Unless you just landed in Nigeria after several years of staying abroad, you’d agree that electric power supply in the country is quite erratic.
And the only way to enjoy electric power whenever you want it is to use an alternative source. This could be a solar power generator, a fuel-powered generator, or an inverter.
As long as you can afford the cost of purchase and maintenance, you can go for any of these options.
Because the huge cost of purchasing and installing solar power generators is far beyond what most Nigerians can afford, this type of generators are not common in the country.
So, the typical Nigerian has only two options to choose from when it comes to alternative sources of power: fuel-powered generators and inverters.
Even with just these two options, many Nigerians find it hard to make a final choice. If you’re one of them, then this post is for you.
Read on to understand the pros and cons of fuel-powered generators and inverters, so you can make a well-informed decision in the end.
Fuel generators are essential for heavier loads like air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, and so on. Running fuel-powered generators with light load appliances (such as using them to power bulbs only) for a long time reduces their efficiency and life span because the light loads causes the cylinders to coke up.
Inverters, on the other hand, are ideal for light loads like electric bulbs, fans, LCD TVs, DVD players, and decoders. You can also use them for heavy loads occasionally. However, prolonged running of heavy loads on an inverter will drain the battery too quickly, and it won’t last long.
Cost of purchase
A 2KVA to 2.5KVA fuel-powered generator sells for anything between N28,000 and N50,000. However, a complete inverter system (inverter circuit + battery) of the same capacity range goes for a price between N55,000 and N100,000, depending on the brand.
So, inverters are more expensive than standard generators. However, looking at the long term costs, inverters are cheaper, since they don’t run on fuel and don’t require frequent maintenance checkups.
Cost of maintenance
If you use your fuel-powered generator for at least 3 hours every day and burn 3 litres of fuel (petrol) in the process, you would have spent N106,215 (based on present fuel price of N97 per litre) on fuel alone by the end of one year. And that’s not inclusive of the cost of servicing at monthly or bimonthly intervals.
Inverters, on the other hand, don’t run on fuel. And they don’t require maintenance checks in a long period—provided you use them the right way.
So, fuel-powered generators are far more expensive to maintain than inverters.
Once you have fuel, you can power your standard generator anytime. But that’s not the case with an inverter; it needs to be charged before it can supply power. If there’s no power source to charge your inverter, then you can’t use it when you need it.
Now, which is the better option?
Well, it depends on you and your needs. Left to us here at Kara, we would recommend that you buy both. Why? Because you can use your standard generator to charge your inverter whenever PHCN “holds” power for too long. Remember, your inverter is useless if you cannot charge it. You will spend less this way because you’ll only buy fuel when you need to charge your inverter, not all the time.
However, if you cannot afford to buy both, then you should decide based on your wattage needs.
If you use high-wattage appliances for long hours every day, then you’d be better off with a standard generator. But if you only use low wattage appliances or high wattage ones only on occasions, then we recommend you go for an inverter.
In addition, remember that generators “generate” both electricity and noise while inverters are silent. So, factor that in when making your choice.
If you need high quality generators and inverters that will longer than you can imagine, we have loads of them available at the Kara online store. Check them out, make your orders and we’ll get them to your doorstep within a few days!