Realistically, we can expect load shedding to continue for at least the next 2 or 3 years, so let’s “Make a Plan”, as we do in Zim! We’ve been through severe load shedding before and learnt a few things on the way …
If you are considering investing in new equipment, it makes financial sense to buy wisely, to ensure the equipment meets your needs and lasts a long time. Start with being careful who you deal with. We are hearing stories of second-hand batteries being sold as new, and many other short cuts resulting in tears …
COOKING & HEATING
For cooking and heating, LPG, or “gas”, is the way to go! Cooking solutions include gas cylinders, gas cookers, and kettles.
a) A two-plate cooker provides far more versatility than a single cooker top and is more gas efficient.
b) Gas cylinders used indoors should be shut off after every use.
c) Spares are available to keep your gas equipment in a safe condition, including certified gas hose, washers, etc.
Gas geysers provide instant, cost-effective heat and are available in various sizes to suit your budget and requirements. Available from 6 up to 20 litres of water flow per minute, these are suitable for use in the kitchen and staff quarter’s right up to gyms, clinics, etc. – wherever instant hot water is needed. Gas consumption is super economical: 1 kg of gas heats up to 800 litres of water. Our Approved Installers are available for a professional, hassle-free installation.
To power your equipment in the home or office, many of our customers are moving away from generators, which are noisy and use expensive fuel we have to queue for.
Inverter systems provide a silent, reliable source of power for your lights, TV, Wi-Fi router, water booster pump, gate motor, etc., depending on the size of the inverter installation. The size of the inverter you need depends on the energy consumption of your equipment. For the energy consumption of the average computer, TV, fridge, etc., see our Appliance Rating Chart below, measured in Watts. (Deliberately omitted from the chart are the electric geyser (3,800W) and electric oven (4,500W)).
Inverters are available in a range of sizes, the most common for home and office are:
- 875VA (12V)
- 1,500VA (24V)
- 2,000VA (24V)
Most inverters will have an auto-switch function – as ZESA goes off, the unit instantly switches on, protecting computer equipment, etc. They also have a built-in battery charger, recharging your batteries when there is ZESA.
BATTERY REQUIREMENTS FOR INVERTERS
A 12V inverter runs off at least one battery and 24V a minimum of two x 12V batteries.
The number of deep-cycle batteries you need is determined by the period of time you intend using your equipment, in a day (or cycle). To extend their serviceable life, do not fully discharge your batteries. Batteries have a limited number of recharging cycles. Measured in a cycle per day, a battery that is regularly discharged by 80% can be expected to achieve +/- 600 cycles, i.e. less than two years. In contrast, a 50% discharge can achieve 1,000 to 1,300 cycles, and a battery conservatively discharged by only 30%, can achieve 2,200 to 2,700 cycles – at least five years of good service.
a) If running large equipment (e.g. fridge, water booster pump, etc.), switch the equipment on individually to reduce the start-up load on the inverter and improve battery performance.
b) Buy your batteries from a reputable supplier, who offers warranty support and will be around to fix any problems in the future …
Once you have invested in an inverter system, we strongly recommend you install a back-up solar system. The solar system will charge your batteries during the day, reducing the battery discharge and adding years of serviceable life to your batteries.
If you’re getting less than 8 hours of ZESA a day, you need a back-up solar system to consistently recharge the batteries to at least 90% of capacity.
A solar system includes panels and a charge controller to regulate the charge to ensure your batteries do not overcharge, or “boil”. The size and number of panels is based on the size of the inverter system.
Big Sky is here to help you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your enquiry. Our staff and engineers are on standby to provide professional advice and our Approved Installers will provide a professional, hassle-free installation.
All equipment is backed by Big Sky’s NO ARGUMENTS warranty support. Remember you can bring your batteries and inverters to us for a FREE health check and set up.
Disclaimer: The above is intended for guidance only. As the specifications and quality of equipment in the marketplace varies substantially, Big Sky cannot accept responsibility for the outcome of any installation not supplied or installed by Big Sky or our Approved Installers. Given the variance in specifications, performances will differ and figures are provided for guidance only. If you disagree with us, please be gentle …
The Big Sky Team looks forward to helping you “Make a Plan”. As we Zimbo’s do …