Solar Power

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ytrewq
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Re: Solar Power

Post by ytrewq » March 9, 2018, 8:12 am

Yes, in the same row boat, but seated in first class, I'd reckon. :lol:

I specifically confirmed with the Mrs. from the outset that we would not be, but, well, meh...

:sad:

glalt
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Re: Solar Power

Post by glalt » March 9, 2018, 11:44 am

So, after jumping through all the hoops to get approved, your meter will not run backwards and all you have accomplished is to give the PEA free power. Obviously grid tied is not the answer, at least here in Thailand. The PEA sees my solar panels and changed my meter to make sure the meter cannot run backwards.

Since the grid here is up and down like a yo-yo, I feel good that although my panels produce more power than I need during sunny days, I am not giving anything away, and I'm off the grid. Having more panels than needed puts out enough during cloudy days to at least keep my batteries fully charged. You have to be careful to be able to keep the batteries fully charged because if you don't the batteries will become sulfated and the life seriously shortened.

I have had my first equipment failure, my 2,500 watt inverter put out white smoke and died. An oil filled capacitor bulged up and split. I took it all apart, unsoldered the capacitor and ordered a new one from AliExpress. The replacement cost about two dollars. I'll solder in the replacement and if it works, fine, if not, I'm not out much. I am using my spare inverter and have ordered a new 1,500 watt inverter. It was worthwhile to keep a spare. The new inverter is 24 volt so it is supposed to be more efficient. The charge controller adjusts automatically from 12 to 24 volts. The smaller system is still 12 volts so my 12 volt things will still run off that system.

bluejets
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Re: Solar Power

Post by bluejets » March 12, 2018, 5:34 am

I had mentioned it earlier and thought it might be a good idea to go over it again for some as it may be a consideration.
An alternative to battery storage systems in association with grid connected solar, at least for me, was to use an existing storage type hot water system.
Thailand does not seem to use hot water storage systems a great deal as far as I have seen and this could be down to the initial cost and the simplicity of installation of the rather power demanding instantaneous system.
I wired my storage system to run off standard power tariff and to be controlled by a timer which operates a relay during daylight hours of 9 to 4 each day, pretty simple really.
It could be modified to also include minimum light level control for rainy days but I have not bothered with that for now.
I know some will jump in here and say, “what about when it’s raining, no advantage”.
Well yes, to a point. I covered that to a degree by using a 250 litre system and there is just my wife and myself for washing up and for showers. Other than that, the system reverts back to the grid for re-heating at the times when the sun don’t shine which is really not that often here in Aus at least.
Other advantage would include (as mentioned) no requirement for the rather large power consuming instantaneous system. These are mostly around 30 amp and create unwanted voltage drop on (mostly) undersized mains and poor PEA distribution systems, whereas one can fit as little as 1.8kw element (7.5amp) to the storage unit as it has (on most days) around 6 hours of re-heat time. It does really all depend on the size of your solar install and how much of it one uses each day. However, if you are concerned about feeding back power to the grid for free, this may be one way to eliminate the supply authority getting free feedback.
There are of course no-feedback-relays one can use but they are, (for some reason) expensive and no advantage to the consumer.
Also have a link here for how solar in Aus is tracking as it seems some advancements are happening and may be worth reading.
Cheers Jorgo (contractor lecky)

https://mcelectrical.com.au/blog/queens ... -politics/

bluejets
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Re: Solar Power

Post by bluejets » March 12, 2018, 6:11 am

Another interesting link describes different battery types and their expected life span.
What I find a bit conflicting is this life span expectancy compared to the cycle number.
One would expect one cycle ( charge-discharge) to occur one per day which pretty much blows these batteries out of the water compared to the old lead acid which I believe most of you use in Thailand.

Some may want to take heed of the warnings associated with lead acid use.

https://www.qld.gov.au/housing/buying-o ... gy-storage

glalt
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Re: Solar Power

Post by glalt » March 12, 2018, 11:07 am

My original battery bank was four 65 AH AGM batteries. AGM because they were in the house. After four and a half years I could see them starting to weaken. At the farm I was using two flooded 125 AH deep cycle batteries. Since the farm system is lightly used, I swapped the batteries. Now I have the flooded batteries at the house sitting outside. They are also more than four years old but were lightly used. So far they are working very well. Regardless of the battery type, I don't discharge them more than 50 percent. The cost of the lithium batteries will have to come down a lot before I give up on the flooded deep cycle batteries. The AGM batteries that are now at the farm are lightly used so I am hoping for them to last a while yet. IMHO, I don't think the premium cost for AGM is worth the extra cost. As far as maintenance, I check the electrolyte level maybe once a month or six weeks and rarely have to add any water. Even then, the level is no where near the top of the plates. The no maintenance batteries is of very little advantage.

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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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Location: 15 km close to Phen

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..

bluejets
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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.

glalt
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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.

ytrewq
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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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