Solar energy and clean water

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Solar energy and clean water were the topics at the January 22 meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club. The first talk was by Danny Wilkinson on the benefits of solar energy. The second talk was about the benefits of washing and showering in clean water.

Danny Wilkinson, Director, Premier Solar Company, said there are 50 solar energy companies in Thailand, but most of them only have a Facebook page. He said Thailand’s solar energy industry is five to 10 years behind that of Australia, where he had years of experience working within the Australian Renewable Energy Industry before relocating to Thailand in search for recruitment. After sixteen months, seeing a huge difference in business structure from overseas competitors sparked the need to create and develop a company of his own last year.

MC Ren Lexander welcomes everyone to the regular Sunday meeting of the PCEC.
MC Ren Lexander welcomes everyone to the regular Sunday meeting of the PCEC.

According to Danny, solar energy can reduce your electricity costs because you can store the extra electricity generated during the day and use it at night. Although installation is not cheap, he said the solar panels have a long lifetime, and you can get your investment back in about seven years.

Danny said his company offers three types of systems. In the Grid-Connected Solar System, the solar panels convert energy from sunlight into electricity. An inverter converts the electricity from direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC) for use in your home, school or business. Excess energy goes back to the electric grid. You can sell the extra electricity back to the grid in many countries, but not yet in Thailand.

Danny Wilkinson gives a talk on the benefits of solar energy.
Danny Wilkinson gives a talk on the benefits of solar energy.

The second system is a Hybrid System. This is basically the same as the first one, except that you add a lithium battery bank into which you can store the excess electricity generated during the day. Then you use the batteries in the evening or during a power outage. Danny said this probably won’t generate enough for the entire house, only for selected rooms. He said this is becoming the most popular in Thailand because there are so many power outages.

The third system is the Off-Grid system. If you don’t have a power source from a utility group, you can use a generator or battery. Danny said this system is popular for remote areas and islands. For more information, see their website at: www.premiersolar.co.th.

Up next, Chris Harman, with the assistance of Seong Bao Jo, talked about the benefits of washing and showering in clean water. Chris Harman from the UK is retired from a career in police work; he has lived in Pattaya for 10 years, and said his good friend Seong Bao Jo asked him to make the presentation on Jo’s behalf. Jo is from South Korea and has lived in Pattaya for 25yrs. He is a tennis and fitness coach, but he is also the C.E.O. of Gosu Co., Ltd., a Thai company that has the exclusive rights to sell products from the S. Korean Company Dewbell, which produces quality water filters and accessories.

Chris Harmon and Seong Bao Jo answer questions from the audience.
Chris Harmon and Seong Bao Jo answer questions from the audience.

Chris then introduced an effective, inexpensive and easily installed water filter system manufactured in South Korea for the home or condos. Further, that Dewbell is a well-known and long established company that exports their products to many countries. He also pointed out that the filter system Jo is marketing is for washing and showering; not for drinking.

Chris explained that contaminated water poses many health problems. In addition to ingesting water when you shower, hard water like we have in Pattaya, doesn’t completely clean off soap, and forms a layer that blocks cells, thereby producing chapped skin and other skin problems.

Chris displayed an example of the water filter system, basically a tube approximately 10 inches long made of 100 percent polypropylene and containing a sediment filter and a carbon block filter. It can be easily installed between the water source and your shower line, or your sink faucet, or your clothes washing machine. Chris said it took him about 10 minutes to install his. The filter system is not intended for drinking water.

According to Chris, sand, sediment, and debris can come from the water lines that supply your water from the city. He said this water filter system removes rust, harmful substances and residual chlorine concentrations in the water. It is also helpful for relieving atopic or hyper allergic diseases, as well as preventing dry skin and hair. He said it’s a high-capacity filter; for a family of four, the average replacement of a filter is approximately 1 to 3 months. For old plumbing with lots of rust, the filter lifespan is approximately one month.

This lovely young lady is a university student asking for the assistance of those attending the PCEC meeting to help her in her studies by completing a questionnaire regarding Expats living in Thailand.
This lovely young lady is a university student asking for the assistance of those attending the PCEC meeting to help her in her studies by completing a questionnaire regarding Expats living in Thailand.

The cost for the main Dewbell unit is 950 baht, including filter and an additional pipe if you need it. A pack of three replacement filters is 750 baht. Dewbell also sells a shower head with the same filter and optional ceramic balls. In addition to the benefits of the basic filter system, Chris said, the shower head more than doubles the water pressure, makes the stream of the water finer by filtering it through a finely-holed plate, and softens the water flow from high pressure caused by the Bernoulli Effect. It also can save up to 60 percent on your water bills by utilizing high water pressure caused by the finely-holed plate. The cost of the shower head with filter and ceramic balls is 1,250 baht; without the ceramic balls, it’s 950 baht.

In answer to a question, Jo said Dewbell also has big volume unit for the whole house in Korea, but it is not practical in Thailand. This unit connects from the water main to the house pipes for interior distribution. Unfortunately, pipes for most Thai houses are a problem because they are too dirty or contaminated, thus the single unit will not be effective.

After the presentations, MC Ren Lexander brought everyone up to date on Club activities and called on Ron Hunter to conduct the Open Forum, where questions are asked and answered or comments made about Expat living in Pattaya.

For more information about the PCEC, visit their website at www.pcecclub.org.