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1.0 Introduction Electricity generated from fossil fuels such as coal and crude oil have led to high concentrations of harmful gases in the atmosphere. The consequence of this is the problem of ozone layer depletion and global warming. Due to the problems associated with the use of fossil fuels, alternative sources of energy have become important and relevant in todays World. The potential of the sun and wind as alternative sources of energy can never be exhausted. Also known as non-conventional sources of energy, they cause no emission and are available. Their use can significantly reduce chemical, radioactive, and thermal pollution. They are viable sources of clean and limitless energy. Energy generated from the sun is known as solar energy. Solar energy can be used to meet our electricity requirements for a number of applications such as; domestic lighting, street lighting, rural electrification, water pumping, powering of telecommunication repeater stations, space crafts, and rail way signals. The ability to generate electricity from sunlight is a relatively new and exciting technology that offers many new opportunities in generating green electricity. This technology is called solar photovoltaic (SPV), or simply photovoltaic, (PV). The term photovoltaic means light electricity [1]. PV cells are made of silicon and converts solar energy to electrical energy at efficiencies of 12 14%, [2]. PV systems use the most abundant energy source on the planet, solar radiation, to generate electricity. They are silent, consume no fuel and generate no pollution. They also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, for example, a 2 kW PV system mounted on the roof of a house will prevent the emission of about 40 tonnes of CO2 during its projected 30 year lifetime, [1]. The electrical output of a PV cell is established at standard test conditions (STC), where Irradiance is 1000 W/m2 at a temperature of 250 C, [3]. With the PV cell operating at these conditions, the open circuit Voltage, (VOC), short circuit current (ISC ),voltage at maximum power point (VMAX. ), and current at maximum power point (IMAX.) are recorded. From this, the maximum power delivered by the PV cell can be calculated as well as the fill factor (FF), and cell efficiency.
FF Vm ax I m ax Voc I sc

(1) (2)

Pm ax Voc I sc FF

The orientation of a building and positioning of solar arrays are vital factors in maximizing energy production, [3]. Inclining or tilting solar panels towards the sun can increase the levels of light falling on the surface and therefore result in an increase in

electricity output. The appropriate angle of inclination will depend on the latitude of the proposed site. This design is based on environmental conditions in Mubi, Adamawa State, North Eastern, Nigeria. Nigeria is blessed with reasonably high quantities of a variety of primary renewable energy resources. The renewable energy resources are well distributed throughout the country. There are large bodies of water for hydro power generation, sunshine for solar power generation and strong winds for wind power generation. Moreover, Nigeria lies within high sunshine region with solar radiation being fairly well distributed. The annual average of total solar radiation is about 12.6 MJ/m2 per day in the coastal latitude to about 25.2 MJ/m2 per day in the far North. Solar radiation intensities range from 3.57.0 kWh/m2 and sunshine duration ranges from 4.0 to 9.0 hours per day as reported in [4]. Using solar energy to generate electricity is not the same as using solar to produce heat. Photovoltaic principles are used to produce electricity, where a PV cell becomes charged electrically when subjected to sun light [5]. Solar panels are directed at solar south in the northern hemisphere and solar north in the southern hemisphere at an angle dictated by the geographic location and latitude of where they are to be installed. Typically, the angle of the solar array is set within a range of between site latitude plus 15 degrees and site latitude minus 15 degrees, [5]. The electricity generated is consolidated in the PV panel and directed to the output terminals to produce low voltage direct current (DC) usually 6 to 25 volts. The intensity of the suns radiation changes with the hour of the day, time of the year and weather conditions. The total amount of solar radiation energy is expressed in hours of full sunlight per m2, or peak sun hours. The term peak sun hours, represents the average amount of sun available per day throughout the year. It is presumed that at peak sun 1000 W/m2 of power reaches the surface of the earth. One hour of full sun provides 1000Wh per m2 or 1kWh/m2, [5].

2.0 Components of solar power System There are basically four primary integrated components utilized for generating electricity using PV system at 120/240 volts AC when inverted, these are; PV modules, charge controller, battery and inverter. Electricity generated from the PV modules charge the

battery, and the charge controller insures proper charging of the battery and also the battery is not over charged. The battery supplies DC voltage to the inverter, which converts DC to AC in a process called inversion. If 240 volts AC is required, then either a transformer is added or two identical inverters are series stacked to produce 240 volts.

