If you are a Nigerian living in Nigeria, the chances are that you either already own a generator or you are planning to buy one soon. These alternative power solutions are as important as any other equipment in every Nigerian house and it is a sure fire way to combat the electricity crisis currently plaguing the country. Now while substantial arguments can be made about other viable and more environmentally friendly alternative to the diesel and petrol generators like the new MTN Lumos Mobile electricity solution, we can not deny that for now, the Better-pass-my-neighbour generator is still the most patronized of these alternatives.
So now, a common question frequently asked is how do I choose the best generator? and what should I consider before getting a generator? These are the questions we would be addressing as we run through the seven things you should consider before getting a generator in Nigeria.
The very first thing that you should ascertain before venturing into other considerations is your budget. How much are you willing to spend on a generator? Other factors will obviously influence this like if you have steady power supply where you live and you simply need a generator as a minor backup, then you might not need to break the bank for a generator, an inverter might be suited to your needs even. However, if electricity supply is non-existent where you are and you in dire need for power, this might influence your budget because in this case there is obviously a greater need. So the first step to getting a generator is determining just how much you need it and how much naira you are willing to let go for it. This doesn’t have to be a fixed value, you can work with a flexible range to ease your decision making.
2. Power Needs
Your power needs can certainly tie back to your available budget. However, the primary determining factor for generator sizing can be answered with the following question: In the event of a power outage, should the generator run the entire building or just emergency loads? Do you want to use this generator for commercial purpose or residential purpose? Do you have heavy electrical equipment that requires more power like pressing irons, Air conditioners, water pumping machine? and if you do have all these how many each do you own and how often would you need to operate them?
Once you have a clear understanding of these you begin to have an idea of just how much power requirements the generator will have to carry. Usually, houses in Nigeria can require between 31.25 – 56.43 KiloWatts of Energy.
3. Check for Generator Ratings That Exceed Your Power Requirements
When checking out for generators you would like to purchase you should not only consider the aesthetics, you should also consider the power ratings and make sure the generator’s power ratings exceed the proposed power requirements of your homes. Now, this might pose a bit of a conundrum as you probably calculated your power needs in Kilowatts while the generator power ratings are in KVA. Converting between these units might be difficult for some but it is possible and you can learn all about it here.
Usually, a 2.2 kVA generator should be appropriate to serve your household power needs.
This is another important thing to consider as diesel generators will cost more than petrol generators. These different fuel types have their pros and cons but it is very important that you choose a generator with a fuel type that is relatively affordable and is easy to obtain.
Some generators need little to no expertise in order to properly install while some will require additional costs and skills. Be careful to know the installation process for any generator you are hoping to buy. Also, some generators may require extra space than others depending on their size and configuration. Remember you want to have the generator exhaust pipe pointing away from your windows and at a considerable distance from your home. So you might want to consider the amount of space you have available in your house premises and start to envision the safest and most efficient place to properly install your generators. Feel free to seek professional advice on this and do not play down its importance.
6. Noise level
This is often considered a setback of most generators, and it is very difficult to tell just how loud a generator will be before you actually use it. This is another reason why you must properly conceptualize the spaces around your home and try to place your generator in a position where its sound does not become a problem for you or your neighbors. However, i often recommend that after identifying the generator you want to buy, you can do a small research on it to find out just how noisy it is. you can ask people who use the same brand or go online and read possible comments about just our loud the generator gets. You certainly don’t want a noisy generator so you have to cover all grounds here.
You certainly want a brand that will give you your money’s worth and stand the test of time. This is why going for well-known brands is recommended. These include Sumec Firman, Elemax, Honda, Hyundai, Tiger and Haier Thermocool. This is not to say these are the only good generator brands, however, these are the brands that are most commonly used and have been proven to be reliable. Also, brand type often affects the fuel consumption of these generators and this is another aspect you may need to research on. My personal recommendation for Generator type is Haier Thermocool. They offer very affordable prices and have shown to stand the test of time, in aadditionHaier Thermocool generators are not overly loud.
If you get a good deal with a relatively unknown brand which ticks all the boxes of your taste and power requirements then you can also try it out. However, note that is a gamble and don’t expect too much.
In the end, choosing the perfect generator can be an herculean task but following these seven easy steps can help ease the stress.