- A man frustrated with high electricity and fuel costs is looking for how to set up a solar system for his home needs
- Since the price of fuel outrageously went up, running his 3.5 KVA generator for hours has been expensive
- David Osadebe, a solar energy expert, explained the cost of setting up a system and how to overcome maintenance issues
An anonymous asked:
"What do I need to know to set up solar for 24/7 electricity in my house in Nigeria?"
Between 2022 and 2024, the price of fuel in Nigeria jumped over 400%. That pushed small business owners and homes to look for alternative power sources.
The year 2023 especially saw many Nigerians reconfiguring their petrol-powered generators into ones using gas. This shows that many people are seeking cheap electricity rather than fuel. But is solar energy setup cheap?
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David Osadebe is an expert in solar systems and mobile inverters. He specialises in the design/build, installation, and optimization of power conversion technologies. David's expertise encompasses various types of inverters, ranging from the mobile inverter, the DIY setup, and the full home installation, including grid-tied, off-grid, and hybrid systems.
What is the cost of setting up solar system in Nigeria?
Well, it varies, depending on an individual's power consumption/appliances. Presently, the least portable setup for one room, which will power a TV, small fan, about three bulbs, and other little home gadgets, is 254k, then it goes up to millions, depending on individual needs and what they intend to run on the inverter.
Lithium vs Tubular batteries: Maintainance issues facing solar in Nigeria
Speaking of lithium batteries in solar systems, they have 0 to no maintenance. They can keep performing for 6-7 years before you start experiencing a significant capacity drop.
Tubular batteries, for instance, need regular maintenance to help keep the batteries running well. They need water to top up after a prolonged usage to enable them to keep retaining charge.
I recommend a three-month checkup on lead acid batteries, but some other installers recommend six months if distance is a challenge.
Saving cost with solar setup against using generator
Yes, solar energy saves a lot of money in the long run, but for some people, it may be hard to invest in solar at first, because of the price and what they are demanding from the installer.
Here is how I think it saves money: you install solar system of N700k to N1m just once, and you don’t have to worry about electricity for the next 7-8 years or more.
When you purchase a generator of about N220k, you could spend about N55k monthly minimum to generate light. In 8 years, if you look at your expenses on fuel alone, it’s about N5.2m coupled with the noises.
Sourcing good solar panels for your setup
In my practical knowledge, multiple panels connected in parallel or series produce more watts than a single solar panel rated of the same wattage as the ones in parallel/series.
I recommend monocrystalline solar panels because they are efficient. They have better build quality and produce enough current than polycrystalline.
Maintaining solar panels in dusty and rainy season
A solar system may suffer undercharge or rather insufficient voltage from the solar panels due to dusty panels. In that case, the installer needs to climb to the roof to do maintenance by washing the solar panels. When that is done, the full capacity will be restored.
The batteries might not charge well during the rainy season due to lack of sunlight. Should an installer take this into consideration while installing the panels, then he will do a two-way solar panel setup, which enhances sunlight reception.
Nigerian man installed solar in his house
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that a Nigerian man, also the CEO of aptLearn, got many talking on Monday, June 19, 2023, with his 10KVA solar system in his house.
The man, @Kynsofficial, said that installing solar panels to generate electricity was the best decision he made for himself.
Disclaimer: Advice given in this article is general in nature and is not intended to influence readers' decisions about investing or financial products. They should always seek their own professional advice that takes into account their own personal circumstances before making any financial decision.
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