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    Solar
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Zimbabwe

Solar Market Outlook in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwe government has recently launched its National Renewable Energy Policy. They have obtained assistance from the World Bank in order to procure large scale solar PV projects. The World Bank has opened a tender via the African Power Platform in order to boost the renewable energy capacity. 

Solar is the primary source of energy among independent power projects in Zimbabwe. As of July 2021, there were seven new solar PV projects that were installed with a solar capacity of 66 MW. These projects are expected to become ready and fully functional by the end of 2021, which should boost the country’s solar and renewable energy industry. 

The new solar developments are also proof that there are adequate regulations in place in Zimbabwe designed to benefit investors and consumers alike. The government is hoping to maintain policies that will encourage more investors in the future. 

By the end of 2020, Zimbabwe has reached 17 MW capacity in solar installations. They are targeting to reach 1GW of capacity by 2025. 

Solar Energy Equipment Supply Capacity in Zimbabwe

As of now, there are limited options for suppliers and distributors within Zimbabwe. Individual and commercial consumers of solar installations do have access to global suppliers, as well as those from neighboring countries. 

Top 8 Major Seaports & Logistics in Zimbabwe

There are various ports and logistics companies operating in Zimbabwe to maximize the ability to transport solar power equipment. The top ports available in Zimbabwe are

  • Chiredzi,
  • Thompson Junction,
  • Rusape,
  • Harare,
  • Victoria Falls,
  • Mutare,
  • Bata, 
  • Hwange.

Flooded Lead Acid Battery used for below projects in Zimbabwe

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Flooded Lead Acid Battery

Flooded Lead-Acid
When you switch to solar energy, particularly to solar photovoltaic systems, you will be dealing with different types of solar batteries. The battery is one of the main components of a solar PV system that you should take a deeper understanding of. However, understanding and differentiating these solar batteries might be confusing to some, especially for those who are only new to the solar energy community.  

For today’s article, we will explain how important it is to understand the basics of solar batteries and highlighting one of the common solar battery types, which is the flooded lead-acid battery.
What is Flooded Lead-Acid Battery?
A flooded lead-acid battery is the most common type of deep cycle solar battery in the market compared to a sealed lead-acid battery and other lead-acid batteries. These lead-acid batteries are sometimes called “wet cell” lead-acid batteries and have been on the market for many decades. They are also the least expensive solar storage battery upfront next to Lithium-ion solar batteries, which are the most cost-effective ones. 

Flooded lead-acid batteries and sealed lead-acid batteries are always being compared with one another due to their almost same performance, depth of discharge abilities, warranty, and cycle life. The largest difference between the two lead-acid battery types is their battery maintenance. 
How Do Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries Differ From Other Lead-acid Batteries?
For a flooded lead-acid battery, you need to add water so often for their maintenance, you also have to perform periodic equalization needs. The specific gravity of the electrolyte also needs to be measured frequently with a hydrometer. 

Another factor that makes a flooded battery differ from other batteries is that it can off-gas hydrogen in particular battery charging conditions. Since it can off-gas hydrogen, you need to vent the battery needing to release all the accumulated fumes. On the other hand, a sealed lead-acid battery does not require any high maintenance nor not require battery venting, making its spot next to a flooded lead-acid battery and popular to solar users who don’t want to deal with battery high maintenance. However, a sealed lead-acid battery due to the inability to maintain the battery, may not perform at its maximum levels, making the flooded lead-acid battery remain the most ideal solar battery.
Flooded Lead-Acid Battery Maintenance
While the flooded lead-acid battery is the most common and economic solar battery on the market, it will only reach its expected lifespan if you know how to maintain them properly. These lead-acid batteries usually contain an electrolyte that can freely move inside the battery encasement. When it is being charged, its battery acid and lead plates usually react to store electricity. Thus, they are meant to be placed upright so that the electrolyte will not leak out of the caps on top. Also, you must check the levels monthly and topped them off with distilled water to reach their longest possible lifespan.
Is it Worth it to Buy for a Solar PV System?
Aside from its durability, performance, and depth of discharge abilities, using flooded lead-acid deep cycle batteries for your solar energy storage will save you from hefty costs. Among the other lead-acid battery, they are the most cost-effective battery with the lowest cost per amp-hour and cost per kWh cycle. With all of the mentioned advantages of a flooded lead-acid battery, it is surely worth buying for your solar PV system.