A homeowner’s guide to choosing the right solar energy inverter in Nigeria

How big of an inverter do you need for your solar power system in Nigeria? How many batteries do you need for your solar power system? How many solar panels do you need? Tag along!

A homeowner’s guide to choosing the right solar energy inverter in Nigeria
Image Credit: Freepik

The allure of solar power in Nigeria is undeniable. Imagine reducing your reliance on the grid, lowering electricity bills, and contributing to a greener future. But before you jump in, understanding the process of setting up a solar inverter system is important.

This guide unveils the key steps involved in determining your solar power needs, drawing insights from Liteup Naija, a reputable Nigerian solar solutions provider. According to Quadri Dolapo, CEO of Liteup Naija, one of the first things you need to do is calculate your energy needs and know your installation design and whether it’ll meet your power needs amongst other factors. This will help you determine how many solar panels, batteries, and inverters are needed to power your home or business.

Let's get right into it!

Step 1: Assess Your Energy Needs

Before embarking on your solar journey, getting a clear picture of your current energy consumption is important. Here's how to do it:

First, take a look at your past electricity bills. Analyse them to find your average monthly kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage. This number tells you exactly how much energy you typically consume in a month.

Then, walk around your house and identify the energy guzzlers. Make a note of the wattage ratings for your appliances (TVs, fridges, etc.). This will also help you understand which appliances contribute the most to your energy consumption. For example, a powerful air conditioner might use a lot more energy in hot seasons than a small fan.

You could also consider consulting a licensed electrician if you have complex electrical systems or are considering a larger solar power installation. They can use specialised tools to measure your real-time energy usage and provide a detailed breakdown of your consumption patterns. 

Once you have a good grasp of your energy habits, you'll be in a better position to determine the size and capacity of the solar system that's right for your needs. 

Let's move on to the next step!

Image Credit: Liteup Naija

Step 2: Calculate Your System Requirements

Now that you understand your energy habits, let's determine the essential components that will make up your solar system. Here’s where you can partner up with a solar solutions provider to help you figure out the right inverter size. Your inverter is the heart of your solar system responsible for converting the electricity generated by your solar panels into usable power for your home.

To ensure your inverter can handle everything you throw at it, you also need to calculate your total load. This simply means adding up the wattage ratings of all your appliances. Take a look at their nameplates. The nameplate will have the wattage of the appliance listed in either watts or kilowatts. Add all of that wattage too. 

Once you have a total wattage number, Liteup Naija recommends playing it safe by choosing an inverter with double this capacity. This buffer ensures your inverter won't get overloaded, especially during peak usage times. For example, if your total load is 600 watts, a 1200-watt inverter would be a good fit.

Liteup Naija offers three inverter packages to suit different budgets and needs. We'll discuss those options in detail a bit later.  For now, let's focus on another crucial element – batteries.

Imagine a blackout like the just concluded NLC strike, but you’re watching it play out because your solar system kicks in and keeps your lights and appliances running. 

To comfortably achieve this backup power, you'll need batteries and the key factors to consider are:

1. Backup Time: How long do you want your appliances to function during outages? Think about how many hours of backup time would provide you with peace of mind.

2. Battery Capacity: The number and type of batteries depend on your inverter voltage. Liteup Naija's expertise comes in handy here. They can recommend the perfect batteries based on your inverter (for example, two 12V deep-cycle batteries for a 24V inverter).

3. Battery Type: There are various battery options at your disposal, each with its strengths:

  • Lithium: These batteries boast the longest lifespan (around 10 years) and top-notch quality, but they come at a higher cost.
  • Tubular: Offering a good balance between performance and affordability, tubular batteries are a popular mid-range choice.
  • Gel: Similar to tubular batteries in terms of lifespan, gel batteries are another reliable option.
  • Lead-acid: While this is the most budget-friendly option, Liteup Naija generally discourages them due to their shorter lifespan and potential for issues.

We've taken a peek into your energy habits and explored the importance of batteries in your solar system. Now, let's delve into the brains of the operation – solar panels!

4. Solar Panel Calculation: A crucial factor in determining how many solar panels you need is the average daily sunlight hours available in your location. In Lagos, for example, you can expect around 4 hours of peak sunlight per day.

