The Herald (Harare)

30 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Solar Systems Ideal for Rural Areas

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Solar systems for power and heating are ideally suited for use in agriculture and rural environments and provide a viable and economical solution and substitute for Zesa electricity.

The source of this power, the sun, is fully renewable and available in good quantities in Zimbabwe and a correctly designed and installed Solar system for both power and water heating will provide many years of green, safe and reliable service and can be applied to any electrical use.

The beginning of the agricultural and rainy season is a good time to evaluate and seek new applications to enhance productivity and raise standards of living, whether it is for curing of tobacco, chicken and livestock raising.

Alternatively it can be for pumping and storage of irrigation water, lighting of homesteads and schools, hot water for schools and clinics, power generation for small projects, refrigeration for clinics and stores and any number of various applications.

Agricultural Irrigation -- can use solar to pump and store water from boreholes and dams for drip irrigation, this saves on time to hand pump or switch diesel pumps on and off.

Tobacco curing -- low powered, high volume fans for tobacco curing have been adapted to use with solar power.

This means growers can use coal and not indigenous timber (which is being decimated), this leads to more efficient curing and use of coal or timber, it also saves a lot of work cutting and storing timber for the curing.

Chicken farms -- the same tobacco fans can be used with flue pipes to keep the chickens warm, the power system can also supply lighting (using low power long lasting LED lights) to ensure chickens feed efficiently.

These can dramatically increase yields and quality of crops/livestock and lift the quality of life for the rural population.

Rural homesteads and schools -- Homesteads -- Solar can supply most power needs for all off grid homesteads and include lights, TVs and entertainment, charging, computers, hot water and etc.

Schools -- These systems are ideal for lighting for schools, computers and IT centres for education, solar hot water for rural boarding schools without access to electricity.

These all help raise the standards of living, education and as an added bonus help save the environment.

Health Centres -- Solar is ideal for all applications in rural health centres, ranging from hot water for patients, lighting for emergency use at night for maternity wards, refrigeration for vaccines and medication, solar borehole pumps to supply fresh potable water and etc. This all helps to raise standards of health care and survival rates in rural areas.

Refrigeration -- With DC compressors and lower power use are ideal in remote and off-grid situations to be powered by Solar.

Solar refrigeration is ideally suited to use in all health centres for the storage of vaccines and medicines, also useful for remote stores to supply refrigerated drinks, frozen products and etc.

Solar fridges and freezers enable producers to produce, store and market perishable foods and products.

For more information contact vondex@savonprime.com

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