Solar PV systems work by converting photons from the sun to electrical energy. This is achieved by means of a solar panel placed on the roof of a house or on any other place where it is directly exposed to the sun. When photons from the sun strike the surface of these panels, energy is generated which can be used to power up the house. But a downside to solar PVs is that since the sun is required to generate electricity, none can be generated at night. So, if you want electricity from your solar PV system during the night, you’ll need to install batteries to store energy when the sun is shining.
In some developed countries, a system known as net metering is practiced; a system whereby excess energy generated from the solar panels are sent back into the grid instead of being stored for later usage. A meter installed by the utility company measures the amount of electricity sent back into the grid and the user receives a credit. When the user requires more electricity than the panels are producing, they can draw from the grid using the credit hence most homes simply install solar panels to reduce their electricity bills and only consider batteries when they want to go completely off grid. This is a cheaper and more convenient arrangement, but can it work in Nigeria? Many factors that would impede the practice of such an arrangement include epileptic supply- There may not be any supply when you need to draw back your credit.
Therefore, to enjoy smooth energy supply with solar energy in Nigeria, batteries are essential. Batteries vary in capacity and material; the most common ones are the lead acid and lithium-ion batteries, but a suitable number of any given type can sufficiently power a home through outages eliminating the need for noisy and polluting generators.