Due to the struggle to get constant electricity in Nigeria, generators have sadly become a necessity for any home, business or organization in need of reliable source of power.
Therefore, for the average homeowner/tenant, selecting an ideal generator is a very important part of making any living arrangements. Just like when selecting an ideal car, you have to take note of some factors like:
Depending on the number of appliances needed to be powered, the wattage level required will differ from household to household.
The best way to do this is to estimate the total wattage required by getting the sum total of the estimated power output of individual appliances in the house, then buy a generator with a power output slightly higher than the sum total of the already calculated wattage required.
This is because when you start up the generator, the average electrical appliance uses more current until it stabilizes.
If this is difficult, you can get electricians nearby to help you determine how much wattage require for your generator.
Given that most generators are meant for use in residential areas, it is very important to select one that operates with a minimal noise level.
However, the less noise a generating set makes, the more expensive it’s likely to be. The average noise level for a generator is 70 decibels, anything higher than that is too loud. One can consider purchasing sound proof generators if they can afford them as those come with very minimal noise level.
Just as generators create problems like noise pollution, they also constitute other environmental hazards because of gas (CO) emissions that pollute the environment and their attendant health implication/hazards – Carbon Monoxide (CO).
Inhalation of these gas in large quantities is dangerous to humans (and animals) and can lead to death and permanent disease conditions if exposed to it for too long.
Ensure that the generator isn’t situated inside the house or near any windows and the exhaust pipe is pointing to the open air away from the house in a manner that prevent circulation of carbon-monoxide gas within the human dwelling.
For the typical student who needs a generator to power only few low wattage appliances such as – phones, laptops, lamps, power banks, fans and so on, the typical Tiger generator brand nicknamed “I better pass my neighbor” is more than adequate with a total power rating of 900VA. This kind of generator retails for about 30,000 Naira.
However, for families/households with larger power needs, generating sets with much higher power outputs ranging from 2.5 to 10KVA are needed. For these, prices can vary from maybe 60,000 Naira to as high as over a million Naira, depending on the energy needs of the homeowner and the financial capability.
What’s the use of getting a generator if you can’t keep it fueled. So, another important factor to consider is the amount of fuel the generator consumes in relation to the run time.
Ideally, the type of generator to purchase is one that runs for a long time, while consuming as lesser fuel as possible.
The larger and more powerful generators are unlikely to be as portable as the smaller ones and when buying them, either have a permanent shed built to house the generator or make sure that the set comes equipped with wheels to allow for easy conveyance. Also, generators that have a key/push start feature are more convenient to use than the customary pull-start generators. Unless you like the workout from pulling the starter all the time.
In addition to these tips, also try to buy a surge protector to protect your most important appliances in case there’s an electrical surge.