Solar System for Home Use in Cambodia

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khmerhamster
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Re: Solar System for Home Use in Cambodia

Post by khmerhamster »

Kammekor wrote: Mon Jun 03, 2024 3:36 pm
khmerhamster wrote: Mon Jun 03, 2024 11:22 am I’ve done some reading around it this morning.

On grid systems aren’t illegal. But the electricity authority needs to be informed of their presence.
You're not allowed to feed back to the grid. Which is understandable from EdC's point ofr view. They don't want to constantly fix trouble caused by local suppliers installed by half educated panel sellers.
It isn't really understandable to me. They (EDC) could be getting the benefit of free electricity rolling back into the grid. Of course there is the risk of half assed installations, but they could be getting significant benefit with little effort on their part.
From 10-3 my office generates more than we use every day. And weekends we have next to nil usage. In many countries the energy firms have a buy back credit program for electricity flowing back into the grid - it seems like a missed opportunity for them.

But back to your original comment. On-grid systems are most definitely not illegal.
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Re: Solar System for Home Use in Cambodia

Post by Bluenose »

khmerhamster wrote: Mon Jun 03, 2024 4:41 pm
Kammekor wrote: Mon Jun 03, 2024 3:36 pm
khmerhamster wrote: Mon Jun 03, 2024 11:22 am I’ve done some reading around it this morning.

On grid systems aren’t illegal. But the electricity authority needs to be informed of their presence.
You're not allowed to feed back to the grid. Which is understandable from EdC's point ofr view. They don't want to constantly fix trouble caused by local suppliers installed by half educated panel sellers.
It isn't really understandable to me. They (EDC) could be getting the benefit of free electricity rolling back into the grid. Of course there is the risk of half assed installations, but they could be getting significant benefit with little effort on their part.
From 10-3 my office generates more than we use every day. And weekends we have next to nil usage. In many countries the energy firms have a buy back credit program for electricity flowing back into the grid - it seems like a missed opportunity for them.

But back to your original comment. On-grid systems are most definitely not illegal.
Very little effort until something goes wrong, and I would guess that some work is required on EdC's part for the network to handle it. Bearing in mind the situation with electricity here until a few years back, maybe to better for everyone to be able to walk before some try to run.
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Kammekor
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Re: Solar System for Home Use in Cambodia

Post by Kammekor »

khmerhamster wrote: Mon Jun 03, 2024 4:41 pm
Kammekor wrote: Mon Jun 03, 2024 3:36 pm
khmerhamster wrote: Mon Jun 03, 2024 11:22 am I’ve done some reading around it this morning.

On grid systems aren’t illegal. But the electricity authority needs to be informed of their presence.
You're not allowed to feed back to the grid. Which is understandable from EdC's point ofr view. They don't want to constantly fix trouble caused by local suppliers installed by half educated panel sellers.
It isn't really understandable to me. They (EDC) could be getting the benefit of free electricity rolling back into the grid. Of course there is the risk of half assed installations, but they could be getting significant benefit with little effort on their part.
From 10-3 my office generates more than we use every day. And weekends we have next to nil usage. In many countries the energy firms have a buy back credit program for electricity flowing back into the grid - it seems like a missed opportunity for them.

But back to your original comment. On-grid systems are most definitely not illegal.
The gains from the electricity they get for free probably don't outweigh the trouble of faulty installations potentially blacking out a block, or worse. Don't forget the whole infrastructure here is basic, to put it mildly, and even more advanced networks in the West are struggling with the peaks in solar power delivered back to the net.

About the legal part, go as you please. After all this is Cambodia. Just connect your solar system to the grid and see what happens. You will probably be fine until EdC experiences trouble because of solar in your area. Then it's you against EdC. Good luck with that.
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Re: Solar System for Home Use in Cambodia

Post by Prolecs »

Thanks for all the replies, lots of info. It's Cambodia so I never really expected to see a book of regulations but like most things here, I gather it's flexible! Enough said.
As I am an electrician , and have an extensive PV system on my home in Aussie, I can enlighten a few perhaps on some of the reasons (IMHO), for some of the lets say practices. It's about safety mostly.