The number of panels you need now depends on two key things:

  • Battery Charging: Enough panels are required to replenish the energy stored in your batteries during daylight hours. Factors like battery capacity and those precious sunlight hours we just discussed come into play here.
  • Powering Your Load: Additional panels might be required to directly power your appliances during the day. Don't worry, we'll get to calculating your total wattage needs in a moment.

Liteup Naija, with its expertise, can guide you through calculating the optimal number of panels for your specific situation. They use formulas that take into account your energy habits, battery setup, and sunlight availability to ensure your system is perfectly sized for your needs.

To be Practical: 

Let's assume you choose two 12V deep-cycle batteries, like the ones recommended by Liteup Naija, you're working with 4 hours of peak sunlight per day, your household appliances have a total wattage of 600 watts, and you want them to be powered directly by the solar system for 5 hours each day.

Rounded Calculations:-

Battery Charging Needs:

Battery Bank Capacity (Ah) x Inverter Voltage (V) = Watt-hours (Wh) required for charging. Let's estimate a total battery capacity of 240Ah (both batteries combined).

So, 240Ah x 24V = 5,760Wh is needed to charge the batteries fully.

Daily Watt-hours Needed:

Wh needed for charging (from step 1) + Wh needed to power your load (600W x 5 hours) = Total daily Wh requirement. 

This translates to 5760Wh + 3000Wh = 8760Wh.

Solar Panel Capacity:

Total Daily Wh requirement (from step 2) / Average Sunlight Hours (Lagos) = Minimum required solar panel capacity in Watts (W).

So, 8760Wh / 4 hours/day =  2190W.


While 2190W would technically meet your needs, solar panels experience some efficiency loss. Liteup Naija recommends factoring in a buffer of 30% to account for this loss.

Therefore, the ideal solar panel capacity would be around 2190W x 1.3 = 2847W.

Number of Solar Panels:

Now, divide the ideal solar panel capacity by the chosen panel wattage (e.g., 300W per panel).

This gives you the approximate number of panels needed: 2847W / 300W/panel = approximately 9.5 panels (rounded up to 10 for optimal performance).

N.B: Remember, these are simplified calculations for illustrative purposes only. The Installation company with their expertise, will perform more precise calculations based on your specific situation, equipment choices, and a professional power audit.

Solar panels + battery

Step 3: Choosing the Right Inverter System

We've sized up your solar panel needs and explored the importance of choosing the right batteries. Now, let's explore specific inverter options commonly available in the market, so you can select the perfect one for your setup. Installation companies would typically offer inverter packages to cater to different budgets and needs as below:

  • Silver (Class C/D): This entry-level option is ideal for basic requirements. It usually comes with a 1-year warranty, making it a budget-friendly choice for homeowners starting their solar journey.

  • Gold (Class B): The mid-range Gold package strikes a good balance between performance and value. Backed by a 2-3 year warranty, it offers reliable power conversion for most household needs.

  • Premium (Class A): For those seeking the best performance and extended service life, the Premium package is the way to go. Boasting a 5-year warranty (e.g., with brands like SOLA), these top-of-the-line inverters ensure optimal efficiency and peace of mind.

Several factors that could influence your inverter selection:

  • Power Requirements: First ensure the inverter capacity aligns with your calculated total load (remember adding up the wattages of your appliances?). This ensures your inverter can handle your energy demands without overloading.
  • Professional Consultation: For complex setups or if you have any doubts, consider consulting with a reputable solar installer. Their expertise can guarantee proper system sizing and optimal inverter selection.
  • Budget: Finally, you should consider which package (based on warranty and performance) best suits your financial constraints. Research different brands and compare their offerings to find the best value for your money.

This brings us to the next step…

WIP of the panel Installation | Liteup Naija

Step 4: Analysing the System Costs

Here's a breakdown of the estimated costs involved in setting up a solar inverter system in Nigeria, based on information readily available online and incorporating insights from Liteup Naija:

Please note: These are general estimates and may vary depending on factors like:

  • Specific equipment chosen (brand, capacity)
  • Installer expertise and location
  • System complexity
  • Current market fluctuations


Estimated Cost Range (₦)

Solar Panels (per 300W panel)

₦84,500 - ₦106,000

Deep Cycle Battery (12V)

₦35,000 - ₦50,000 (consult your solar partner for their specific battery recommendations)


  • Silver Package (Class C/D): ₦150,000 - ₦200,000 
  • Gold Package (Class B): ₦250,000 - ₦350,000 
  • Premium Package (Class A): ₦400,000+ 

Additional Costs

  • Solar Charge Controller: ₦10,000 - ₦20,000 (depending on capacity)
  • Installation Labor: ₦50,000 - ₦100,000 (may vary based on system size and complexity)
  • Power Audit: If you're undecided or need to plan ahead, you can always have your home inspected for a fee. Liteup Naija offers a power audit for proper system sizing at an additional cost of ₦10,000 (contact them for a quote).

Example based on previous calculations:

  • 10 x 300W Solar Panels: ₦84,500/panel x 10 panels = ₦845,000 (low end) to ₦1,060,000 (high end)
  • 2 x Deep Cycle Batteries: ₦40,000/battery x 2 batteries = ₦80,000 (low end) to ₦100,000 (high end)
  • Gold Package Inverter: ₦250,000 (low end) to ₦350,000 (high end)
  • Solar Charge Controller: ₦15,000 (estimated)
  • Installation Labor: ₦75,000 (estimated)

Total Estimated Cost: Based on the example scenario and considering the low end of each range, the total cost could be around ₦1,265,000. On the high end, it could reach ₦1,600,000.

Here's a general range based on inverter capacity (KVA):

  • 1.5KVA: ₦850,000 - ₦1,200,000
  • 2.5KVA: ₦1,800,000 - ₦2,100,000
  • 3.5KVA: ₦2,300,000 - ₦2,700,000
  • 5KVA: ₦3,400,000 - ₦3,800,000+

Financing Options: Usually, solar installation companies provide instalment plans, so check with them for a more accurate quote in line with your specific requirements. Liteup Naija offers financing options for up to 12 months, making solar power more accessible. Refer to their 7-step starter guide to help you get started.

Liteup Naija starter guide

Step 5: System Installation and Maintenance

We've covered everything from understanding your energy habits to choosing the right inverter for your solar power system. Now, let's explore the final and most important steps to bring your solar dream to life.

Research and choose a reputable solar installer with proper certifications and positive customer reviews. An experienced installer ensures a smooth process, so you don’t have to worry about all of the math pre-installation.

Beyond the core components (panels, inverter, batteries), a tailored system design is essential for peak performance. This involves finding the perfect balance between the number of solar panels and your battery capacity.

For instance, an office with high daytime energy use might require more panels to generate enough power during daylight hours. In contrast, a home prioritising nighttime backup might benefit from additional batteries to store excess solar energy for evening use. This is something your installer shouldn’t miss.

Understanding basic maintenance requirements for your chosen system is key too. The good news is most solar panels require minimal upkeep – occasional cleaning and inspections are usually sufficient, and they can last for 25 years or more. Batteries, however, have a shorter lifespan. Familiarise yourself with their maintenance needs and ensure your system is covered by a solid warranty for repairs and replacements when needed.


The number of solar panels, batteries, and inverter size ultimately depends on your unique situation. By understanding your energy needs, sunlight availability, and consulting with a solar professional, you can design a system perfectly tailored to power your Nigerian home or business and truly embrace power independence.

Solar Power FAQs

How many solar panels do I need?

The exact number depends on your monthly energy use (kWh) and sunlight hours. Here's a rough estimate assuming 4 hours of peak sunlight per day:

  • 500 kWh/month: 18 x 300W panels
  • 1,000 kWh/month: 36 x 300W panels
  • 2,000 kWh/month: 72 x 300W panels

Q: Is it better to have more batteries or more solar panels?

It depends! If you want more power generation? Add panels. For more stored energy,dd batteries. Remember, adding more batteries might need more panels to charge them full.

Q: Can I run my house using only solar energy?

Yes, but it takes a large system. Talk to a solar provider for a custom plan.

Q: How many solar panels can I fit on my roof?

It depends on your roof size, angle, and local climate. A typical residential panel system can fit 10-20 panels.

Q: Are solar panels inverters?

No, solar panels and inverters are two different components in a solar system. Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity (DC), while inverters convert that DC electricity into usable AC electricity for your home.

Q: Can solar inverters be repaired?

Yes, depending on the problem. Repairs are often more cost-effective than replacing the entire inverter. You can consult a solar professional for an assessment.

Get weekly insights on tech startups and VC in Africa