Solar Power

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maaka
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Solar Power

Post by maaka » April 5, 2016, 5:30 pm

my guess is that your pool pump sucks some power, and if needed to run 8 hrs a day, everyday, would require a sizable inverter 2400amp and battery bank, (4 or 6 big jobs 104amp hrs each ) and just as sizable solar panel collection..( 6,or 8 @ 120w) ...so might not be worth the cost of changing over.....I might be overkill, so will let the other tinkerers chew over the actual volts v amps, v watts equation to help you decide..whats the pump output? ..watts/amps



glalt
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Solar Power

Post by glalt » April 5, 2016, 10:44 pm

Your goal is probably just to save on your electric bill. If you want to do it legal, you will have to get government approval. That will be a long drawn out process. OR, you could go with a small grid tie setup. All you need Is maybe three 250 watt panels and a thousand watt grid tie inverter. That system will feed the power directly into your main box. It's a simple system and as long as you are using more than that small system is making, your meter won't turn backward and it will go unnoticed by your meter reader. You do have to make certain that your grid tie inverter has what they call island protection. That shuts down the inverter if the main power goes off. You wouldn't want to electrocute a lineman.

If you want to run your pump totally off grid you will need to know how much power you need. Then you need an off grid solar charge controller, an inverter sized to run the pump off a battery bank. Batteries are expensive.

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Solar Power

Post by rjj04 » April 6, 2016, 6:01 pm

Concur with glalt, with a slight correction. The meter wheel may spin backwards, which may or may not be noticed by your meter-reader at his monthly reading day (17-18th of month?). But, it seems PEA only cares when the actual meter reading is lower than the previous months meter reading. If that happens, all hell will break loose... as in they will change your meter so it will not spin backwards. If that happens then if you have a swimming pool pump that switches on and off, you will be losing probably at least half your power to the grid without any credit... so beware.

On another note, I see Amorn now has installation options. Two options actually. One is just to install the system and get approval from the PEA, the other is to get your system into the "solar roof-top program". I don't seem to be able to find the webpage that had the prices with the installation options, but if I recall the first installation option almost doubled the price of the system. So, the 55K THB system was around 90K with option one and 100K with the second (roof-top) option. I know the parts and labor to install the 55K THB system can't be more than 20K THB with a profit for Amorn so I suppose the "value added" must be the paperwork that they do with PEA. I tried to get PEA to accept my system (bought from Amorn but DIY installation) but they wouldn't allow it, so why Amorn can do it but a home owner can't is strange to me. That's when PEA locked my meter from spinning backwards...so same old story.. TIT

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Re: Solar Power

Post by parrot » May 14, 2017, 6:53 pm

I saw this solar powered water pump at Amorn's today. 30,000 Baht. One of the clerks says it can pump water from 40m down. Don't know any other details.
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Re: Solar Power

Post by Marcosteffano » May 15, 2017, 9:30 pm

Done a little research into solar and grid tie.can get off eBay plug and play inverter 1,000w. @£85.. not found 4x250w panels but on eBay £150 approx,so maybe find around same price here.maybe..so if lucky could pump in 800 watts to supplement my usage and not turn the meter back more than the previous reading.maybe 10 hours a day.thats 8kw @ 7baht 56b a day or 1680b a month..for a system that would cost of 32,000baht.so 20 months it should pay for itself.remember no batteries involved and it's only to keep the bills down.i would like to hear off any egg heads if I've got something wrong in my calculations and any other advice.maybe start a new thread on solar.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by rjj04 » May 16, 2017, 7:20 am

Marcosteffano wrote:Done a little research into solar and grid tie.can get off eBay plug and play inverter 1,000w. @£85.. not found 4x250w panels but on eBay £150 approx,so maybe find around same price here.maybe..so if lucky could pump in 800 watts to supplement my usage and not turn the meter back more than the previous reading.maybe 10 hours a day.thats 8kw @ 7baht 56b a day or 1680b a month..for a system that would cost of 32,000baht.so 20 months it should pay for itself.remember no batteries involved and it's only to keep the bills down.i would like to hear off any egg heads if I've got something wrong in my calculations and any other advice.maybe start a new thread on solar.
1) 250W panel @ 150 GBP = US $0.77 / Watt
Not sure if you can find poly panels for that price here in Thailand
Be careful about the inverter specs.... if the Vmp range is not right you will lose power.

