How do solar panels work?
If you want to build a system that uses the sun to charge the batteries as opposed to a national grid (“ZESA”) backup power system you will need solar panels. Thankfully Zimbabwe has a lot of light throughout the year for longer, typically 7 hours a day and this means your panels take less time to charge your battery bank on a normal day.
Solar panels come in two different types, monocrystalline (mono – made of high grade silicon efficiency typically between 15 to 20%) and polycrystalline (made from melted silicon, efficiency typically between 12 to 16%). Poly solar panels are the most common available in Zimbabwe. Don’t just buy any solar panel choose reputable brands.
Not all solar panels are born equal. Always remember that before you buy! How do you know what brand to buy. Its not always easy. There are so many different brands so how do you choose which is good for you. There are some budget panels and there are some high end panels.
Solar panels come with different warranties. Make sure you know the efficiency of your panels before you buy. Get a good brand and whether its mono or poly or multi crystalline. Efficiency is very important. Think about your budget and decide the solar panel brand that goes with your budget. This is important choose a good and well supported brand.