Phuket Solar Power
by AVC Engineering
The sun doesn’t just provide warmth and light, it’s also a source of clean green energy. Phuket has an abundance of sunlight, even during the rainy season. Phuket also has rising electric bills, frequent power outages, and a desire to be classed as “eco-friendly”. It’s time to join the solar revolution!
How Solar Power Systems Work
Solar panels work by absorbing sunlight with photovoltaic (PV) cells, generating direct current (DC) energy and then converting it to usable alternating current (AC) energy with an inverter. AC energy then flows through the home’s electrical panel and is distributed accordingly. Here are the main steps for how solar panels work for your home:
- Photovoltaic cells absorb the sun’s energy and convert it to DC electricity.
- The solar inverter converts DC electricity from your solar modules to AC electricity - the standard for households
- Electricity flows to your load panels, and contributes to your overall electricity demand. During a power outage, electricity will only be supplied to select loads (5a), to maximize the battery’s output
- A digital meter keeps track of how much energy is incoming and how much the solar system is supplying. You can optionally export power to the utility grid.
The Three Basic Types of Solar Power Systems for Phuket
These systems connect to the grid and have battery packs. In the daytime, you use generated power and any excess charges the batteries for use during the night (and any excess power generated goes back to the grid). During a power outage, your house will be powered by the batteries and your system will be automatically disconnected from the grid.
Grid-tie systems connect to the local power lines and do not have batteries. In the daytime, you use the generated power, and any excess goes into the grid. In the case of a power outage, your system will turn off to prevent power leaking back into the grid
Here the systems are stand-alone, there is no grid connection. This system is generally only used if your location doesn’t have any electrical infrastructure
Phuket is Perfect for Solar Power
Phuket is ideal being near to the equator and averaging 2,070 hours of sunlight hours per year. This averages roughly 5.67 peak sunlight hours per day (seasonally ranging from 3.6 hours/day to 7.6 hours/day.)
Even in monsoon rains, the solar panels can still produce electricity. The amount of power generated is based on light. Depending
on cloud cover and rain intensity your system will still produce a percentage of its capability (just like you can
still get a sunburn in overcast weather).
With the on-line monitoring app, you can see exactly how much energy you’re producing at all times.
How much power will the solar system supply? Can it run my air conditioner?
In normal operation, the solar system simply contributes to all of your electrical needs. If you have batteries, the solar system will contribute to your electrical needs in heavy rain and into the night.
In a power outage, can I still use my air conditioner?
AVC will work with you do determine most suitable the emergency power loads. While there may be sufficient energy to run an air-con, it may deplete the batteries before the mains power comes back on. It is much better to carefully select loads such as your water pump, WiFi system, some power sockets and some lights that can withstand an eight-hour power failure without depleting the batteries
The Benefits of a Solar Power System?
Solar systems have many benefits, including:
- Cost-effective. In the past ten years, PV panels have become far less expensive, and more efficient. Batteries have similarly come down in price and increased in capacity.
- Sustainable. Solar power, harnessing free energy from the sun, helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions created by fossil fuels. Solar panels create zero waste and zero emissions.
- Home Value. Having a solar power system increases the value of your home by more than 3%.
- Low Maintenance. With no moving parts and long warranty periods, solar requires little to no maintenance.
How much money can I save with a solar system?
This ultimately depends on the size of your system versus how much electricity you typically consume. Depending on your budget, you can either lessen your electric bill, or eliminate it completely. You can see more about ROI (return on investment) below. You should also keep in mind that the price of electricity is rising yearly, so savings will grow over time.
ROI can differ, depending on system type and tariff rate. The current PEA tariff is 4.7 baht/unit (per kWh, including tax). If you live in a development, you may be paying substantially more per unit.
|System Type||Storage Battery||Electricity Unit Price - ThB||Years to recoup *|
|10 kW grid-tie||No||4.7||4.6|
|10 kW grid-tie||No||6.0||3.5|
|10 kW hybrid||Yes||4.7||9.0|
|10 kW hybrid||Yes||6.0||7.0|
It should be noted that the calculation is based on the current cost of electricity. This will inevitably rise, making the ROI proportionally faster.
* Important: Yield values are estimates that are determined mathematically based on common system components, and Phuket’s latitude and longitude. AVC Engineering accepts no responsibility for actual yield values which may deviate from those estimated here.
Microgrids - Share Solar Power with Your Neighbors
For developments, it’s possible to create a “microgrid” amongst all the houses, even if they don’t all have solar systems. Any excess power produced by a single house is exported to neighboring houses. For example, you have gone out for the day: your solar panels are powering the pool pump and they’ve already charged your batteries. All of your extra power is running backwards through your meter, powering the rest of your street. When you receive your power bill (which is already greatly reduced), it will be minus the power that you exported. When your neighbor receives their bill, it will include the power that you provided. You’ve essentially sold excess power at par value.
Selected projects the AVC Engineering have be invloved with with our partners Barysol/Solarwert.
State of the art solar power system, with battery storage and a community microgrid... read more
Private Home, Nonthaburi
The owners of this three bedroom house wanted to reduce their power bill, and they now save approximately 6,000 baht per month... read more