3.0 Determination of Electrical Load The electrical load connected to the 3-bedroom apartment taken as a case study was determined by carrying out a load survey of all electrical appliances connected to the 13 amperes mains (socket outlet), lighting points and fans. Table 1 shows the common types of electrical appliances found in most households, their power rating, and quantity. The total power rating of 10 kW indicates the power drawn by all loads when they are concurrently in use.

Table 1, Electrical Appliances/Load Demand S/No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Description of Appliance Samsung split unit Air conditioners. Thermocool deep Freezer. New Clime Ceiling Fans. Lighting Points. Phillips Electric Kettle. Phillips Electric Iron. Blenders, Shavers etc. Total Rating (Watts) 970 220 40 100 2000 1000 710 Quantity 3 1 4 30 1 1 1 Total load (Watts) 2,910 220 160 3,000 2,000 1000 710 10,000 W

Chadderton in [6] reported a format for providing engineering services in a building based on hourly usage of appliances/equipments per day and per week for the whole year. The format was adopted for determination of the work hours of lighting, fans, and other household appliances. The report cited a construction site to be serviced with crane, pump, and machine tools. It was assumed in the report that, the crane, pump, and machine tool would be used for 25% of an 8 hour working day, 7 days per week for 52 weeks using the formula,
0.25 8hours / day 7days / week 52weeks


Since the length of day and night for locations within the equatorial zone, Mubi town in Adamawa state, Nigeria being inclusive is approximately equal, i.e. 12 hours, [7] the following assumptions were made.


Lighting, fans, and air conditioners would be utilized for 50% of a 24 hour day, which is 12 hours per day.


Electric kettle, electric iron, would be utilized for 12.5% of a 24 hour day, which is 3 hours per day.


Blenders, shavers would be utilized for 6.25% of a 24 hour day, which is 1.5 hours per day.


Refrigerator would be utilized for 50% of a 24 hour day, which is 12 hours per day considering thermostatic action, although it is just a conservative estimate.

Based on the above assumptions, the daily watt hours for the appliances, lights and fans were calculated as,
0.5 24hours / day 7days / week power rating of appliance


Equation 4 above was used in determining the Watt hour values for all the appliances.

Table 2, Power rating of appliance (Watt hour values) S/N Description of Appliance Power Rating Watt Hours per day (Wh per day) ( Watts) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Split unit air conditioners Deep freezer Electric kettle Electric iron Blenders/shavers Ceiling fans Lighting points Total 2,910 220 2,000 1,000 710 160 3,000 34,920 2,640 6,000 3,000 1,065 1,920 36,000 85,545

The total watt hours of all appliances connected to AC power is 85,545 Wh per day. To correct for inverter loss, the Wh per day is multiplied by a factor of 1.25, i.e.
85,545 1.25 106,932Wh / day

3.1.1 Inverter DC input voltage selection. The standard inverter voltages are 12, 24 or 48 volts. In this design, 24V inverter voltage was assumed. The total ampere hours per week used by all AC loads is given by,





Where I = ampere hours (Ah) P = Wh per day V = Inverter input voltage

Ampere hours( Ah) per day 106,932 4,456 Ah / day 24V

In order to compensate for loss from battery charge/discharge, the average ampere hour per day is multiplied by a factor of 1.2, that is, 4,456 1.2 5,347 Ah / day

3.1.2 Sun Hours Available per day From the Global peak sun-hour map [8] the average peak sun hours for North Africa region, Nigeria inclusive, considering Mubi Area in the North-Eastern part, the peak sun hours was found to be 56 hours per day. In another report, solar intensities range from 3.5-7.0 kWh/m2, while sunshine duration ranges from 4.09.0 hours per day, [4]. In order to determine the total solar array amperes required, the average ampere hours per day is divided by the sun hours per day, the highest figure was selected that is, 6.
Solar array amperes 5,347 891A 6

3.1.3 PV Array Sizing From Sunwize solar module catalogue [9] SW120 Kit was selected having Voc = 20.0 V, and Isc = 8.0 A and power rating of 120 Watts/module. In order to determine the number of modules required, module Isc is divided by solar array amperes, that is,
891Ah approximately112 mod ules in parallel 8

The number of modules in series selected from chart is 2. Therefore, the number of solar modules required in an array is found by multiplying, 112 x 2 = 224 modules in array. The panels can be mounted on top of the roof or on the ground in an open yard.

