Main Article Content
The human and economic development of any nation is largely tied to the availability of energy, hence the need for an adequate supply of electricity by reliable energy systems. Nigeria’s economic growth is undermined by the epileptic nature of its electricity supply system. Consequently, the populace is forced to turn to alternative sources of power. However, this presents another problem - conflict of choice between available options for power generation. There is, therefore, the need to assist electricity consumers in Nigeria make better and cost-effective choices in this regard. In this paper, a software computer program is developed to determine/compare life cycle cost (LCC) of solar photovoltaic (PV) and diesel generator systems as preferences for electricity generation in Nigeria. The software is developed through an approach involving load determination, energy resources determination, system sizing and a typical residential building. The key methodology adopted is evolutionary prototyping which focuses on vertical dimension approach. Typical load description of a household located in Amawbia Awka of Anambra state in Nigeria was used to test the efficiency of the source code. The initial cost and life cycle cost for the two systems over a period of 30 years was ascertained. The test results showed the solar PV system to be a more cost-effective solution than the diesel generator based on total life cycle costs. The study recommends among others, the need to increase awareness of the long-term benefits of solar energy systems as an alternative source of electricity in Nigeria.