Why Inverters are taking the Lead in Nigeria’s Search for Alternative Energy Sources
An uninterrupted power supply is such a rare sight in the country that many Nigerians begin to worry when they go twenty-four hours with no power interruptions. ‘What’s wrong?’ they ask. ‘Are we safe? Have the power guys fallen asleep?’
It’s funny yet serious. Africa is globally known to have an energy shortage issues and Nigeria, though one of the biggest economies in the continent is doing extra poorly in this area.
Nigeria has one of the worst energy shortage situations in Africa and experts predict that the country loses about 23 billion dollars annually because of its energy /electricity problems.
This has led to a search for alternative sources of energy by households and businesses. Nigeria depends on hydro and thermal power to generate its electricity, this has not been enough to generate enough electricity to serve and service the entire country, apart from hydro-power and fossil fuels (natural gas and coal) there are other sources of energy which can be utilized and which people are currently adopting as alternative sources of energy to that which is already available.
These multiple alternative sources of energy available today include wind power, solar power, bio-energy, geothermal energy and marine.
The focus of this article is on the sources of energy which are an alternative to what is already in use by the general Nigerian public today. However, before that, let’s provide a basic explanation of all the available sources of energy.
Sources of Energy
Wind power: Wind power consists of the building of onshore or offshore wind turbines which harness the power of the wind to generate electricity or energy.
Solar electricity: It makes use of two types of solar panels; photovoltaic and solar-thermal solar panels.
Bioenergy: This involves the use of biodegradable or organic matter like plants and animal waste exposed to bacteria in an anaerobic environment to produce methane gas which can be used as fuel.
Geothermal power: This is the harnessing of heat energy from within the earth to produce electricity while Marine energy is harnessing of tidal waves to generate energy.
All over the world, hydropower has been the highest provider of energy, followed by wind-solar, bio, geothermal then marine energy. Hydropower plants worldwide have been said to generate a total of 1172 gigawatts while onshore and offshore wind turbines combined provide about 564 gigawatts. Solar panels both photovoltaic and solar-thermal panels combined provide 480gigawatts, bio-energy provide 121gigawatts, geothermal energy provide 13 gigawatts while marine or tidal wave energy provides 0.5 gigawatts, from all these data we can see that hydropower energy provides the highest amount of energy to the world but Nigeria is still lagging in utilizing this source of energy properly which has led to the introduction of alternative sources.
The good news though, is that currently, Nigerians are gradually beginning to utilize bioenergy, inverters and solar energy in Nigeria. Biodigesters for the production of biogas are being built in place of the traditional soakaway, inverters are starting to take the place of generators, although some of these alternative forms of energy or sources of energy are not mainstream yet, they are starting gain popularity. Businesses are switching from buying generators to now buying inverters to avoid epileptic power supply and cut costs. Some of these alternative energy sources can be gotten cheaply while some are expensive, sometimes, even more, expensive than the regular energy/electricity we get.
Here is are some of the cheap and available alternative sources of energy
Biogas energy is generated by living or once-living organisms, the most well-known biomass materials used for the production of the biogas are plants, human and animal waste. Biogas can be used for cooking, heating and to generate electricity.
Biogas is fast becoming a common method of energy generation through the use of gas generators. So rather than have the regular LPG gas, biogas is used to power gas generators instead, it is a lot more affordable than the regular gas and more readily available. Furthermore, rather than buy PMS daily for your generator, you can produce your gas to power your generator yourself cutting cost and increasing productivity you can make your gas from your food waste, from the waste of your animals or grasses. You can also convert a regular generator into a gas-powered Generator by buying a gas carburetor which costs about eight to Ten Thousand Naira in Nigeria gas carburettors can be gotten on Jiji, olist or in the open market place at any regular spare parts shop. You will need a mechanic to convert the generator from petrol to gas-powered, by changing the carburetors which would cost you about an additional thousand.
Production of biogas can be cheap or expensive depending on the individual energy needs. For the production of biogas for household use, producing enough for cooking and lighting can cost from N20,000 to N50,000.while production on a much larger scale or for commercial use, which would require a bigger gas chamber would cost from N200,000 to N3,000,000.
A power inverter is a device which changes DC power from a battery into conventional AC power that you can use to operate all kinds of devices such as kitchen appliances, electric lights, power tools, microwaves, computers, TVs, radios.
Power inverters are one of the alternative sources of energy which has gained popularity in recent years. Many businesses and homes in Nigeria, have resorted to this alternative energy source.
There are two general types of power inverters. The true sine wave or modified sine wave which is also known as the square wave inverters. True sine wave inverters produce power that is either identical or sometimes slightly better than power from the public utility power grid system.
There is also the solar inverter also known as a PV inverter which converts the direct current(DC) of a photovoltaic(PV) solar panel into an alternating current(AC) allowing the use of ordinary AC systems.
Over the years inverters have gained some form of popularity amongst Nigerians, probably making it one of the most used sources of alternative energy in Nigeria, today, inverters are also being made locally by companies and individuals, minor fees of N3000-10000 are being paid for inverter making tutorials and it has helped in boosting its popularity among households and businesses.
However, the type of inverter being made locally is the block wave inverter which is not very good for home appliances because of the frequency interference it causes in them, producing a minor buzzing sound from your TV and radio sets.
Furthermore, some years ago, inverters came in space-consuming sizes, but recently, we have inverters of different shapes and sizes and these devices are also much cheaper than they used to be.
Inverter Brands in Nigeria
There are multiple brands in Nigeria that sell and distribute some of this alternative energy equipment, some of which are listed below.
Sekum,xantrex, victron,mercury, mickrotec, mopower, genius, preg etc.
If you’re looking to get an inverter to take care of your electricity shortfall, you might want to consider getting Sukam. But first, you need to conduct thorough research to find the prices of the various models of Sukam inverters.
You can find Sukam Inverters for sale at various prices depending on their capacity, size and design. Here is a glimpse at the prices.
Prices of Sukam Inverters in Nigeria
- Sukam 2.5kva/48v Inverter + 4 X 200ah Batteries + Rack + Installation which costs N721,800.00
- Sukam pure sinewave inverter 5kva/96v 1-phase ‘colossal’ which costs N454,300.00
- Sukam pure sinewave inverter 25kva/360v 3-phase ‘colossal’ which cost N2,580,000.00
- Sukam 5kva/48v Inverter + 4 X 200ah Batteries + Rack + Installation costing N1,013,800.00
- Sukam 10kva/180v Inverter + 15 X 200ah Batteries + Rack + Installation costing N2,853,000.00
Other Inverter Prices
- 900va 12V eco inverter: Price N50, 000.00
- 900va automatic pure sine wave 12V inverter: Price N70, 000 .00
- 900va automatic pure sine wave 12V: Price N71, 909.00
- Eco volt 1050va 12V pure sine wave inverter Price: N81, 500.00
- 5 kva solar hybrid inverter Price: N82, 000.00
- Luminous eco volt 1.5 kva 24V inverter N85, 800.00
- Luminous hybrid inverter 1500va 24V N88, 900.00
- Luminous 1.5 kva 24V pure sine wave inverter N88, 000 .00
- luminous 220 ah 12V tubular battery N120,000.00
- luminous inverters battery 12V 200 a h N132, 000.00
- luminous 2.5 kva 36v Cruze inverter N179, 00