some thoughts from Dozer
builder image

High Tech Machine for Living

from Paul
image solarhouse.jpg Thanks Dozer for the quick response. One more question for you……..are you aware of any solar powered homes, or any builders familiar with them?

Editor – I’ve seen them around but don’t know the details. There is a great article here article on solar

The write up is on not only a solar but also a state of the art high tech ‘machine for living’ with buried air conditioning system, photovoltaic system etc.

The only bad news in the article is that solar is still quite expensive here, since the solar panels need to be imported and the import duty is quite high. The author of the article is on a mission to change all that.


  1. Hi Dozer, been up country and offline I must remonstrate about that shameful article from Krikke et al as below

    Bio Solar House

    My first reaction is that this article is that it is shameful poppycock. I shall launch a strong tirade against the Architect Magazine for publishing such a technicallu illiterate artical. It is well known, btw, that architechs are not technically competent (anymore than an artist can produce a technical drawing – the only exception being Leonardo da Vinci) This is no way any reflection on Dozer’s otherwise excellent site and work.

    This topic has been exhaustively studied throughout the world and there are many info sources available with a google search for interested parties

    The Architecture Week article is seriously flawed and gives a very misleading impression that its off-the-shelf technology readily available here (or anywhere else for that matter). Its just what happens when you get a technically illiterate free lance comment about a complex subject from self propangandising interests. The substance of the article would be torn to shreds by any international peer reviewers and the proponent would be held up as a charlatan.

    Firstly, solar cells for electrical power are very very expensive and inefficient (14% of solar radiation get converted to electrical power, around 60% of that is available for re-use from storage batteries). If you did your sums you may find that, instead of 5 Baht per unit for EGAT power you are actually paying more like 100B/unit to include installed costs and maintenance – yes there is maintenance – storage batteries and getting up on the roof to clean the window surfaces of the cells every month.

    I have built solar cell systems in saudi. To get 3kW onf continuously available 24hr/day power averaged over the year to run a pipeline control system in the middle of the desert, you need a solar array the size of a tennis court costing nearly 500,000 USD. That works out at 19USD/kWh or 75 baht/kWh (unit) over 10 years. The special storage batteries needed represent half the capital and must be replaced after 10 years. The long term life of solar panels is not yet established. So the most optomisitc figure would be say 50 baht per unit compared with 5 baht per unit for EGAT power.

    Further justifications of panel sizing etc would take up several pages of involved calculation. The insolation in Pattaya is may 50% of that in central Saudi, so increases the cost 2 fold etc to 100 baht/unit

    If your house cost 75000USD (3 million baht), your solar array to power a small ac unit continuously would cost 20 million baht

    Need I say more?

    Waste Water treatment

    You cannot affectively filter the effluent from a washing machine and expect to use it for irrigation. Total poppycock. Detergents are polyphosphates and are fully dissolved in water (not particulates which can be filtered). Detergent water is a major problem in Europe as evidenced by the flocculates (froth) often seen in rivers and streams. The waste will break down quickly when spread on the land but it turns the land alkaline which most crops dont like and it kills mango trees (Ive tried it). Pools of detergent water in the ground produce a distinctive irridescent blue green algae scum. The only thing that helps disposal is this polluted water hyacinth which will eat up the phosphates and can be dried and turned into fertiliser. The water still remains alkali but might be useful in bamboo groves (bamboo turns the soil acid). Its quite a problem up country


    What you can do is generate hot water very effectively and simply from solar radiation. You need only modify a typical stainless steel storage tank. Do the following

    a) make sure that your 1000/1500 litre tank is situated in a southerly aspect and fully exposed to the sun for most of the day

    b) paint the tank matt black

    c) construct a 3 sided box around the tank with the sides flared outwards 30 degrees facing the sun

    d) Fill in the open side facing the sun with any suitable glass panels and framework

    e) put a suitable cover over the top of the box and paint the insides walls of the box black

    The box structure prevents wind cooling the tank down. The black paint absorbs the solar heat best and keeps warm at night.

    There you have an cheap and effective solar collector that will give you free hot water for showering. I know this works because, by accident rather than design, thats exactly what I have in my bkk appartment with the storage tank on the roof covered on 3 sides by walls.

    In the realm of the blind the one-eyed man is king.

    Robin T

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