Zimbabweans are known to be frugal, and for good reason. Things can get really really expensive around here is the shortest possible time. It’s the price that we pay for living in a country under siege. Anyway, I have recently been hunting around for equipment to set up a home solar system. Power outages over the past year have had a debilitating effect on my ability to carry out online work. The solution lies in either packing my bags and going to South Africa, or setting up an off grid system to charge my laptop and watch TV.
One of the things that I have discovered while doing the rounds around the shops selling solar equipment that are dotted around the Harare CBD is that many of the batteries that are on sale there are not new. That’s, in my view, the reason why so many Zimbabweans are so afraid of going solar. They hear gory tales of their friends who have had to threaten to beat up some of these dealers after the batteries they were sold packed up only a few weeks after purchase.
Never buy a used solar battery
One of the things that I have discovered while doing research is that you should never buy a used solar battery. That’s particularly the case in Zimbabwe. There have recently been reports that some of the batteries that are being sold around town are stolen from telecommunications networks in South Africa. If you get one that still has a good life, then good for you. However, you may end up buying batteries that have actually been disposed of by these companies.
Batteries are the most important component in any home solar system. They are also the most fragile. You should only buy them new and from reputable dealers that offer you a warrant. Otherwise you are going to have problems. I understand that batteries tend to be very expensive when bought new. A 150ah battery, as an example, costs around USD300 at a reputable shop in Harare.
They are way cheaper in the U.S, but isn’t that the story of our lives? Everything is cheaper elsewhere. Anyway, if you cannot afford one at the moment, consider saving up before buying your solar battery. That way, you will save yourself the headaches. Whatever you do, don’t buy a used solar battery! Please leave a comment below if you have anything to say. Otherwise, have a good day!