Choosing the right solar energy installation for your business

In this article, we'll explore some key factors to consider when selecting a solar solution.

by Oluwaseyi Odusanya

Published on Jun 11 2024

Choosing the right solar solution for your needs

As the world continues to grapple with the effects of climate change, more people are seeking sustainable solutions to power their homes and businesses. One of the most popular options is solar power, which harnesses energy from the sun to generate electricity. However, with so many solar solutions available, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your needs. In this article, we'll explore some key factors to consider when selecting a solar solution.

Determine Your Energy Needs

Before you can choose a solar solution, you need to know how much energy you use. Take a look at your energy bills from the past year and calculate the average usage. This will help determine how many solar panels are needed to generate enough electricity to meet your needs. It's also essential to consider any changes in your energy usage that may occur in the future, such as adding more appliances or expanding your home or business.

Evaluate Your Site

The location of your home or business plays a crucial role in the effectiveness of your solar solution. Factors such as the direction your roof faces, the amount of shade it receives, and the angle of the panels can all impact the amount of energy your system generates. It is important to work with a reputable solar provider who can evaluate your site and design a solution that maximizes your system's efficiency.

Choose Your Solar Panels

There are several types of solar panels available, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Monocrystalline panels are the most efficient but also the most expensive. Polycrystalline panels are less expensive but slightly less efficient. Your solar provider can help you determine which type of panel is best suited to your needs and budget.

Cost of Panels

The approximate price ranges for each type of solar panel in Nigeria are:

Monocrystalline panels: These are the most expensive type of solar panels, but also the most efficient. Prices typically range from NGN 60,000 to NGN 250,000 per panel, depending on the manufacturer and the size of the panel.

Polycrystalline panels: These are a more affordable alternative to monocrystalline panels and offer slightly lower efficiency. Prices for polycrystalline panels usually range from NGN 25,000 to NGN 150,000 per panel.

It's important to note that these are just rough price ranges and actual prices may vary depending on various factors such as the brand, size, and quality of the panels, as well as installation costs and other associated expenses. It's always a good idea to consult with a reputable solar provider for more accurate pricing information and to determine which type of panel is best suited to your needs and budget.

Panel Type Price Range
Monocrystalline N60,000 - N250,000
Polycrystalline N25,000 - N150,000

Select Your Inverter

Inverters are critical components of any solar energy system. They convert the direct current (DC) electricity generated by solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity for home appliances. There are three popular types of inverters: PV inverters, battery inverters, and hybrid inverters.

  • A PV inverter is a device that converts the direct current (DC) produced by solar panels into alternating current (AC) that can be used to power household appliances or sold back to the grid.
  • A battery inverter, on the other hand, is a type of inverter that is used in combination with a battery bank. It converts DC power from solar panels or other sources into AC power that can be used to power homes or businesses, while also managing the charging and discharging of the battery bank.
  • A hybrid inverter combines the functionality of a PV inverter and a battery inverter into a single device, allowing it to manage both the solar panels and the battery bank.

When choosing between these types of inverters, it's important to consider your specific energy needs and budget. If you have a solar panel installation but don't plan on using a battery system, a PV inverter will be sufficient. If you plan on adding a battery system in the future, a hybrid inverter might be a better option.

Cost of Inverters

When considering the cost and efficiency of inverters, a good metric to use would be their price range, their lifespan, and performance in terms of energy conversion percentages. The price range for inverters in Nigeria can vary depending on their capacity and brand, but they can range from 98,000 Naira to 5,000,000 Naira or more for battery inverters and 400,000 Naira to 30,000,000 Naira for Hybrid inverters and finally 700,000 Naira to 20,000,000 Naira for PV inverters.

Inverter Efficiency

In terms of efficiency, a good metric to use would be their energy conversion percentage. The typical efficiency of high-quality pure sine wave inverters can vary from 90% to 95%, while for low-quality modified sine wave inverters it can vary from 75% to 85%. For lifespan, a good inverter will last about 10 to 15 years.

