Monday, October 14, 2013

Energy Problems in Ghana: Learn How to Buy the Right Backup Generator for Your Home


Power outages have become a major challenge with most businesses and homes in Ghana. When the lights go off unexpectedly, you become stressed out having to live in darkness and work without electricity. Communication is distorted as cell phones go off and the kitchen gets unfriendly with food getting spoilt every now and then. This has prompted most people to look for a solution and the obvious power alternative is a backup generator.

Below are 5 Simple Steps to Consider before Buying a Generator for Your Home in Ghana:
  1. Plan a safe place to house and operate the generator. The most common generator for homes is the portable ones which run on petrol or diesel. This produces noise and harmful fumes such as carbon monoxide as it works, great care must be given to its operation area. It must be placed a distant from the main house about 10feet away with free flow of air around it so the emitted fumes are not concentrated at one place. Breathing in carbon monoxide can be dangerous and harmful to your health.
  2. Get a secure storage for the petrol or diesel. When the lights go off, most filling or petrol stations may not be operating so it is best to have fuel for your generator available at all times. Petrol and diesel are volatile and hazardous hence should be handled with much care. The least misuse can start a fire in your home thus it is advisable to store it outside the main house to prevent any hazards such as fire from spreading fast. Store in a well labelled gallon at a safe place. The fuel must be easily accessible during a blackout but must be out of the reach of children.
  3. Calculate the amount of power you’ll need. This is probably the most important action to know the size or capacity of generator to buy. Add up all the wattages of the electrical appliances you hope to power with the generator. This should give an average power consumption level. You can also tell by striking the average of about six months electricity bills. A fridge or refrigerator is about 600-700 watts while a light bulb may be between 50-70 watts. The wattage is found on the electrical data plate usually on or under the appliance. Calculate for the very necessary appliances to get by during lights out like a fridge, light bulbs, TV, sockets to power cell phones and a computer. Air conditioning takes up a lot of power and can be omitted during short periods of blackouts. For most middle sized families, generators with running watts of about 5000-6000 watts will be adequate. This can power about 6-7appliances together.
  4. Employ a safe electrical connection. To connect the generator with your home circuit or outlet, it is safe to use a power transfer switch. A power transfer switch has been designed to safely step down the power from the mains and transfer to the home. If this is unavailable, heavy-duty external extension cables must be used to directly plug in appliance to the generator. Avoid using homemade or normal extension cords as this can cause a fire or give an electrical shock due to the high voltage transfer.
  5. Test the generator before a blackout. The generator must be fixed and tested in the home to ensure everything is working before a blackout occurs. Do not wait till the lights are off before trying a new generator. You may get anxious and hurt yourself! Try it out immediately after purchase so you can ask for a change or refund if the machine is not satisfying your expectations. Engine oil and gasoline stabilizer must be periodically added to maintain and prolong the generator.
The energy authorities do not seem to have any immediate solutions to the power crisis in Ghana. To secure and protect your family and properties, get the right backup generator to ease all the stress of energy challenges! For help on selecting the right generator, contact Ghana Homes for help. Ghana Homes Group’s trained engineers will help you select the right generator for your home or business.

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