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Possible To Run Air-con With Solar Panels?


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Is it possible to run one air-con for a bedroom with solar panels?

How much is the investment?

I have been thinking about this so please let me know if you have experience or knowledge in this. Thanks!

It is possible but you will need a lot of solar panels. Also, remember that solar panels only generate power when they are exposed to light so you need to either sleep at daytime or have a huge array of batteries... :o

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Yes it is possible but I suspect the intial investment will be quite high.

You need to know the KW requirements of your AC unit and then you need to know the KW out per Square Meter for the panels.

Then add 20% to the number of panels yoe expect to take care of deteriation.

Next you need a DC to AC converter that is rated at above your maximum power consumption.

To get around the problem of needing to use ac during the night, there are two options.

Option 1. Battery back up, - use the solar panels to charge batteries and then use the batteries during the night time.

Option 2. Use the solar panels and an AC unit to cool a large mass (usually water with large rocks in it). Then during the night time pump cold water from your cold tank through a air exchanger in your room(s).

This second method is far more environmentally friendly as there are no batteries/heavy metals/acids etc involved.

There is another option and that is investigate insulating your home, loft insulation and loft ventilation alone can save a lot of money.

Also, is your AC unit in the sunlight, many are, try fitting a sunshade over the compressor this will greatly reduce the amount of money you spend chilling the chiller.

A final solution (that can be added to all of these) is replace the air cooler and fan outside of your home with a water heater so the heat taken from iside your room is used to heat water that you can use for showers or in the kitchen, or simply pour down the drain - remember cooling water does not require a fand so you will be reducing your energy usage.

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funny you should mention it ....

Provincial halls to be fitted with solar cells

BANGKOK, Oct 24, (TNA) – Provincial halls nationwide are to be fitted with solar panels to help save electricity, Interior Minister Bhokin Bhalakula said last week.

As the government desperately scrambles for ways of economizing on fuel use to beat soaring oil prices, it is urging a raft of energy-saving measures for government offices, including switching off air conditioning and lights when rooms are not in use, and the use of alternative fuel.

Addressing Interior Ministry officials for the ministry’s monthly meeting on Friday, Mr. Bhokin said that he had asked the Department of Civil Works to study the use of solar panels as a means of generating electricity in government offices and homes.

According to Mr. Sermsak Phongphanich, permanent secretary for the interior, the department has been asked to conduct a pilot project by installing solar panels on the roofs of provincial halls. (TNA)-E006

*********************************

installation costs are always a bugbear , but new cheaper cells are said to be coming on the market soon...

whether they will be available in LOS at a sensible price remains to be seen , as there is the import tax i guess ...

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Catching some rays for savings

Solar power has a few cost-conscious folks all fired up

By STEVEN CHURCH

The News Journal

10/11/2004

Even before energy prices hit the roof, Marydel resident Gary Burris had a passion for saving money on his electric bill.

Five years ago, he installed a geothermal heating and cooling system but decided that wasn't enough, since everything in his house relied on electricity.

In July, he had a series of solar panels mounted on the roof of a storage building in his yard. The next month, one in which his air conditioner gets more use than any other, his electric bill was just $47 - $69 less than in August 2003.

With those savings, it will still take him years to directly earn back the $25,500 he invested, if he stays in the house. But the solar system immediately boosted the value of his home by about $19,400, Burris said, a figure backed up by a national report on how energy-efficient products affect home value.

Burris is one of only seven Delaware residents who have taken advantage of a state subsidy to install solar panels. State officials last year boosted the subsidy in an effort to coax more residents into installing the expensive panels, which produce electricity from sunshine.

But experts advise homeowners to do a little research before making the move to solar.

Homeowners curious about solar electricity should think about the panels, which typically last 25 years or longer, in much the same way they would think about any major home-remodeling project. That means getting estimates from different contractors, deciding whether to borrow the money or use savings, and learning how the panels might affect the value of their home.

"We get calls every week," said Dale Davis, who owns CMI Electric Inc. in Newark, which installs solar panels in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Most of his work as an electrical contractor is still the traditional type, but Davis said he has fielded more questions about solar power amid rising energy prices and growing concern about global warming.

