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Phuket Electrical Marine to help beat blackouts with solar backup systems

Founder of Electrical Marine, Damian Barrett has been installing solar systems on and off Phuket for more than a decade. One of his early solar projects was at a resort on Koh Rang, where he installed three stand-alone hybrid solar systems, combined for 35-kilowatts.

By Steven Layne

Sunday 11 October 2015, 08:00AM

“At the time, the [Koh Rang] island didn’t have mains power, they were running on their own generators. There was a boat house, where we installed a 10 kilowatt system to run all the fridges, lights, and ceiling fans.

“We did the same for the manager’s villa, a 10 kilowatt system to run all his lights, fridges and ceiling fans.

“And then for one of the owner’s villa we installed a 15-kilowatt system to run all their swimming pool pumps, lights, and again the ceiling fan, and fridges.”

He explained the hybrid function of the systems, whereas all the air cons and heavy electricity loads drew from the diesel-powered generators, while the lights, fridges, and pool pumps could fully depend on solar power – directly during the day, and drawing from the batteries station after sunset.

“That was 10 years ago, and touch wood, we’ve not had any issues with those systems.”

One key everlasting factor, he insists, is the decision to use marine-grade components and units, including the gel batteries, charge controllers and inverters.

New Paths Retreat

Though anywhere from 30-50 per cent more expensive, marine-grade equipment is preferable to their land-based counterparts since the former are built to a higher spec, sealed to protect from corrosion and other damage that might arise from the elements.

“The fact is, we are on an island and there’s a lot of moisture and salt in the air, so it doesn’t pay to cut corners on your equipment here. We’ve always used marine-grade units, which are better simply because of their standards and quality. The cases are built out of aluminum instead of steel, for example, and they’re properly sealed. You don’t want something that’s been there six months, but already starting to rust.”

An electrical engineer, Damian can size systems to be as big or small as one needs – single to three phase, 12 / 24 or 48 DC at 220 / 380 volts AC are all possible. With boats, one is limited by space and weight, but on land applications are far less restricted, save the space and budget.

“We’re looking to supply smaller hybrid household systems that can supply a few hours runtime for when the power goes out, you can still have your wifi and a computer with say a 23-inch monitor working uninterrupted. A 3-kilowatt system in the range of B100,000 is what we’re aiming at,” he said.

Electrical Marine’s new office is located a few kilometres east of Heroines Monument, en route to Pa Klok. For more information, visit or call 076 272 177



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