I am very happy this morning. Resigning from my job means that I actually have to LIVE in my apartment. I am staying in the same apartment and all, but I always felt that it wasn't a HOME. More like a place to sleep and store my things. I never really had time to lay down roots over the last few years, with the mad schedule I kept.
Things have changed now and I have not only started furnishing the place (no, I have never owned furniture before, I have been using my parents' old old old - did I say old? lol! furniture). I will do a few posts about my new furniture. Maybe. I have to get over my private self first :).
Anyway, this post is about one of the changes I have made. Spending more time at home meant that I had to resolve my power situation. I have always used a generator but the noise has always bothered me. It is too close to the house and there is no insulation so, although, it is relatively quiet compared to most of the other ones I have heard, I have struggled with even that moderate level of noise. I have been known to go to bed when the power goes off, just so that I don't have to turn on the generator and suffer the noise. And with my background in occupational and industrial safety, I have always felt uncomfortable with the fuel situation - storing it close to the house (potential for fire and explosions), the unsafe refills (potential for inhalation and close contact with toxic and carcinogenic materials).
Anyway, long story short, I wanted a solution that would be self renewing and most importantly would not necessarily need input from PHCN/NEPA or a generator to work - meaning the basic inverter that requires charging via NEPA/PHCN was not going to work. It also had to be good for the environment. Can't get enough brownie points for doing good for the environment. 🙂
My research threw up Solar Power as the solution. So, I began to do my research. What helped was the fact that my sister had just gotten hers installed a few months before and was able to share with me (actually, more like gush endlessly) about how happy she was with the endless electric supply she was now getting.
Enter SolarKobo. I wound up using them for several reasons but what drew me to them was the fact that they were
- upfront about giving me a ballpark figure for costs. You can figure out your own by playing with the SolarKobo Cost Estimator.
- they stated the brand names of equipment they were going to use for my installation so that I could look up the equipment and make sure I agreed.
- my solar solution was tailor made to suit my current budget and future plans. They designed a solution just for me.
- and. most importantly. They answered emails fairly quickly. Communication was good.
Last week Saturday after all the emails back and forth and a few face to face discussions where they came to figure out where best to place the equipment, SolarKobo came to install.
One thing you need to be aware of is that Solar installs are NOT cheap. At all. But they pay for themselves over time. That initial outlay is expensive. However, the way I have approached mine is that I figured that since it is a modular system, I could start small by purchasing one 250w Solar Panel and 2 batteries and add on to that over time to build capacity.
I won't bore you with the details but I like the fact that it was done neatly (no lose wires hanging around) and professionally. The person who oversaw my install was a very knowledgeable Electrical Engineering graduate so I did not have to deal with an Artisan. They were a team of three but he oversaw things and I dealt with him pretty much the entire time. Guys, If you have dealt with Nigerian artisans on a consistent kind of basis (like we all need to do), then you know that this is pretty important.
I had to wait about 12hrs for the batteries to charge properly and voila! I could use my Solar install. So far, so very good. It feels slightly surreal to have power in my house when my neighborhood is in darkness. The best bit is knowing that my power is not dependent on any one source. One way or the other sha, my batteries are receiving power.
The only thing I don't like about it is that there is a low hum coming from the inverter. I bet it is the sort of thing that most people won't even notice but I am a little sensitive to sounds, smells and even colors so yeah, I notice. But then again, most electronics make some noise - refrigerators, freezers e.t.c
Would I recommend SolarKobo? Without a doubt. I have done so many times already in this post.
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