3.1.4 Battery Sizing The size of the battery bank required will depend on the storage capacity required, the maximum discharge rate, the maximum charge rate, and the minimum temperature at which

the batteries will be used. Since the total average ampere hours per day is 891 Ah, assuming 4 days of continuous cloud, the total average ampere hours per day becomes,
891Ah 4 3,564 Ah

In order to maintain a 20% reserve after deep discharge period, the new average ampere hours is divided by a factor of 0.8, i.e.
3,564 4455Ah / day 0.8

From Sunwize battery catalogue [9], a Concorde battery, model Number PVX-2580L, rated at 12V, and with a capacity of 305 Ah/120 hours was selected. In order to determine the number of batteries required, the ampere hours per day was divided by the battery capacity, i.e.
4,455 14.6, approximately,15 batteries in parallel 305

3.1.5 Inverter Sizing Inverters are rated in continuous wattage and surge watts. A continuous watt is the total power the inverter can support indefinitely. A surge watt is how much power the inverter can support for a very brief period usually, momentary. From Table 1, the total wattage of the proposed PV system is 10 kW. In order to accommodate the surge watts from specific appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerator, the total wattage was multiplied by a factor of 1.5, i.e.
10,000W 1.5 15,000 or 15kW

From Sunwize inverter catalogue [9], Xantrex inverter DR series, model no. DR2424, with Vdc input = 24V, continuous power of 2400 watts was selected based on the fact that it has selector settings to give an output of 230 Vac at 50 Hz. However, 6 inverters would be connected in parallel to deliver a power of 14,400 kW Watts which is close to 15 kW. Table 3 shows the list of components required to set up a solar PV system, their quantities and cost.

Table 3, Costing of solar PV system components S/N Description of Item Unit Rate ($) 1. 2. 3. DR 2424 Xantrex Inverter PVX 2580L Concorde Battery SW 120 Kit module Sub total 4. Add 40% for packaging, VAT, freight, land transportation, and installation charges. Grand Total 494,627.00 1,100.00 639.00 1,505.00 6 16 224 Quantity Amount ($) 6,600.00 9,585.00 337120.00 353,305.00 141,322.00


Solar PV system has a disadvantage of high initial capital cost, but it also has advantage of minimal maintenance, high reliability and availability. The 10 kW power capacity and hence the cost can be greatly reduced by optimizing the load, that is removing air conditioners, refrigerator, electric kettle, cooker, and electric iron loads, allowing only lighting loads and fans. This will reduce the load demand to about 3.16 kW and the cost will proportionally be reduced. The lighting load can further be reduced by using 25 or 35 W energy saving tubular or spiral bulbs instead of 60 or 100 watts incandescent lamps. The high cost of PV facilities is based on two components where A.C power and storage is required, inverters and batteries. Therefore, if only illumination is required in a particular application, the D.C option is recommended as in the case of solar street lighting. For other appliances like refrigerators, fans and water pumps, solar powered customized versions are available in the market.


In conclusion, this paper has outlined the basic principles involved in design of solar power system. The principles can be customized for any size of load demand. However, because of the capital cost involved, optimum conditions must be adhered to. Solar power system though one of the numerous sources of renewable energy is yet to be adopted as a major alternative to power generation from fossil fuels because of its high initial capital cost and therefore it is

only undertaken by government agencies. Individuals are compelled by cost to resort to diesel or petrol powered generators.


[1] Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), PV Fact sheet, 2005 Publication, [2] Encyclopedia Americana, International Edition, Scholastic Library Publishing Inc. Danbury Connecticut, U.S.A, 2006, pp. 188. [3] Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Renewable Energy (ACRE), 2006 Publication, [4] Nuhu-Koko, A. A, Re-organizing Nigerias Power Sector Challenges before the National Energy Council (NEC), Sunday Triumph, 30th September, 2007. [5] Advanced Energy Group (AEG), U.S.A, 2005 Publication, [6] Chardderton, D. V., Building Services Engineering, 1st edition, E & F Publishers, London, 1991, pp. 225. [7] Strahler A., & Strahler A., Physical Geography Science and Systems of the Human Environment, 2nd Ed., John Wiley & Sons Inc., India, 1998, pp. 56-78. [8] Global Solar Map, 2005 publication. [9] Sunwize Solar Electric Catalogue, 2006 Publication,