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Mayoma Onwochei (ne Ekeruche)

Stand by solar power for domestic and small business use in Nigeria: a case study of Warri, Delta State

Mayoma Onwochei (ne Ekeruche)

Stand by solar power for domestic and small business use in Nigeria: a case study of Warri, Delta State

This dissertation assesses the feasibility of employing solar PV technology as a stand-by power source for households and small businesses in Nigeria. The grid electricity supply in Nigeria is unreliable and this has forced most citizens to rely on privately generated power. This power is mainly supplied by diesel or petrol generators which have detrimental effect on the environment and cause noise pollution.

PV systems in Nigeria, as in many other developing countries, have been employed in rural electrification projects and other developmental activities. The delivery of such systems is usually characterised by government subsidies and minimal power consumption. This study develops a case for using PV technology in an urban setting with the view of increasing capabilities and promoting technology transfer.

A survey of households and small businesses was carried out to generate a load profile based on the current generator usage. Information gathered includes the cost, capacity and hours of operation of installed generators; watt rating of appliances for which a stand-by power source was necessary and cost allowance for solar PV technology. A 1.225KW obtained from the NASA Surface meteorology and Solar Energy documentation form the basis for sizing the proposed solar system.

Cost comparisons between the proposed solar system and the current practice of operating personal generators were made. The long-term sustainability of the project was considered with respect to funding opportunities, security of solar panels, and availability of skilled staff to maintain the service, warranty for the proposed systems and the social implications of the project.