Zimbabwe power shortage to worsen as hydro plant halts generation

HARARE, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s prolonged power shortage is set to worsen after the entity that manages southern Africa’s biggest dam ordered suspension of electricity generation at its main hydro plant because of a water shortage.

In a letter dated Nov. 25 and seen by Reuters, the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) told the Zimbabwe Power Company that the Kariba South hydropower station had used more than its 2022 water allocation and that the Kariba Dam’s usable storage was only 4.6% full.

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The ZRA manages the Kariba Dam on behalf of the Zimbabwean and Zambian governments.

“The Zambezi River Authority is left with no choice but to firmly guide that … generation activities at the South Bank Power Station are wholly suspended henceforth until January 2023 when a further review of the substantive hydrological outlook at Kariba will be undertaken,” the letter read.

Zimbabwe has suffered acute power shortages for several years, as successive droughts have resulted in poor inflows into the Kariba Dam and as ageing coal-fired power stations have repeatedly broken down.

The government has licensed some independent solar producers to try to augment supply.

Kariba South has an installed capacity of 1,050 megawatts but has been producing well below that due to low water levels in the dam.

How to Clean Your Solar Panels

Your brand-new panels glitter in the sunlight, sucking in every sunray so that your house can run on clean, renewable electricity.

But won’t these pristine surfaces eventually dull with dirt and grime?  Won’t you end up slaving away on the roof, scrubbing those huge surfaces every few weeks or so?


Since solar panels are purposefully located to catch the most sunlight, they’re also automatically subjected to rain.

This is an all-natural cleaning agent and does a great job of rinsing off most dirt and dust.

In the off-event of a drought or a flock of birds passing over (you can paint the rest of the picture…) you may desire to pop out and hose off your solar panels yourself – you usually won’t need to make a rooftop trip for this. If your panels are looking ESPECIALLY dirty and you wish to offer a little more TLC, just attach a soft rag or squeegee to the end of a pole and wipe off your panels from the ground.

If you do occasionally clean your panels, just keep these two things in mind:

  1. Be safe!

If you do go up on the roof, watch your footing around the solar equipment – you don’t want to trip and fall. Avoid stepping directly on to the panels. If you see wiring loose or broken (unlikely but possible), call us to fix them – do not try to fix them yourself. And remember, roofs are steep and high up off of the ground so wear a harness.

  1. Treat your solar panels like they’re made of glass – because they are.

Don’t use any strong detergents or hard surfaces to clean them – we don’t want these substances leaving a film residue on your panels (and thus affecting your energy production). Safest to just stick to water.

That’s it?

That’s it. 🙂

Solar panels are the most low-maintenance type of electricity system, since they contain no moving parts; yet another reason to go solar with Sun Solar!

How to Protect your Solar Panels from Lightning?

Lightning strikes are mostly classified as direct and indirect strikes.
Direct Strikes are severe but rare, it leads to melting of the panels and damage to the inverter, fuses, and cable. It induces high current into the system, thus causing overheating and damage to the system. 

An indirect strike occurs more often, it creates electromagnetic induction that generates high voltage into the solar system and house. The generated high voltage passes through the system wiring to the components, thus damaging the conductor, solar panels, inverter, and other components connected.

But don’t worry! We take steps to help avoid lightning damages to the PV system.
Risk analysis and protection against lightning must be done at the designing stage.

Two main solutions to protect against the lightning strike: 

Grounding Lightning arrestor

Grounding is one of the basic techniques used to divert the path of lightning from the component straight to the ground. For places with occasional lightning strikes, the grounding technique is enough to protect the PV system from lightning and surges (without adding any other protection equipment).

Good grounding is very necessary, even if we use lightning arrestors and surge protectors it will work effectively only with proper grounding.

For proper grounding one needs to follow the following points:

Check the resistivity of the ground: Electricity flow handling capacity. Interconnect all the PV panels, inverter, controller, and all the other components to the common ground along with the house grounding system to the common earthing point. We need to install one earth pit for the DC side (solar panels, DC distribution box) and one for the lightning arrestor and AC side (inverter, AC Distribution Box). For proper and effective grounding, the use of copper / Aluminium wire / GI strip is highly recommended. The wire/strip used should be free from sharp bends and twists and should be buried in a way such that most of the area comes in contact with moist soil.