Still, not every house is suited to take advantage of a new generation of higher-quality solar panels; some are shaded by trees or have roofs that don't face south, the direction that allows the most sunlight to hit the panels. And not every consumer can afford to wait years to earn back the thousands of dollars it takes to install the panels.

According to the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a typical 4-kilowatt solar system installed on a Delaware home would save about $550 annually, assuming that electricity costs about 9 cents a kilowatt hour.

At that rate it would take nearly 22 years to earn back the entire amount of the system. Solar advocates, however, say the federal savings estimates are low and that making a direct payback calculation doesn't take into account the increased value a solar system adds to the home.

Bruce Wanex, an electrical contractor who began installing solar panels a few years ago, said he typically tells customers the break-even point is 13 to 16 years for the typical home, and that most of the money spent on the system can be recouped when the home is sold.

State energy officials are working to interest more homeowners in solar power through the state's Green Energy Program. The program operates with a $4 million fund and is good for solar-electric systems, solar water heaters and other renewable energy projects. The program is only open to Conectiv customers because they are the only Delaware residents required to pay a surcharge on their bills to fund the rebates.

Last year, the state reorganized the program and increased the amount it pays because so few people were taking advantage of the rebates. Now, property owners can get a rebate for up to half the cost of installing a solar system, or $22,500 - whichever is less. The rebates are good for any home where panels are installed. Rebates of up to $250,000 are available for commercial systems.

But experts say state energy officials will have to reach beyond residents like Burris, a supervisor at a Felton-area landfill who has always been fascinated by the technology. Homeowners who don't know that much about solar power will have to be convinced the cost of the system is worth it, said Sandra Burton, an alternative-energy consultant hired by the state to help market the Green Energy subsidy program.

Burton said one thing homeowners can do to help defray the cost of installing panels is to borrow the money as a home-equity loan and cover the payments with savings from their monthly energy bills. The panels often save more on a monthly electricity bill than the monthly loan payment, she said.

"It does also raise the value of the home," Burton said. And buyers qualify for higher mortgages on homes with solar power because the annual energy savings is factored into a bank's decision about how much to lend, she said.

Rick Nevin, an economist with ICF Consulting in Virginia, found that for every dollar saved on annual utility bills because of products such as solar systems, better insulation and new windows, the value of a home increases by $20. Nevin used housing sales data from the 1990s to study how housing prices were affected by energy efficiency.

"It suggests that the market is bidding up the cost of energy-efficient homes," Nevin said.

Not every home appraiser, however, is willing to take that into consideration.

Allan Locke put a solar system on his Wilmington home in 2001 at a cost of $22,000, after getting a state rebate. Although the panels save him about $100 to $150 a month, an appraiser recently told him that it didn't add to the value of the home because it wasn't on a standard list of things that add value to a home, like a new bathroom or kitchen.

Locke doesn't regret his choice, though. The money he saves on power just about covers the payments on the home-improvement loan he took out to pay for the system.

"During a real sunshiny day, we're generating more electricity than we use," said Locke, an electrician for Amtrak.

It costs less to put a solar system on a new home because it can be done as the roof is installed. The lower initial cost is one reason why Media, Pa.-based home builder Scott Cannon is offering solar panels as an option on homes in a new development in Pennsylvania, one of the first developments on the East Coast to do so.

Cannon's company, Cannon Custom Homes, is offering the solar option in a housing tract in London Grove Township, Pa. It will cost buyers about $8,000 more, after a Pennsylvania rebate, for a solar-powered home in the development. The electricity generated should save buyers more on their electric bills than the increase in the mortgage payment necessary to pay for the solar panels, Cannon said.

"We're trying to get people comfortable with [solar systems] so we can sell more and drive down the costs," Cannon said. "This is not some crazy high-tech thing. It's actually very, very simple technology."

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Recently Istayed at a holiday house on an island in Australia, where all power was solar. It ran the fridges, tv, hot water, radio and lighting. hey had a system of batteries with a converter I think and maybe four panels on the roof. This apparently cost about A$20,000 all up. There was always enough hot water for 7 adults and three kids. No need for air con though so dont know about that.

