Power/electric supply problems in Suan Luang

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buksida
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Re: Power/electric supply problems in Suan Luang

Post by buksida » 28 Apr 2021 07:35

The first stage of the experiment is complete. My kit has arrived so wired it all up, charged the battery off the panel, and connected it to the office via the existing UPS. It ran the PC, a 23" screen, internet router, and fan for an hour and a half (about the time it takes them to fix the transformer after an outage).

The next stage is to test how long it'll run on a cloudy/rainy day without the panel charging the battery at the same time - may need a second panel to boost the charge.

Specs:
Panel - 50 watt
Battery - 12v, 40ah
Inverter - 1.6 kw
Solar charger, and switchboard
Cost - 5,850 baht including shipping

UPS (not included as I already had it) - 500 va (approx 2,500)

solar.jpg
photo_2021-04-26_19-58-28.jpg

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Re: Power/electric supply problems in Suan Luang

Post by bsb » 28 Apr 2021 09:20

If you have that battery sitting on a tile or concrete floor you are pissing in the wind, the battery will never charge full up and the concrete will drain it while sitting there. At the very least put a piece of 1 inch thick wood under it.

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Re: Power/electric supply problems in Suan Luang

Post by bsb » 28 Apr 2021 10:12

Let me add that if it is not an Edison Cell battery you should be alright, still a piece of styrofoam would be better than nothing

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Re: Power/electric supply problems in Suan Luang

Post by buksida » 28 Apr 2021 13:26

The battery is on a table inside and it is charging just fine at the moment - the solid plastic container should prevent any unwanted discharge. The biggest factor is the amount of light hitting the panel (which today has been good) and the angle of tilt.

The rainy season may be a different story though. :?

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Re: Power/electric supply problems in Suan Luang

Post by bsb » 28 Apr 2021 15:15

on second glance I see the container the battery is in

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Re: Power/electric supply problems in Suan Luang

Post by cjsiam » 28 Apr 2021 20:43

EXCELLENT!
Buksida---what UPS do you have?
Great stuff.....
Gentlemen, this is really useful, thanks!

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Re: Power/electric supply problems in Suan Luang

Post by buksida » 29 Apr 2021 07:52

Yes, its been a successful experiment so far - even on a dull day, you can get a bit of a charge into the battery.

The UPS I have is a basic APC 500VA/300W unit available online here (naturally, they're more expensive in Thailand):
https://www.lazada.co.th/products/ups-a ... 70328.html

I've had it for a couple of years so if buying from new I'd get a larger 1KVA+ unit like this one:
https://www.lazada.co.th/products/best- ... 09700.html

I would love to have the whole house done for solar but the costs are still sky-high in Thailand as it is not incentivized by the state (which values profit over the environment). From our previous quotes, it would be a ROI of 12-14 years which is way too long (and not considering equipment failure/replacement).

The rudimentary backup system I have built works for now so will slowly expand upon that to include other low-wattage appliances such as the pond pump, fans, etc.

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Re: Power/electric supply problems in Suan Luang

Post by bsb » 29 Apr 2021 14:14

Have you ever wondered why when all your different equipment and appliances gets fried it never throws breakers before hand.

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Re: Power/electric supply problems in Suan Luang

Post by buksida » 30 Apr 2021 07:43

Not sure what you're getting at here but it does trip the breakers - every time. However, some of these spikes are so powerful that it is often not enough, you're getting three phases into one and not all of it goes to ground (my neighbour has had light bulbs exploding). Highly sensitive electronic equipment such as desktop computers, CCTV controllers, high-end audio gear, and even TVs certainly do not appreciate it.

Additionally, the brownouts (which happen throughout the day and most people don't notice) also play havoc with appliances that are designed to run on 230 volts - not 143 or whatever it is at the time. When these pelicans fix the blown transformer every week, there is often a period with just half the voltage or erratic currents, during which stuff should be unplugged to protect it.

My UPS notifies me when the voltage drops or is unstable - and it is an almost daily occurrence.

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Re: Power/electric supply problems in Suan Luang

Post by buksida » 04 May 2021 09:31

The system worked well during yesterday's late afternoon blackout.

It won't power high wattage appliances such as kettles, toasters, microwaves, or rice cookers, but works as intended in keeping computers, internet, lights, and fans on until they fix it.

The recharge time is fast when there is full sunlight which is most mornings but may need a second battery to keep it on for longer when it is not getting a kick from the panel.

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Re: Power/electric supply problems in Suan Luang

Post by buksida » 09 May 2021 13:07

photo_2021-05-09_12-59-29.jpg


Latest casualty from yesterday's transformer explosion (yes, breakers tripped and the UPS kept the machine on but it wasn't enough to save the mobo which wouldn't start up again after). It pays to have a lot of spares lying around living here, and keep computers unplugged when not using them.

The only way to be truly safe from this shit is a fully off-grid solar setup - but that needs a lot of batteries which is the expensive bit and doubles the cost of the system.

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Re: Power/electric supply problems in Suan Luang

Post by buksida » 04 Jun 2021 07:48

A new transformer was installed at the end of our soi so hopefully, that will alleviate some of the power problems.

The solar setup performed as it should when they shut off the juice for an hour to install it.

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Re: Power/electric supply problems in Suan Luang

Post by cjsiam » 04 Jun 2021 23:21

Good news on both fronts.....Transformer, and that your small system covers you for that period....

Would the system you have support 4 -5 panels? would you put a couple batteries in parallel charge?

encouraging that they are addressing the infrastructure....

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Re: Power/electric supply problems in Suan Luang

Post by buksida » 05 Jun 2021 10:06

To add panels I'd need to upgrade the inverter to a 3kw or higher ... and buy more batteries.

At the moment it is not necessary as the system does the job which is keeping the computers and internet on for a couple of hours during those weekly outages.

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Re: Power/electric supply problems in Suan Luang

Post by buksida » 08 Jun 2021 07:37

Power was out for 2 hours Monday morning. Likely to happen a lot more during the rainy season.

Solar still worked to keep stuff on - even without direct sunlight hitting the panel.

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