I am in the process of building a house but when it comes to solar energy i might have to import myself to only then be confronted with a high import tax on such products. And that while closing time of bars and restaurants are brought forward, damaging the tourist industry in this country, and other measures are introduced to try and save energy. Let me have my solar power for a reasonable price i may take a larger unit so i can feed some of the power into the local/national grid.
I am also planning build a off-grid home as soon as the price become more affordable.
Off the grid house is ok but will the grid accept access power produced? And will this be subject to remuneration?
This I think would encourage new users to switch or co-use alternative energy sources.
My house has to be 100% self supporting, with all the necessary connections in case a failure might happen.
So we are not only talking solar power, but also helping the climate control by using mother earth and its natural ability to cool, this would give a temperature difference of ten degrees, with the help of heat exchangers. The old architecture should be reinstated since that makes use of naturally occurring draft. Insulation of the whole house, including double glazing, from roof to ground floor slap, which keeps out the heat produced by sunshine and therefore reflecting back to the on the roof installed water heating system which is also using sunshine to bring the water temperature to a nice and comfortable level. This is already done and promoted by a firm vested in Pattaya under the name of A.R.C. the webpage can be found at www.arcaircon.com. Maybe there are more companies out there but this is the one I know so far going the extra mile with regard to energy saving.
The house will have a cellar to store the required water tanks and batteries in a cool place if I can not feed excess power into the national grid. Further more a cellar has other good usage possibilities and all will be in a fairly cool environment.
The water system will be split a.) Either a well (if possible) or water from the grid for the shower and kitchen needs b.) Rain water and/or the previously mentioned water after use for shower or washing to be used for toilet flushing with some moderate filtration first.
Most probably the house will be one of a few I am afraid but I sincerely hope it might trigger some (re)thinking about natural sources / resources and the old way of doing things combined with new technology.
And why all this you might ask well for one to be independent from anybody whether it’s the power supplier or water supplier. At the moment the price to be paid for energy in Thailand is not very expensive but when the first power cuts occur and the new need for power stations are budgeted then I think the same will happen as is ongoing with petrol prices at the moment. And my experience has learned me that prices go up easily but they are very hard to be brought down again and this will be explained to use as being in maintenance costs for the elder power stations the cost of maintaining the grid the higher building cost for new power stations etc etc etc. And I think Thailand will have to spend a large sum in the not so far future to re-cable the grid since the current situation is not only ugly but it is also getting dangerous.
I was at a flow concert in BKK sometime last year where I met a guy who told me of an article in the paper about a solar R&D faciliy somewhere in Thailand that seemed to be very advanced. I have been back to see flow play a number of times since and although I love them as they are the real thing, I haven't bumped ibto the guy again. If anyone can point me in the right direction i really would appreciate it. Thank you
I am married to my Thai wife and we are planning to possibly retire to Thailand
perhaps next year. It sounds like you are doing exactly what I hope to do in terms of building a home that is self-sufficient. I have been doing some research in an area called "Natural Building Techniques". You may be interested in this. There seems to be alot of knowledge (a number of books are available) outside of Thailand. However, I can't seem to find anything more than a website of one group in Thailand- http://www.punpunthailand.org/
They appear to involved with sustainability on a more basic hand-on level.
I am wondering if you have found any architects/builders in Thailand who are aware of these techniques and are working with you or are you designing and building your house yourself.....?
I too, have hopes of building an off grid home, here in the north near Chiang Mai. The best Thai book I've read on the subject is: "Bio-Solar Home Powered By The Sun" By Soontorn Boonyatikarn.
Here's an article referring to it:
I'm a little confused about what I'll ultimately do, as the book utilises many modern materials to achieve the power savings, and I'd like to find a way to incorporate much traditional architecture as well.
BTW, I saw your comment on another forum regarding laying paver bricks. You were correct as to the reasdons for the substandard work.. I can't imagine why someone felt the need to criticize you.
I am not resident in Thailand, yet but have visited more times than I can count. I will be buying my first Thai home in April of this year. Like many of the other contributors to this forum I wish to make use of the free energy that is available from nature. It is my desire for several reasons .
1/ It makes sense in economic terms
2/ it makes sense in environmental terms
( nb: like all investments it should be viewed in the long term )
However there is no point in availing yourself of solar or other renewable energy sources by installing it in a house that does not conserve and/ or re-use that energy .
I am currently involved in designing a highly energy efficient modular dwelling that will incorporate renewable energy sources.
If I can be of any assistance to any body please feel free to contact me at my email address or visit my website at smart-solar-power.com.
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