It is no longer news that Nigeria’s power generation is currently at its lowest level in decades, as it has dropped to 1,085 megawatt. But what is new is the different alternative sources of power Nigerians are using, which are believed to be cheaper.
The cheapest among them is the gas-powered generating plant. It has been argued that the initiative is cheaper compared with other sources of power, especially the petrol-powered generating plants that are becoming less attractive.
Instead of using N2,500 worth of petrol for about 14 hours in a 2.5KVA generator, experts disclosed that Nigerians could use cooking gas worth the same value to power their generators for 40 hours, saving more than 50 per cent cost.
• Lower running cost – Liquefied petroleum gas is about 50 per cent cheaper than petrol.
• Lower maintenance cost and extended life span for spark plugs and engine oil.
• Absence of sound pollution – LP gas-powered engine runs more quietly than its petrol counterpart.
• Gas plant uses bigger cylinder that extends the life-span of the plant
• Easier refueling – you can change the cylinder without stopping the set.
• No storage problems unlike its petrol counterpart.
• Automatic cylinder change without stopping the set.
• Fire risk considerably reduced as there is no risk of fuel spillage.
• Cleaner emissions allow use in public areas and other pollution sensitive applications.
• No reduction in performance when load demand fluctuates.
• Low load – No damage to engine when running at very small loads.
Using cooking gas to power your generator has many advantages, an expert has asserted. ‘’It is cheaper, safer and cleaner’’. A dealer of gas-powered generators, based in Ogba, Lagos State, Mr. Emmanuel Oduroye, said users could save more than 50 per cent of the amount spent on fueling a petrol-powered generator if they converted their plants to use gas.
Oduroye, who is the Managing Director of Victory Concepts, citing advantages of gas-powered electric plants, said if you filled a 2.5kva generating set with fuel worth N2,500, it could only last for 14 hours but if you had bought gas in a 12.5kg cylinder, it would run your plant for about 40 hours or more, depending on usage. He also noted that, using gas to power your generator was cleaner, as it considerably reduced emissions of sulphur, nitrogen, and carbon monoxide.
He said that natural gas was one of the cleanest fossil fuels because “when it burns, it does not produce the pungent odour, which usually pervades the atmosphere if petrol-powered generators are used.
He added, “Apart from being a cleaner choice, it is more available in Nigeria than petrol. Unlike the acute scarcity of petrol that was recently experienced in the country, cooking gas is available, cheaper and ubiquitous.
“It is safer in the sense that gas poses less hazard than petrol in your plant’s tank. Gas could only be hazardous if used in an enclosed place. It causes hazard, if it is concentrated in the atmosphere, which is not possible if the generating set is placed in an open space.
“If there is leakage, it would be diluted by air in the atmosphere. This reduces chances of fire incident. So, there is zero per cent probability of the gas causing fire outbreak. ‘’
He asserted that using gaspowered plant would make storage of fuel unnecessary, thereby putting an end to fire disasters.
Oduroye said that the innovation of converting petrolpowered plant to gas would also prolong the life-span of the generating set because of the reduction of carbon monoxide’s emission.
HOW IT WORKS
The Managing Director, New Image Concept Services limited, Mr Sesan Ayoola, confirmed that running a gas-powered plant was cheaper, easier and safer than its petrol-powered counterpart.
“What we do to a petrol-powered plant is convert its single carburetor to double. It costs N25,000, including installation charges,” he said.
He also disclosed that, unlike petrol or diesel-powered generators, the gas-powered plants were only designed to burn gaseous fuel rather than liquid and so could be used in areas where gas supply lines were available.
Ayoola stressed that it was three times cheaper running gas-powered sets than dieselpowered generators. He said that the only major challenge of using gas to power generating sets, which could be regarded as a disadvantage, was the absence of storage for natural gas as it was supplied through pipelines, which could be hit by natural disasters or disrupted by vandalism. Such untoward development could, however, cut supply and place running machinery in the industries in jeopardy.