chime in to the contrary.

Mini-rant over. :lol: Time to take my meds. :lol:

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Re: Solar Power

Post by ytrewq » March 28, 2018, 3:49 pm

...and one more thing:

"When one of my panels failed after a month or so..."

So, why on earth would you recommend Amorn???

I've got 16 panels and a 5kw inverter from KJ. One year on, not a single problem.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by glalt » March 29, 2018, 11:02 am

I had problems with one panel I got from Amorn. It sometimes worked and then would stop working. Amorn wanted me to send it to Bangkok. I wasn't pleased with that at all. As it turned out, whoever put the cables into the junction box did a poor job. The cable simply needed to be loosened and pushed in further, After it was making a good contact, the panel has worked fine since then. That is the only 300 watt mono panel I have. The rest are poly.

ADDED - As a side note, That mono panel is connected in series with a 280 watt poly panel and together I am getting 70 volts from the pair. The amperage output is as good as the matched pairs of poly panels. None of my panels put out the advertised watts. The tilt and direction is nowhere near perfect but the main loss is because of dust and dirt. It is not worth the effort and hassle, not to mention the danger for this old man to go on the roof to clean them. If I ever move and build another system, it will be a ground array that will be easy to clean. As it is, I have about double the recommended panels. They put out enough to keep my battery banks fully charged on cloudy days. Since the panels have become much more economical to buy and since they have a long life, I recommend having more panels than recommended.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by ytrewq » March 29, 2018, 7:59 pm

Ok, so I am thinking we can agree Amorn sells problem solar panels. :lol:

Personally, I only use Amorn for repairing small electronics, fans, and swapping UPS batteries. Sometimes I wander about and discover the odd useful knick-knack thingamajig. Most of their technology inventory is way outdated. I don't fool around trying to fix things myself, so I cannot comment about their parts inventory other than to acknowledge they've got quite a few.

Lazada is my goto for most other things. For solar, it would absolutely be KJ.

Regarding keeping the panels clean, the Mrs. has taken over that chore. I ran a PVC extension from our water pump and bought a better pressure nozzle for the garden hose. Now, she is able to squirt all the panels in the evening every few days as she waters the flowers and bushes. The runoff goes straight to the flowers on the side of the garage. Saves having our handyman do it monthly.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by glalt » March 29, 2018, 8:07 pm

I tried tap water and they looked good until they dried. It took a lot of Bathroom Duck Cleaner and scrubbing to remove the water spots.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by fhorst » March 30, 2018, 7:36 pm

My inverter I bought at Aliexpress..

I am not easily impressed.. but this is really good.
I got 2 x 6000 watts for 600 us $ each, including transport .

12 KW should be enough for our new to build home :-)

Theise are really quality..
Did not expect..
If it can't be done, it never happened..

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