What You Need To Know About Solar Energy in Nigeria
Nigeria as a country has a lot of potential for renewable energy that is still being untapped. It is well known that the barriers to the development of Nigeria’s renewable energy potential are due to the availability of large crude deposits in the South-South region and fuel subsidy by the government. If the government is not subsidizing fuel, the recurrent costs of running on fossil fuel to generate power would be extremely high which would have made the huge cost-saving benefit of solar energy to be obvious.
The Potential of Solar Energy in Nigeria
Solar energy potential in Nigeria is huge with distributed solar radiation that is an average of 19.8 MJm2/day and average sunshine hours of 6h/day. 427,000 MW is the assumed potential for concentrated solar power and photovoltaic generation. It has been estimated that a generation capacity of 42,700 MW is possible in the northern part alone. The Federal Government-owned NBET, in July 2016, had 14 Greenfield photovoltaic (PV) power projects with a capacity of 1,125MW and their PPAs signed.
It is estimated that the northern region of Nigeria for solar thermal can provide a theoretical generation capacity of 42,700 MW. The Federal Government-owned NBET, in 2016, had 14 Greenfield independent photovoltaic (PV) power projects with a capacity of 1,125MW and their PPAs signed.
Electrifying Nigeria: How Possible is It with Solar Energy in Nigeria?
Nigeria happens to be one of Africa’s dominant countries and has the highest population. According to the International Monetary Fund, Nigeria has the greatest GDP on the Africa continent. Nigeria also boasts of 2,600 hours of sunlight per year and has an economic strength and environmental conditions that are favorable for renewable energy exploitation such as solar.
As a country with a high need for power and where more than half of the country’s population doesn’t even have access to the national grid, solar energy becomes the obvious and best alternative as the country is already blessed with an adequate amount of sunshine per day.
Solar Panels: What are they in regards to Solar Energy In Nigeria?
When you have finally considered adopting solar energy in Nigeria, it is very imperative to know what solar panels are and their different types
The basic work of the solar panel is to convert light energy from the sun to electrical energy. The components of the solar panel include Polyvoltaic cells (a.k.a. PV Cells or solar cells) which absorb the energy from the sun rays for conversion into DC current. This DC current is then processed into AC current through an inverter for home and office usage.
Types of Solar Panels
There are two types of Solar panel appliances to choose from when it comes to home and office usage. They are:
- Monocrystalline Solar Panels
- Polycrystalline Solar Panels
- Monocrystalline: The first type of solar panel happened to be monocrystalline. You can easily identify them with their black color and popularity in the market. the name is as a result of how their cells are made from a single continuous Silicon crystal.
Monocrystalline solar panels were the first type of solar panel and have benefited from years of research and development. They are usually black and the most popular in the market. The cells are made from a single continuous Silicon crystal hence the name. Apart from looking appealing to the eye, they also have better efficiency which makes them also more expensive.
- Polycrystalline: You can easily identify the polycrystalline solar panels by their blue colour. Their solar cells are made from multiple crystals of Silicon.
Although cheaper than the monocrystalline, they have a better temperature tolerance which means they handle temperature fluctuations better. However, they are cheaper cause they are less efficient than the monocrystalline. This means that you will need a bigger poly panel to match the power output of a monocrystalline solar panel.
The way to rate a solar panel is through its output voltage and power. Although the output voltage is just minimal as the actual output voltage would vary depending on the concentration of the sunlight. For example, a solar panel that is rated 12V can end up generating 18V or more depending on the maximum which is usually stated on it.
The different power outputs of solar panels range from 10W to 320W. in order to achieve your required voltage for the inverter, a number of solar panels in series and parallel are connected.
Solar panels’ efficiency usually ranges from 7% to 20%. This is used to determine the sensitivity of the solar panel to light.
Another key feature to note is: tilt your solar panel assembly to the same latitude as your installation address in order to take good advantage of your solar panel efficiency.
The life span of a solar panel is usually between 10 and 25 years as it degrades over time.
When we talk about solar energy in Nigeria, Vesselnet Solar is one of the country’s leading solar firm with a full team which includes engineers for professional installation of solar systems and a full-time support system available to clients after project completion. Vesselnet Solar solutions include Minigrid, Microgrid, and solar home systems which range from 1KW to 10KW depending on the household energy requirement. The company has also rolled out very convenient and affordable payment systems such as pay-as-you-use. With this, an average household in Nigeria can access a 24hour power supply or have access to power whenever they want to.
To learn more about solar energy in Nigeria or Vesselnet solar solutions, simply call or send an email using the contacts below: