A recent news report by local media indicated that a five-bedroom off-grid solar house built in the Ejigbo area of Lagos, was commissioned as a ‘first-of-its-kind’ in Nigeria. Records however indicate it is not, but a Guzape 5-units estate in Abuja is first off-grid solar home in Nigeria.
As part of the ethics of accurate journalism, facts are sacred and must be seen to supersede publicity or sentiments.
The facts thus remain that while it is a welcoming development that new green buildings are beginning to spring up in Nigeria to underpin the need for green architecture, the Ejigbo off-grid home is not the first to be in Nigeria, and here are the facts:
In reality, the Ejigbo five-bedroom building is not the first of its kind off-grid renewable home in Nigeria, the 5 units terrace duplex housing estate built in Guzape District of Abuja by Blue Camel Energy is.
Describing the development as a major milestone, the report said the five-bedroom bungalow which was built and managed by Concept Technologies, has been off the national grid for about a year.
In reality, the Guzape Abuja off-grid estate which houses a total of 10 families was built and commissioned in 2014, and has run without grid power supplies since then uninterrupted. It represents a gradual shift to green architecture in Nigeria, and has its different apartments very unique considering that they all run on all forms of energy efficient home appliances.
It also has 55 rooms in total on 3 floors and a basement. Situated on a 1700sqm of land area, the building structure is seated on 500sqm floor area and has a height at 580 meters above sea level.
The report quoted the Managing Director of Concept Technologies, Tokunbo Tonade, during the unveiling of the structure, to have said: “The home is a 5-bedroom bungalow powered by a 12.6kW solar off-grid system that runs 94 per cent on the power of the sun and six per cent on diesel during cloudy weather. Off-grid means it has been completely disconnected from thermal electricity, and it’s been running without a blink since the last one year.”
He also gave details of the building’s power supply system to include a 12.6kW solar power generated from 63 units of 200W solar modules, three units of 60AMPS MPPT controllers, three units of 3.2kW inverters and 24 units of 200AMPD deep cycle batteries.
However, the Guzape Abuja off-grid estate runs on a hybrid system of solar and wind energy with no fossil fuel power generation to augment, providing enough electricity for the residential apartments, including air conditioning.
The estate has 140 units of 240W solar PV systems. 10 units of 6kW inverter system, 1 per apartment – 60kW combine, 33,600 watts of power generation from solar. 201,600whr power generation at 6 sun hours and 400amp/hour battery bank per apartment.
In addition, the estate leveraged the wind speed within its terrain and height, and has 10 units of 1.5KW wind turbines installed to add to the power generation from the sun. 1 unit per apartment expected to generate power for not less than 12 hours per day. The wind turbine operates from 4m/s wind speed.
As part of the Guzape estate is a 40,000 litres overhead water tank, 17,000 litres reservoir, with 20, 000 litres daily pumping capacity, all powered by 8 units of mono crystalline solar PV at 240W, as well as solar water heaters with 2,250 litres capacity, solar perimeter lighting solution, and solar powered DC refrigerators.