How the Sun Can Freeze In Zimbabwe

How the Sun Can Freeze In Zimbabwe

In early July as I was first biking into rural Zimbabwe, I met Zulu Tofirani, a bread salesman in the village of Kalisine. I dined with Zulu's famly,  slept in his humble shop, and learned about his desire to expand his business in the future. Like in most other rural areas of Zim, Zulu lives off the grid, without any electricity. Those in Zimbabwe who do have electricity have suffered from frequent power outages as the country struggles to generate enough energy from its coal plants. As I left Zulu, I began to think about how he, his family, and his business could benefit from an off grid solar system. One month later, after I learned a good bit about solar installations, I made my way back to Zulu to install a solar system strong enough to power to a deep freezer. Zulu and I agreed that the project would be an investment in him and his business. The idea is to use the solar powered freezer to expand his offering to sell meat that he and local farmers raise, as well as other chilled products that are in high demand in the area. By harnessing the power of the sun, hopefully Zulu will be able to grow his business and make life a little more comfortable in his village. I look forward to tracking Zulu's progress as I continue on my trip.                                      Harare & Kalisine, 11/8/17 to 24/8/17

Zulu's familyZulu's shop

Running cable for lighting in Zulu's hutThe power board/control panel

Solar panel frame construction with Baba Mevi


        A huge thanks to James and Buck Davy at One Stop Solar for their recommendations, instruction, and high quality solar products. My project would have been a pipe dream without the help and resources of Graham Botton of Carbontek. My thanks to Barry Rawlings at Switched on Solar. Thanks to the guys at Capri, Zimbabwe's best refrigeration dealer with products manufactured in Zim. I also want to thank Baba Mevi and Orphan for their help and wonderful company, as well as the community of Kalisine for their assistance during installation.

Welding the solar panel roof mount

Orphan installing the battery and security cageCarrots and solar panel connections

Wiring the equipment togetherLearning to grind millet traditionally