Solar power is power derived from energy from the sun. Energy can be derived from the sun in a number of ways, but we will focus on energy derived from the sun using photovoltaic PV devices or solar panels in a Solar Power System. Here we will name and explain the functions of components used for converting energy from the sun to electrical energy that we can use at home or in businesses.
Advantages of a Solar Power System
The Pros of solar power systems include:
- energy from sun is free
- zero emissions
- Solar Power System offer silent operations
- zero/reduced electricity bills
- the cost of running a solar power system is low
- solar panels lasts for up to 30 years with minimal maintenance cost
Disadvantages of a Solar Power System
Cons of a solar power system include:
- Expensive: components cost a lot to acquire
- Require more space for battery bank & solar panels
Components of a Solar Power System
Here are the components of a solar power system:
- Solar Panels
- Solar Inverter (or Normal Inverter)
- Inverter Battery
- Solar Charge Controller (not required with Solar Inverter)
Here are a bit more details about the components of a solar power system:
1. Solar panels
Solar panels are the major component of a solar power system. It converts light energy from the sun to direct current DC electric voltage.
Solar panels are made up of arrays of photovoltaic cells (also called solar cells), connected in series and parallel to deliver rated voltage and power.
The photovoltaic cell is the basic component of a solar panel. PV cells are made from semiconductor materials, like silicon and doped with other elements, like Boron and phosphorus.
These elements create an N-type layer and a P-type layer on the cell. The junctions between the N-type layer and P-type layer contains an electric field, which stops electrons from moving across the junction, effectively creating an open circuit.
When a photovoltaic cell is exposed to sunlight, energy-carrying particles in light called photons continuously strike the p-n junction area of the cell and are absorbed.
Energy derived from these absorbed photons provides electrons on the cell with enough energy to overcome the potential barrier of the electric field in the p-n junction. This causes electrons to flow across the junction to power electrical appliances.
A solar panel consists of an array of solar cells, usually covered in glass. Solar panels provide power for charging your batteries and for powering your appliances.
Solar panels are expensive per watt (though they are getting cheaper) when compared to a petrol generator, but uses free energy from the sun.
For example, an 100 watt solar panel can cost between about 20,000 Naira and 90,000 Naira in Nigeria. Solar panels may also come in different power capacities.
Solar panels can last for up to 30 years.
One or more solar panels will be required in a solar power system. A two bedroom flat, for example could require three to 10 solar panels. For a recreational vehicle, you might just need one or two RV solar panels.
Prices of some solar panels in Nigeria:
- 10W – 6,000 Naira to 20,000 Naira
- 20W – 9,500 Naira to 20,000 Naira
- 30W – 14,500 Naira to 30,000 Naira
- 50W – 14,900 Naira to 35,000 Naira
- 60W – 25,500 Naira to 40,000 Naira
- 80W – 16,500 Naira to 45,000 Naira
- 100W – 20,000 Naira to 80,000 Naira
- 120W – 25,000 Naira to 90,000 Naira
- 130W – 27,000 Naira to 95,000 Naira
- 150W – 29,000 NGN to 80,000 NGN
- 200W – 39,000 NGN to 95,000 NGN
- 250W – 45,000 NGN to 150,000 NGN
- 300W – 62,000 NGN to 200,000 NGN
- For latest prices: Click Here
2. Power Inverter
For most practical applications for homes and offices, a power inverter will be required in a solar power system. Since the solar panel and batteries delivers DC voltage, it becomes necessary for a device to convert the DC output of the solar panels and batteries to AC voltage required by most home appliances.
A power inverter converts DC voltage to AC voltage. Inverters sold in Nigeria will convert DC voltage from your battery to 220V 50 Hz AC voltage.
In some applications where DC voltage is required, an inverter will not be necessary.
A good quality 1.5KVA watts true sine wave inverter, for a solar power system with one-year warranty costs about 80,000 Naira. It is a good idea to buy a solar inverter outright if you want to build a solar power system from the start.
3. Deep Cycle Batteries
This creates the need for a solar power system to store energy from the sun during the day so that at night/poor weather conditions it can be used to generate electricity. A battery stores energy in chemical form.
One or more batteries are connected in a bank to deliver required energy. One to 10 batteries or even more may be required for the solar power system depending on requirement.
More batteries may be required if the solar power system will be installed in a location without grid connection (no NEPA/PHCN). A good sealed maintenance free Inverter battery (SMF batteries) for a solar power system can cost between 55,000 Naira and 180,000 Naira depending on type and capacity.
Here is are prices of inverter batteries for your solar power system:
- 12V / 100Ah – 55,500 Naira to 95,000 Naira
- 12V / 150Ah – 95,000 Naira to 130,000 Naira
- 12V / 200Ah – 105,000 NGN to 180,000 NGN
- 2V / 500 Ah – 90,000 NGN to 150,000 NGN
- For latest prices, Click Here
4. Solar Charge Controller
This ensures that the inverter batteries are not overcharged, since the voltage output of the solar panel can vary widely during the day depending on the intensity of sun light.
The purpose of the solar charge controller is to take in the widely fluctuating input from the solar panels and stabilize it within safe limits to charge your battery, making it a must for a solar power system.
Charge controllers improve the lifespan of your battery. You will require a Solar Charge Controller if your buy a regular inverter. A good solar inverter will come with a solar charge controller built-in.
This means that if you buy a solar inverter, you will not require a solar charge controller for your solar power system. Price of solar charge controllers ranges from as low as 5,000 Naira to up to 200,000 Naira depending on the type and specification.
5. Cables, Fuses, Meter
A solar power system also includes connection cables, fuses, grounding cable, and meter. Connecting cables for connecting the components together, fuses for protecting against short-circuit.
Solar Water Pump Price in Nigeria
Solar Water Pumps are cost effective approach to pumping water. They can be useful for boreholes in farms and other commercial ventures where reliable water supply is needed. They can also be great for household and industrial applications.
Prices of some solar water pump are:
- 1.5HP Grundfos Solar Water Pump: 405,900 Naira
- 284W Solar Water Pump: 78,000 Naira
Simba Industries Ltd market Su-Kam branded solar power products in Nigeria, from solar inverters to solar charge controllers.
Simba contacts in Nigeria include:
Simba Su-Kam solar power inverters Lagos:
77/79 Eric Moore Road, Surulere, Lagos
Su-Kam Sales Hotline: 08150832255
Simba Su-Kam solar power inverters FCT-Abuja:
IGI House, 3 Gwani Street, Off IBB Way, Wuse, Zone 4, Abuja
Simba Su-Kam solar power inverters Kano:
167, Mission Road, Bompai, Kano
Simba Su-Kam solar power inverters Maiduguri
10, Busari Road, Opposite Maiduguri Flour Mills, Maiduguri
Simba solar power inverters Katsina: 08033225188
Simba solar power inverters Jos: 08034380994
Simba Sokoto: 08067049555
Simba Kaduna: 08032775001
Simba Lokoja: 08034380994
Simba solar powerinverters Minna: 08033241266