A Solar Inverter is a type of inverter that is better optimised for use with solar panels. It comes with a couple of features that makes it perfect for a solar power system. However, this does not mean that your regular power inverter cannot be upgraded for a solar power system, the solar inverter is just built out of the box for solar. Solar Inverter Price in Nigeria ranges starts from around 35,000 Naira (inverter only).
Solar Inverter Prices in Nigeria
- Prag 1.45KVA – 82,000 Naira
- Prag 3.5KVA / 48V – 197,700 Naira
- Prag 5KVA / 96V – 319,000 Naira
- Mercury 2KVA Spirit Plus – 175,000 Naira
- Mercury 3KVA Spirit Plus – 185,000 Naira
- Mercury 5KVA Spirit Plus – 220,000 Naira
- Luminous 850VA / 12V – 64,000 Naira
- Luminous 1.5KVA / 24V – 90,000 NGN
- Bluegate 10KVA / 192V – 494,000 Naira
- Bluegate 1.5KVA / 24V – 87,500 Naira
- Bluegate 2.5KVA / 48V – 202,000 Naira
- PSC Solar Xantra 1.5KVA / 24V – 99,500 NGN
- PSC Solar Xantra 2.5KVA / 24V – 214,900 NGN
- PSC Solar Xantra 3.5KVA / 48V – 289,900 Naira
- MTN Solar Inverter (Lumos) – 20,000 Naira (4,500 NGN / month)
- Felicity Solar 3.5KVA / 24V – 165,000 Naira
- Felicity Solar 5KVA / 48V – 190,000 Naira
- Felicity Solar 7.5KVA / 48V – 290,000 Naira
- Felicity Solar 10KVA / 48V – 455,000 Naira
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How is a Solar Inverter Different
Like I have already stated a Solar inverter is better optimised for use with a Photovoltaic (a.k.a. solar or PV) panels. The first characteristic of solar inverters is probably that they have direct inputs for the Solar panels.
This means that the PV panel can be connected directly to the power inverter. Because of this, a good solar inverter should also have a built-in charge controller to regulate the current coming from the Solar panel so they don’t get high enough to overcharge the battery.
This is in fact one of the major difference between a regular inverter and a solar inverter. For a regular inverter you will have to buy the charge controller separately.
This means that your current power inverter can be upgraded to a solar inverter simply by adding a solar panel and a solar charge controller to your system. Other accessories may also be required, but these two are the major additions.
Note that with a Solar Inverter you still need to buy your solar panels separately. A Solar Inverter can also be used without a battery (i.e. no backup power), but such an installation is not practical for Nigeria.
Features of Solar Inverters
A Solar Inverter is better optimised for solar power than traditional inverters. For example, it will prioritise power supply from the solar panels.
This means that when the energy from the Sun is adequate like during afternoons, the inverter will draw power entirely from the solar panels to power your home or office even if public power supply is available. This can lead to huge savings on power bills.
Similarly, a Solar hybrid inverter will proiritise charging from solar panels, enabling your batteries to charge via the PV panels even when public power supply is on, leading also to savings on your power bills.
Some solar inverters will allow you prioritise charging to solar panels or power grid depending the battery level. Some solar inverters are even intelligent enough just to take just as much deficit current from the grid as is required.
For example say your battery requires 10A for charging, but your solar panels can only deliver 7A (due to low sunlight) an intelligent solar inverter will source the excess 3A from the grid if of course there is public power supply.
A Solar Inverter will also offer protection from high voltage and current from the panels. Remember that the intensity of the Sun varies throughout the day. This creates an over-charging problem if the panels are connected to the battery directly.
A good solar inverter, thanks to its built-in charge controller, will be able regulate the final voltage and current that gets to battery within the safe range ensuring the longevity of the battery.
It should also be able to tell you when you connect the panels wrongly (i.e. positive to negative, etc) and also provide protection against short-circuit.
Note that in countries that allow consumers to sell their excess power output to the power company, a solar inverter will also allow you to do this.
A good solar inverter should also have a wide input grid-voltage range, especially if you want to use it in a country like Nigeria.
You will not like an inverter that will require 220V before it can start charging your battery or powering your appliances. A Solar inverter with a 100V to 220V range will be perfect for Nigeria.
Types of Solar Inverter
Solar Inverters comes in different types. Your choice depends on your application.
Hybrid Solar Inverters
This type of solar inverter is popular in small residential and office installations. They combine a standard inverter with solar power support.
Their popularity stems from their flexibility. You can build your power system gradually. For example, with a Hybrid Solar Inverter, you can start with just the inverter and solar panels and later add inverter batteries or you can start with inverter and battery and add solar panels later.
These solar inverters do not support inverter batteries. The solar panels are connected directly to the device. The DC output of the solar panel is converter to AC voltage by the inverter.
String Inverters are also called Central inverters because the entire solar panel array can be connected to the one ‘central’ inverter. It can come with several strings with each string connecting to multiple panels.
Note that String Inverters are not the only type of Central inverters, Hybrid solar inverters can also be classified as such.
Micro Inverters are similar to string inverters except that each inverter is installed to one panel (Unlike String Inverter where multiple panels can be connected to a string).
This leads to more reliability as the failure of one panel does not affect the entire system. This also makes troubleshooting faster and easier.
The Micro inverter is installed under or close to the solar panel. The downside is that it will probably cost more to setup.
Grid Tie Inverter
Grid Tie Inverter is any solar inverter that can be connected directly to the power grid without any need for a changeover switch. These solar inverters will synchronize with the power grid’s voltage and frequency and draw as much power from the grid to complement the solar energy from the sun.
When energy coming from the panels is in excess of what is required in your home or office, a grid tie inverter has the ability to push the excess unto the grid.
Off Grid Inverter
These types of solar inverter cannot be connected directly to the power grid. You will need a changeover switch if you want to use them in combination with the power grid. Some off grid inverters come with automatic changeover switch built-in to make things more seamless.
PayGo Solar Inverter Solutions in Nigeria
If you are looking for Pay as you go solar power solutions, here a few in Nigeria:
MTN Solar Inverter
In fact, this solution is actually called MTN Mobile Electricity or Lumos Mobile Electricity. It is an off-grid solar solution powered by Nigeria’s leading telecommunications company.
The MTN Mobile Electricity kit consists of a few components, namely:
- 80W Solar Panel unit with Cables
- Solar Inverter (300Wh Lumos Solar Home System In-door Unit + 60W DC to AC Converter)
- USB Mobile Phone Charger
- 2 x LED Energy Efficient Bulbs
- Easy Self-Installation Mounting Kit
These costs you 20,000 Naira down payment plus a monthly subscription of 4,500 per month on a 5 years contract. Given that the output of the solar inverter is just 60W, its application is limited to micro power applications.
Azuri Quad does not offer a solar inverter. You only get an indoor unit that delivers DC output for charging your phone and powering your light.
The Azuri Quad kit comes with the following:
- 10W Polycrystalline Solar Panel
- Four Bright Energy Efficient Lamps (300 lumens)
- USB port with cable and connectors
- Azuri Quad HomeSmart PayGo Unit
- 6500 mAh Battery (2 x 26650 Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries)
- Rechargeable Radio
- Up to 8 hours Power Supply
Solar Inverters are available at leading online stores in Nigeria. A Solar Inverter may be bundled with solar panels and/or inverter battery or sold separately.