Staying Solar Powered in Zimbabwe

We love getting fan mail. This one comes from Ed Dyer who is living the #SolarLife out in Zimbabwe.

My wife (and by proxy, myself and our family) are assigned to our current posting of Zimbabwe on behalf of the U.S. Government. We’ve been here for a year (of two) thus far. Our last tour was Nepal. In both countries I’ve been using Goal Zero products to power our expeditions, whether they are white water rafting trips and mountain bike treks in Nepal, or Safari game drives and camping trips here in Zimbabwe. The GoalZero kit also played a key role in running our household on the dodgy power grid in Nepal (The country runs on hydro power and the winters are notorious for extended power outages) when we had the choice of running a diesel generator to power an appliance or router, or just use an Escape 350 and inverter.

Zimbabwe-Ed-DyerB

Also here in Zimbabwe, we have frequent power cuts. There is always solar power, no matter who might be in political power. Other expats have noticed. “Is that solar panel on your back powering your bike?” (No, it’s trickle-charging my iPhone which is tracking a GPS of this ride) many people ask. At a recent gathering, my array of Escape 30w panels sits on my patio, soaking up the sun for my Yeti 1250 (powering all our internet equipment, laptop, hard drives, recharging our iPads, by which I’m sending you this message) and our guests marvel that more people aren’t doing this. Our Escape 30 panels sit outside our campsite or atop our roof rack recharging our battery packs that lit our light-a-life lanterns the night before. Our GPS navigation, cameras and radios get recharged on our Victoria Falls circuits. The panels even face the sun on the ferry crossing Lake Kariba. The people that notice take action. Other campers are now using light-a-life lanterns and Sherpa power packs. Nomad panels sit on top of thatched “boma” shelters at camp.  In 2014 or 2015 we’ll embark on another international journey, and I’ll be taking my Yeti 1250, Sherpa 120, and all my panels with me. I’ll leave my Escape 350 + inverter here for a family without a generator, and maybe a panel. Smaller yeti units will take their place in our house. Your (unofficial) diplomat, Ed Dyer

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