2) I'd look at getting an average of 3.2Wh per Watt installed
1KW * 3.2Wh/day/watt installed = 3.2KWh / day

3) 7 THB / KWh is if you get into the solar rooftop program, which is finished now. You have to apply when they have an offering. The last one they had included 10KWh for pretty much all of Issan... in other words, one or two solar rooftop installations for all of Issan. Good luck with that. Also, your 85 GBP inverter has zero hope of being approved by the PEA or MEA - purely for "other" reasons than technical ones.

Typically you will be paying slightly under 4 THB / KWh on your bill.
3.2 KWh * 4 THB/KWh = 12.8 THB / day
365 * 12.8= 4672 THB / yr
32,000 / 4,672 = 6.85 yrs

4) This is all with the assumption that PEA does not lock your meter. That is not guaranteed!! If things have changed for the worse, they might lock it. If you have a high base load (devices that are on and consuming power 24/7) of say 300-400 Watts, then you probably will not lose too much back to the grid with 1KW of panels if they lock your meter. You still would want to move more tasks into the 10am-2pm time period. Like with us, the wife tries to cook the rice for we and the dogs (elec rice cooker) between 10-2.

So, with a 1KW system, even if they lock your meter, your pay-back period is still less than say 9 years. The larger the system the greater percentage of power you will lose to PEA (you will be giving them free money) with a locked meter.

5) Don't be an idiot like me and not lock down your panels properly... a microburst took off some roofs in my village last year and also tore off one of my panels and shattered it.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by Marcosteffano » May 16, 2017, 8:09 am

I wasn't to know the pea had to be informed.that will just complicate things.i was thinking of a lower wattage system to subsidise my usage.2 pool pumps @4hp or 3,000watts.ive found the 250watt panels in a couple of places in Thailand 6,900-9,000b.then the fixing kits which bump up the price quite a bit.go for a 1,200 watt plug in inverter and hope for the best.i have two pea meters and would probably double up as I have two homes running high loads.(9 air cons) but not all running together of course.3fridge freezers,chest freezer.i was just hoping to produce my own power so my demand was less from the grid.also looking further into it I can see that it will be a good few more years to get a return on investment on solar.its all a bit over my head here in Thailand.ive watched a couple of vids on YouTube and they sell a simple kit where you set up a panel or more connect them together and plug it into a wall socket but that's in America.thanks for the advice and I will look a bit more into it.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by glalt » May 16, 2017, 8:18 am

I didn't install my small solar system to save money. I installed it because the power from the electric company was not at all reliable. I went through two UPS units, one small and the replacement much larger. The power from the grid has improved over the years but this year it is back to very unreliable. The start of the rainy system is causing the grid to go down nearly every single day. Sometimes for a few seconds, sometimes for a few minutes and sometimes for a few hours. For long periods I have a 2,500 watt generator that runs about everything in the rest of the house except the shower water heater and air cons. My computer room solar system runs lights, a fan and my computer system. For more than 3 and a half years it has worked flawlessly. Originally I had thought that a single 300 watt solar panel and two deep cycle batteries would be enough. It wasn't. With two solar panels, an MPPT charge controller, a 1000 watt inverter and four 65 AH deep cycle AGM batteries, it keeps up pretty well during cloudy rainy days. Originally I used a 600 watt inverter. It worked fine except that the little fan that cooled the inverter ran a lot. It is right next to where I sit and was irritating. The 1,000 watt inverter with the light load seldom runs. My computer room is totally off the grid. No worries about lightening strikes, low voltage and surges.