FEED BACK or EXPORT
Grid tied (connected) inverters (that convert the solar panel output from DC like in a battery to AC like runs your AC unit), are most common in most of the world, and are made so they cannot produce any power unless the mains are connected. So they "look" to see the grid power is stable and then ramp up their output. If the grid fails, they stop converting. So in most cases (not "hybrid" of "off-grid"), no grid means no backup from the PV. It is for safety reasons - if they produced power when the grid is down, they could kill the worker outside your house, working on the power lines.
Off-Grid (no connection to the grid), are a different design and produce power whenever the light is strong enough.
Hybrid, as used with a battery, can produce power if the grid fails, but before they do, they isolate the grid supply from their supply, so they can never feed back.
Now manufacturers are designing all sorts of variations of the basic designs, but the safety principles remains. I don't see this is any issue for the authority, as with "off the shelf" grid tied inverters, no power=no export= no issue for the workers. It would take an engineering team to modify the inverter to do anything different.

Next REIMBURSEMENT & THE METER - the standard kWh meter I see in PP, looks like it will only read in one direction, so you use power from the grid, you clock up the amount and get a bill. If you feed back power - export to grid- when the sun shines bright, the meter won't read it. So reimbursement for power fed to the grid means a new, probably bigger and more expensive meter. The power exported would help with the energy company for sure, but could be an issue if there was a huge number of people with PV. In this case, the "people power" could raise the voltage over the upper limit.
I'm guessing the authority has enough to do getting all Cambodians on power with out upping the workload changing meters. However, it's not difficult to licence this work out to third parties, and this would provide financial gain for the Authority.
In Aussie, "smart" meters have been fitted to a lot of homes regardless. Not so much for PV, but the new meter has WiFi and does not require anyone to read it. The central computer does this over the Wifi. It also looks at your usage and when, with a result that they are now able to PENALISE you for exceeding some arbitrary limit in some arbitrary time slot, and hit you with (effectively) a fine. DEMAND charge.

LIMITING OUTPUT: Most inverters can be programmed to limit export to 0 if need be. Now I can't see this makes ANY sense, as it is free power for the authority, so I suggest they probably don't bother. If there was a lot of solar about, yes it might be necessary to limit exports. I suggest about 2054 :)
Using your own power - best to use what you can of your generation while the sun shines, so wash/dry/cook/A/c in the daytime. OR buy a battery and hybrid inverter, so excess to your use, charges your battery for supply to you in the night. Anything over, is free power for the country.

The issue of faulty installations by cowboys is not unique or new to Solar, and IMHO would not result in black out to the neighbourhood, but may result in loss of power to the single installation. It's a bogeyman.

So I'm back to is it legal, assuming it's done correctly? Still not sure, but it looks like a yes.
Can I get $$$ for my solar generation? - Seems not, Even if I paid for the new kWh meter. The systems/regulations are just not there - YET.
What to do today? - find a company to install on the house. Or just buy and inverter and PV and DIY, and probably no one will ever notice.
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Re: Solar System for Home Use in Cambodia

Post by khmerhamster »

Prolecs wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 1:03 pm Thanks for all the replies, lots of info. It's Cambodia so I never really expected to see a book of regulations but like most things here, I gather it's flexible! Enough said.
As I am an electrician , and have an extensive PV system on my home in Aussie, I can enlighten a few perhaps on some of the reasons (IMHO), for some of the lets say practices. It's about safety mostly.

FEED BACK or EXPORT
Grid tied (connected) inverters (that convert the solar panel output from DC like in a battery to AC like runs your AC unit), are most common in most of the world, and are made so they cannot produce any power unless the mains are connected. So they "look" to see the grid power is stable and then ramp up their output. If the grid fails, they stop converting. So in most cases (not "hybrid" of "off-grid"), no grid means no backup from the PV. It is for safety reasons - if they produced power when the grid is down, they could kill the worker outside your house, working on the power lines.
Off-Grid (no connection to the grid), are a different design and produce power whenever the light is strong enough.
Hybrid, as used with a battery, can produce power if the grid fails, but before they do, they isolate the grid supply from their supply, so they can never feed back.
Now manufacturers are designing all sorts of variations of the basic designs, but the safety principles remains. I don't see this is any issue for the authority, as with "off the shelf" grid tied inverters, no power=no export= no issue for the workers. It would take an engineering team to modify the inverter to do anything different.