Details on Different Types of Inverters
Inverter Type Price Range Lifespan Efficiency
PV Inverter N700,000-N2,000,000+ 10-15 years 95-98%
Battery Inverter N98,000-N3,500,000+ 10-15 years 90-95%
Hybrid Inverter N400,000-N4,000,000+ 10-15 years 93-96%

Consider Batteries for Energy Storage

Battery storage systems are useful for homeowners who want to store excess energy generated by their solar panels for use at a later time. This is especially useful during power outages or when the energy demand is high. By using battery storage, homeowners can reduce their reliance on the grid and save money on their electricity bills.

Different types of batteries for solar storage

There are several different types of batteries that can be used for solar storage, including lead-acid batteries, lithium-ion batteries, and flow batteries. Each type of battery has its own advantages and disadvantages.

  • Lead-acid batteries are the most commonly used type of battery for solar storage. They are relatively inexpensive, but they have a shorter lifespan than other types of batteries and require regular maintenance.
  • Lithium-ion batteries are a more expensive option, but they have a longer lifespan than lead-acid batteries and require less maintenance.
  • Flow batteries are another type of battery that can be used for solar storage. They are known for their long lifespan and high efficiency, but they are also the most expensive option.

Expected Solar Battery Costs

The cost of a battery storage system in Nigeria will depend on several factors such as the size of the system, the type of battery, and the installation costs. In general, a battery storage system can range from a few hundred thousand Nigerian Naira to several million Nigerian Naira. The average cost for a 10kWh lithium-ion battery storage system with installation in Nigeria can range from around 2,400,000 to 6,000,000 Nigerian Naira, while for lead acid can range from around 1,100,000 – 1,300,000 Nigerian Naira depending on the specific type of battery and installation costs. Please, also note that prices can change based on the current forex rate and inflation.

Details on Different Battery Types
Battery Type Avg 10kWh Price Range Pros Cons
Lead Acid N1,100,000 - N1,300,000 Relatively inexpensive, reliable performance, easy to manufacture Shorter lifespan than other types
of batteries, require regular maintenance, heavy, consumes a lot of space,
toxic chemicals
Lithium Ion N2,400,000 - N6,000,000 Longer lifespan than lead-acid batteries, require less maintenance, High
energy density, long cycle life, low self-discharge rates
More expensive than lead-acid batteries, 
prone to thermal runaway, and require careful management
Lead Carbon N1,400,000 - N2,000,000 Quick charging and discharging, long cycle life, resistance to sulfation Relatively new and less widely
available, expensive, lower energy density than Lithium-ion

Evaluate the Warranty and Maintenance

Finally, it is essential to consider the warranty and maintenance requirements of your solar solution. Solar panels typically come with a 25-year warranty, but it is important to check the specifics of the warranty to ensure that you're adequately protected. You should also ask your solar provider about maintenance requirements and costs to ensure that your system will continue to operate efficiently for years.

Typically, the warranty for inverters and batteries is shorter than that of solar panels, as they are considered to be more prone to wear and tear over time. A good benchmark for inverter warranties is around 10 to 15 years, while battery warranties can range from 5 to 15 years depending on the type of battery [lead acid or lithium-ion] and its expected lifespan.

It's important to note that warranties are not the only factor to consider when evaluating the reliability and durability of these components. You should also look into the manufacturer's reputation, customer reviews, and any independent testing or certifications to get a complete picture of the quality and longevity of the equipment. Additionally, proper maintenance and upkeep of your solar system can help extend its lifespan and ensure that it continues to operate at optimal performance.


In conclusion, choosing the right solar solution requires careful consideration of several factors, including energy needs, site evaluation, panel type, inverter selection, battery storage, and warranty and maintenance requirements. Working with a reputable solar provider is key to ensuring that your system is designed and installed correctly, maximizing your energy savings, and minimizing your environmental impact.

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