Another thought was ...Is it possible to recycle old solar panels ?? I ask this because I recently saw a huge number of panels on a roof next to a hotel in Bangkok and was told by the hotel manager that they would be getting rid of them because they are aneyesore and are not in use. There would have been enough panels to cover say a basketball court easily ++ maybe more.

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Recently Istayed at a holiday house on an island in Australia, where all power was solar. It ran the fridges, tv, hot water, radio and lighting. hey had a system of batteries with a converter I think and maybe four panels on the roof. This apparently cost about A$20,000 all up. There was always enough hot water for 7 adults and three kids. No need for air con though so dont know about that.

Another thought was ...Is it possible to recycle old solar panels ?? I ask this because I recently saw a huge number of panels on a roof next to a hotel in Bangkok and was told by the hotel manager that they would be getting rid of them because they are aneyesore and are not in use. There would have been enough panels to cover say a basketball court easily ++ maybe more.

Are you sure they were solar panels and not just solar water heaters? :o

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Seem to remember that Bill Clinton had them installed on the White House roof when he took over as President.

Whe Georgie (the elder) got in he apparently "binned" them.(Ok admit -unconfirmed...however)

I think good idea but they dont look so good but then so did sat.dishes when they first started sprouting out all over the place and now we dont really notice them. :o

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Solar panels are too expensive, however if you want o use them there is the cheap solar light for the Garden and corridor, also saving energy use the air conditioning to make hot water form teh condenser unit, that will reduce the cost of the water heater electricity

There are devices that use the heat exchanger at the air con condernser unit to convert the heat of condenser to heat up the water, thereby you get free hot water

however your air con system needs to be on while using the water heater, or simply use a hot water storage device

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Is it possible to run one air-con for a bedroom with solar panels?

How much is the investment?

I have been thinking about this so please let me know if you have experience or knowledge in this. Thanks!

Seems as though in the last few months there were some news articles about the Thai govt. considering giving tax breaks for people using solar power. I don't have the article references/urls right now, but you might want to look into this - tax breals could be the deciding factor in economic feasiblity. They could also affect when you make the investment.

Good Luck :o

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Seem to remember that Bill Clinton had them installed on the White House roof when he took over as President.

Whe Georgie (the elder) got in he apparently "binned" them.(Ok admit -unconfirmed...however)

I think your idea is right but you got the presidents wrong since Bush (the elder)came before Clinton, not after him. Maybe Carter put them on and Ray-gun took them off but I'm not sure either!! :o

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Yup - J. Carter put them on and R. Reagan took them off! According to this link, there are some solar panels on the White House grounds, but they're on a shed, not on the main house - and they probably won't be on the main house until there is a regime change back home!

I think that Thailand is a great potential market for solar power and hope to see more of it used in the future. When I move out of an apartment - in two or three years if everything goes according to plan - I'd like to experiment with solar power myself.

Back in California, I and several of my friends all lived aboard sailboats. We wall used solar power in varying amounts.

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Are you sure they were solar panels and not just solar water heaters? :o

Probably both.

I did look at this when I was building my house a few years back, but the only units

were imported and taxed out of reach.

I did think about trying to design my own, at least the water heater.

I am surprised there are no Thai companies producing solar panels and Solar water heaters.

If you know otherwise please post some url's or pm me.

Thanks

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Are you sure they were solar panels and not just solar water heaters? :o

Probably both.

I did look at this when I was building my house a few years back, but the only units

were imported and taxed out of reach.

I did think about trying to design my own, at least the water heater.

I am surprised there are no Thai companies producing solar panels and Solar water heaters.

If you know otherwise please post some url's or pm me.

Thanks

I don't believe solar water heat would be cost effective here for home use as if you have a stainless steel tank you don't need to raise the water temperature much with an on-demand heater and for the short time they are used the electric usage is not that much.

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Couple of other posts that should be of interest to ya:

Solar Energy, Enlightening News

AND

Solar Power Solutions in Thailand

and

Solar Power, Free Solar Cells

It's just amazing to me - as a junior in HS I took a Physics Survery course at a nearby Universtity that changed the course of my life. In that course we calculated the maximum theoretical efficiency of Solar Cells; its been quite a while but I remember it being something like 20% but the solar cells of the day (20 yrs ago)only had efficiencies of around 10% - now we're over 15% and approaching the theoretical max efficiency. :o

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