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BANGKOK 21 May 2019 03:26
djayz

Power generator

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We regularly experience blackouts / power failures out where we live, especially during the raining season as soon as the wind picks up. 

 

I want to find a solution to this persistent problem which brings me to these two questions. 

 

Firstly, should I look at solar power or a diesel generator as an alternative source of energy? 

 

Secondly, what brands do you recommend and why?

 

Bear in mind it's for a small family home and typically just for a few lights, a fridge, fans and/or air-conditioner. 

 

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I think this has been done to death over the years and suggest you await Crossy's advice. ( why not pm him ?) However you will need to have an understanding of your actual power requirements in order that an informed judgement can be made.  I suspect that a generator set maybe the simplest and most economical solution but I suggest you wait to see a cost breakdown from an expert.

Edited by geoffbezoz
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Back home,  I have a toyota prius hybrid that I have hooked up a 1000 watt sine wave inverter to.  

 

The inverter is actually hooked to the 12 volt battery in the car,  and the electricity is drawn from it.  As the 12 volt battery gets used up,  the car automatically kicks on and tops the 12 volt off again.   '

 

I run along extension cord to my freezer and to a power strip for lights,  fans etc.   If a guy got serious he could put in a grid tie to the residential electrical,  and shunt power from the alternate source to certain select tied in appliances/lights.

 

Here in Thailand,  It might be easier to buy a small gas generator,  or get one that can run gas/propane/kerosine,

 

You could buy some deep cycle batteries and arrange them in a 12 volt array and charge them with some solar panels,  you'd want to get a good inverter.... They had all of that stuff at "do home"  and I'd bet they could point you towards an electrical guy that could hook it up for you..

 

Other than that,  you could always hook up a car alternator to a bicycle powered wheel and generate 12 v power to a battery.

 

 

If your car is parked near where you need the power,  you could get a good inverter (1-2kw)  and run it from the alternator of the car as needed (or the 12 v battery while the car is running)    Would be kind of a gas hog,  but if you've already got the car...

 

You can't go wrong with a honda or yamaha generator,  but they are expensive, and have been known to get up and walk away.   There are loads of generators on lazada,  but nearly all of them are chinese junk.  

Edited by samuttodd
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51 minutes ago, geoffbezoz said:

I think this has been done to death over the years and suggest you await Crossy's advice. ( why not pm him ?) However you will need to have an understanding of your actual power requirements in order that an informed judgement can be made.  I suspect that a generator set maybe the simplest and most economical solution but I suggest you wait to see a cost breakdown from an expert.

I'm sure it has been discussed a few times, but I can't find any threads relating to it. My search abilities are pitiful... Thanks for the reply. 

Edited by djayz

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49 minutes ago, samuttodd said:

Back home,  I have a toyota prius hybrid that I have hooked up a 1000 watt sine wave inverter to.  

 

The inverter is actually hooked to the 12 volt battery in the car,  and the electricity is drawn from it.  As the 12 volt battery gets used up,  the car automatically kicks on and tops the 12 volt off again.   '

 

I run along extension cord to my freezer and to a power strip for lights,  fans etc.   If a guy got serious he could put in a grid tie to the residential electrical,  and shunt power from the alternate source to certain select tied in appliances/lights.

 

Here in Thailand,  It might be easier to buy a small gas generator,  or get one that can run gas/propane/kerosine,

 

You could buy some deep cycle batteries and arrange them in a 12 volt array and charge them with some solar panels,  you'd want to get a good inverter.... They had all of that stuff at "do home"  and I'd bet they could point you towards an electrical guy that could hook it up for you..

 

Other than that,  you could always hook up a car alternator to a bicycle powered wheel and generate 12 v power to a battery.

 

 

If your car is parked near where you need the power,  you could get a good inverter (1-2kw)  and run it from the alternator of the car as needed (or the 12 v battery while the car is running)    Would be kind of a gas hog,  but if you've already got the car...

Thanks for the reply, but that with the car battery, extension cord, etc. is WAY too complicated for me (or Mrs Djayz). 

Edited by djayz

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56 minutes ago, djayz said:

I'm sure it has been discussed a few times, but I can't find any threads relating to it. My search abilities are pitiful... Thanks for the reply. 

Let Google do the work for you


Click here

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We have a Honda 10 kw generator, no issues at all with it in the two years we have had it.

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I would go for a generator. I´ve lived with solar energy quite a long time in Spain. Lights are no problem, but the fridge already is. A/C, no way, unless the dimension of the insallation is according to this. Biggest problem and cost: batteries.

The sun doesn´t shine when you need the electricity (rain, night)

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First thing you need to determine is exactly what you need to run and for how long. "A few lights and a fan for an hour" soon turns into "all the lights, fans, freezer, fridge, PC, TV, water pump etc. etc. all night".

 

Also, running leads and stuff every time the power goes off (it's invariably dark and raining) becomes old very rapidly, so some means of safely connecting a generator or other source into the house wiring is essential.

 

Unless it really is "A few lights and a fan for an hour" I would suggest a generator, either petrol (cheaper to buy) or diesel (cheaper to run) possibly with automatic start and an automatic transfer switch (to connect to the house).

 

Solar with batteries and a hybrid inverter (which can operate grid-tie if the power is on), will save you money every day but is not a cheap purchase and requires a stack of paperwork to allow you to connect to the grid.

 

None of this is beyond a competent DIYer, but then consider if you want a contractor to do the job (or part of the job) for you (could be $$$).

 

We have a cheapo KwaiThong 5.5kVA petrol generator which I have modified for remote starting (it was already electric start) and a home built automatic transfer switch. It runs everything except the water heaters and aircon (it actually does run our bedroom aircon). It works well, keeping Wifey (and her koi) happy even when I'm at work, all I have to do is check / top up the fuel every week and change the oil every 6 months or so.

 

I never recorded the money but I suppose we've spent maybe 2000 US (the genset was 22,000 Baht, it is a cheap unit) getting it to how we want, but I have done all the work myself.

 

The only negative of being the only house in the area with the lights on is that it attracts the locals like moths to a flame. They will come and watch your TV, eat your food and drink your beer 😞

 

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11 hours ago, djayz said:

Bear in mind it's for a small family home and typically just for a few lights, a fridge, fans and/or air-conditioner.

forget solar.

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Thanks guys. Right, from the above replies, which were all very helpful, I've decided to forget the solar power option and we can live without air-con during outages. Important to me is that we have lights, fan and the fridge running.

 

CGW recommended a Honda 10kw generator. I've looked that up and it seems to be something I think I could live with. I'll take a closer look at it in our local hardware store (GlobalHouse) this weekend. 

 

There's a lot of terminology in some of the threads about this so the learning curve is quite steep for me. 

 

Thanks again to all the posters who replied. 

 

 

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9 hours ago, CGW said:

We have a Honda 10 kw generator, no issues at all with it in the two years we have had it.

Does yours automatically kick in when the power dies? 

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9 minutes ago, carlyai said:

I think with a 10 kw machine you could run your aircon too.

 

Our little KwaiThong 5.5kVA unit will run the 12,000 BTU (non-inverter) unit in our bedroom.

 

I also tried and succeeded running the 23,000 BTU (inverter) in the lounge as a test (the soft start of the inverter helped a lot).

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