The bottom line is, although my solar system may never pay for itself, it is great to have a fan, lights and my computer running when the neighborhood is totally dark. Just now, the grid went down for just a few seconds. A UPS would have covered that but even the large UPS only gave me less than an hour run time. I'm happy with my little system and have no regrets. If/when something goes bad, you can bet I will repair it. As a side note, I have a spare charge controller and a spare inverter. Fortunately I have not yet needed the spares.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by Marcosteffano » May 16, 2017, 8:49 am

glalt wrote:I didn't install my small solar system to save money. I installed it because the power from the electric company was not at all reliable. I went through two UPS units, one small and the replacement much larger. The power from the grid has improved over the years but this year it is back to very unreliable. The start of the rainy system is causing the grid to go down nearly every single day. Sometimes for a few seconds, sometimes for a few minutes and sometimes for a few hours. For long periods I have a 2,500 watt generator that runs about everything in the rest of the house except the shower water heater and air cons. My computer room solar system runs lights, a fan and my computer system. For more than 3 and a half years it has worked flawlessly. Originally I had thought that a single 300 watt solar panel and two deep cycle batteries would be enough. It wasn't. With two solar panels, an MPPT charge controller, a 1000 watt inverter and four 65 AH deep cycle AGM batteries, it keeps up pretty well during cloudy rainy days. Originally I used a 600 watt inverter. It worked fine except that the little fan that cooled the inverter ran a lot. It is right next to where I sit and was irritating. The 1,000 watt inverter with the light load seldom runs. My computer room is totally off the grid. No worries about lightening strikes, low voltage and surges.

The bottom line is, although my solar system may never pay for itself, it is great to have a fan, lights and my computer running when the neighborhood is totally dark. Just now, the grid went down for just a few seconds. A UPS would have covered that but even the large UPS only gave me less than an hour run time. I'm happy with my little system and have no regrets. If/when something goes bad, you can bet I will repair it. As a side note, I have a spare charge controller and a spare inverter. Fortunately I have not yet needed the spares.
I also run ups units for safety of electrical and to run the routers.so far so good.im an iPad user so no bother about computer running and I've got a couple of Panasonic portable emergency light units that auto on if the power goes down.sounds like you've a good set up and the only problem is the life and cost of the batteries.im looking at 4x250 watt panel and an inverter and keeping it simple.also it would be grid tied but I won't be losing power back to PEA as I use so much.i just want to slow the two meters down during daylight hours when I can set my pool pumps to run.maybe buy a larger inverter so could add panels on if all goes well.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by Randall » May 17, 2017, 12:35 am

Why not run the Aircon during the day to precool the house down. My neighbor installed 12KW of panels on his house..He is grid tie but we don't make much for power here in Utah. its a fight with the sole power provider Utah power. They are arguing the lines and equipment are a large cost. I need to ask him how is electric bill is looking... Our power bill can be 300$US here in the hot summer.. Aircons run all day to keep caught up... Most of US uses whole house AC systems.
What about running security systems off of solar.. seems like thief's may take advantage of power outages.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by bluejets » May 17, 2017, 3:26 am

Security systems run on internal rechargable backup battery to allow protection in the event of power outage.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by glalt » May 18, 2017, 3:14 pm

My grid power is off again. It has been off for more than hour. The UPS I last had would have had a low battery warning by now.

My battery bank is nearing 4 years old with no signs of weakening. The secret to long deep cycle battery life is to never discharge them below 50 percent. My batteries are AGM sealed batteries. When I have to replace them, I will buy much cheaper flooded batteries and put them outside the house.

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Barney
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Re: Solar Power

Post by Barney » May 18, 2017, 3:27 pm

glalt wrote:My grid power is off again. It has been off for more than hour. The UPS I last had would have had a low battery warning by now.

My battery bank is nearing 4 years old with no signs of weakening. The secret to long deep cycle battery life is to never discharge them below 50 percent. My batteries are AGM sealed batteries. When I have to replace them, I will buy much cheaper flooded batteries and put them outside the house.

