Q. We see street lights that don’t work. Why would my solar installation work?
A. Street lights are exposed to many conditions your home installation are not exposed to. 1. Vandalism: People destroy them by accident (cars run into them), people steal the batteries. 2. The installation was not done properly. 3. The street lights were of sub standard quality. 4. The lights purchased were not designed for the environment they were installed in.
Q. Solar is very expensive. For the money I can buy generators or an inverter.
A. Relative to either, Solar power is more expensive when you consider the initial outlay of money. When you have to operate them then the Solar system comes into it’s own. A generator has moving parts and requires fuel to run. A 3 Kva generator consumes 2.2 to 3 liters of fuel an hour. If you run it for an average of 8 hours a day, you are consuming 16 liters of fuel a day. At N100 per liter that is N1600 per day for fuel. You do that everyday for 1 year your cost is [b]N584,000[/b]. Add the cost of repairs and service and your generator costs closer to N650,000 per year not including the purchase price. Your inverter is a great system as long as you get power from the grid for a few hours a day. If your experience is similar to what is currently in Nigeria, then you need a generator to charge your Inverter. Lets say you charge the inverter by running the generator for four hours day, that Inverter now costs you N292,000 per year in addition to the purchase cost. A solar installation that will power the same equivalent as your generator will cost you about N550,000. Your cost to run it is N0. It will run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All it needs as fuel is sunshine. In Nigeria we have sunshine in abundance. It has no moving parts and requires no maintenance.
Q. Is solar reliable:
A. Yes it is very reliable. The first solar panels were installed in the US in the 1950’s and some of them are still generating electricity today. The US space program has satellites and orbiters that were launched in the 70’s that are still aloft today. They are powered with solar. Because Solar powered systems have very few moving parts they can last a very long time. Solar panels can last 25 years or more. The inverters and other systems can last longer than 10 years if properly taken care of