Next REIMBURSEMENT & THE METER - the standard kWh meter I see in PP, looks like it will only read in one direction, so you use power from the grid, you clock up the amount and get a bill. If you feed back power - export to grid- when the sun shines bright, the meter won't read it. So reimbursement for power fed to the grid means a new, probably bigger and more expensive meter. The power exported would help with the energy company for sure, but could be an issue if there was a huge number of people with PV. In this case, the "people power" could raise the voltage over the upper limit.
I'm guessing the authority has enough to do getting all Cambodians on power with out upping the workload changing meters. However, it's not difficult to licence this work out to third parties, and this would provide financial gain for the Authority.
In Aussie, "smart" meters have been fitted to a lot of homes regardless. Not so much for PV, but the new meter has WiFi and does not require anyone to read it. The central computer does this over the Wifi. It also looks at your usage and when, with a result that they are now able to PENALISE you for exceeding some arbitrary limit in some arbitrary time slot, and hit you with (effectively) a fine. DEMAND charge.

LIMITING OUTPUT: Most inverters can be programmed to limit export to 0 if need be. Now I can't see this makes ANY sense, as it is free power for the authority, so I suggest they probably don't bother. If there was a lot of solar about, yes it might be necessary to limit exports. I suggest about 2054 :)
Using your own power - best to use what you can of your generation while the sun shines, so wash/dry/cook/A/c in the daytime. OR buy a battery and hybrid inverter, so excess to your use, charges your battery for supply to you in the night. Anything over, is free power for the country.

The issue of faulty installations by cowboys is not unique or new to Solar, and IMHO would not result in black out to the neighbourhood, but may result in loss of power to the single installation. It's a bogeyman.

So I'm back to is it legal, assuming it's done correctly? Still not sure, but it looks like a yes.
Can I get $$$ for my solar generation? - Seems not, Even if I paid for the new kWh meter. The systems/regulations are just not there - YET.
What to do today? - find a company to install on the house. Or just buy and inverter and PV and DIY, and probably no one will ever notice.
Great summary. I used a reputable, western managed company for my installation. Even 7 years later they remain in contact and have promised to update me with regulatory changes. They tell me that regulations for home installations are a grey area and they petitioning the authorities for clarity. When this clarity comes they will advise.

As it stands my historic installation was not against the law at the time, but a year after my installation some guidelines were released - but these did not cover small home installations. There seems to be requirements for new installations but my contact says that authorities are not in a place to manage these requirements.
It appears that laws have been passed but nobody has any idea how to implement them, which is not so unusual in Cambodia. Time will tell if they are adhered to laws or ‘discretionary’.

I’d suggest you contact a firm for advice, even if you decide to install yourself.
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pissontheroof
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Re: Solar System for Home Use in Cambodia

Post by pissontheroof »

khmerhamster wrote: Mon Jun 03, 2024 4:41 pm
From 10-3 my office generates more than we use every day. And weekends we have next to nil usage. In many countries the energy firms have a buy back credit program for electricity flowing back into the grid - it seems like a missed opportunity for them.

Why don’t you get an appliance that uses alot of power that you could make money on ?
Just off the top of my head I would think of an ice making machine .
Make ice with all your spare power and sell it .. ice seems to sell well here ..
Get a crew on the weekends to distribute boocoup ice you made all week and
Make a bunch more and let people come pick some up , do,you have a well ?
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Re: Solar System for Home Use in Cambodia

Post by khmerhamster »

pissontheroof wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 3:00 pm
khmerhamster wrote: Mon Jun 03, 2024 4:41 pm
From 10-3 my office generates more than we use every day. And weekends we have next to nil usage. In many countries the energy firms have a buy back credit program for electricity flowing back into the grid - it seems like a missed opportunity for them.

Why don’t you get an appliance that uses alot of power that you could make money on ?
Just off the top of my head I would think of an ice making machine .
Make ice with all your spare power and sell it .. ice seems to sell well here ..
Get a crew on the weekends to distribute boocoup ice you made all week and
Make a bunch more and let people come pick some up , do,you have a well ?
I don’t think that this is the money tree you imagine it to be. Buy all the equipment, a truck for delivery pay a couple of guys a salary - min $500 per month.
Then do we undercut the current ice sellers, who are selling ice at next to nothing? I can buy a big sack of hygienic ice for $1.25. Gonna needy to sell a lot of ice to make back the capital and labour investment.
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