Whats your reasoning glalt to go for a cheaper untried battery as opposed to your proven batteries you have now.
Must be a considerable cost saving to warrant this.
Just curious that's all.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by glalt » May 18, 2017, 4:32 pm

I also have an off grid small system at one of the farms. I put it in about the same time as the home system. I use flooded deep cycle batteries there. They are still fine and are about half the cost of the AGM sealed batteries. It is a bit inconvenient to have to add water once in awhile but considering the price difference, I'm willing to put up with it.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by maaka » May 18, 2017, 4:39 pm

I have the same, AGM's on the farm and flooded on the island house. both seem to work ok, but the flooded have been there a trillion times longer..I like the way you can open up the flooded ones and monitor each cell, give it a boot every now and then loosen up the crud off the plates etc..where as the other, all I look at is a digital display..

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Re: Solar Power

Post by Barney » May 18, 2017, 4:51 pm

maaka wrote:I have the same, AGM's on the farm and flooded on the island house. both seem to work ok, but the flooded have been there a trillion times longer..I like the way you can open up the flooded ones and monitor each cell, give it a boot every now and then loosen up the crud off the plates etc..where as the other, all I look at is a digital display..
Yeah I see what you and glalt are happy with and if it is ok then go for it.
I am not promoting anything different and appreciate the different types but flooded batteries seem a but old school and that's seems the way of a farm boy from NZ, don't know glalt's background. :lol: :lol:

All the rage and specified now on our last few projects are the GEL batteries . Different horses for different courses with any installation and would not advise those for a home unit unless budget allows. They are set and forget with a monitoring system 2nd to none. We at times install huge capacity UPS and battery charging systems as back up in substation and operator control rooms in large projects I work on. An example is 1 of our GEL 2 volt battery weighs 50kg in a large bank. There are smaller ones for smaller capacity systems at 10kgs.

I am following this with interest and trying to absorb for future use all the different posts.
Keep up the good posts. =D>

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maaka
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Re: Solar Power

Post by maaka » May 18, 2017, 6:30 pm

I am definately old school Cobber..
my tractor is a grey 1950's Fergie 28, my Technics stereo I bought when I was a teenager, and I had a gramaphone.(forgive the spelling, it gets worse the longer I stay here ) I still have the odd jumper my mum knitted me as a youth, and a pocket watch somewhere, and some bell bottoms jeans. My hatchback, or coot, only has one seat so I can get hay bales inside and 2.4m posts..my mower is a 1960's american Gravely. I still play Marty Robbins sometimes, my best motorbike is a 1974 Triumph Trident, and I am looking to buy a Bedford truck and a back hoe..the list is endless..old things were made to last and they work better in most cases.. :D

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Re: Solar Power

Post by glalt » May 19, 2017, 8:48 am

I too am an old farm boy bred and born in Ohio, USA. It's that old saying. You can take the boy off the farm, but you can't take the farm out of the boy. That's the reason I live in the boonies of Loei province. I'd rather drive my 4X4 pickup truck than the car. It's my wife's car. I wouldn't ever buy a car for myself.

Maybe those lithium solar batteries are better but they cost five times as much and they need a special charge controller and inverter. (different voltage). At least for now, I'll stay with the old tried and true lead acid batteries.

I admit that I do like the latest gadgets. My little tractor is a four wheel drive diesel. My phone keeps very accurate time so I don't carry a watch. I do have an old pocket watch but it is in a drawer somewhere around here. Being a bit old school backwards isn't bad.

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Re: Solar Power

Post by reddevil » May 19, 2017, 10:28 am

Here's one for you solar guys. I want to run some lighting and a fan in my bed room as our power cuts are not that long normally so what do I need I will make a seperate line for this in the bedroom. Thanks for any assistance we are central Udon

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Re: Solar Power

Post by JR » May 19, 2017, 11:03 am

I run flooded batteries in my solar system. They have now expired after 14 months! Partly because my inverters are not made to run with flooded batts! Gel batteries are very sensitive. A sudden drop or glitch in your system can wipe out your whole bank in an instant. Expensive.

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