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The sun is the source of virtually all our energy forms that we use in Zimbabwe, as illustrated in Fig. 1., so people depend on this solar energy for their existence (Cawood, 1977). Solar energy can be collected, transformed and used in three ways :
• as direct thermal heat e.g. in water heating and crop drying,
• or chemically e.g. in photosynthesis in plants, and,
• by means of the photo-voltaic (PV) effect to create electricity (Hankins, 1995).
Zimbabwe, being away from the screening effect of tropical humidity, desert dust, and the clouds of temperate areas receives more sunshine or solar radiation, also known as insolation, than almost any other country in the world (Johnston, 1977).
The Zimbabwe Science News Volume 33(1) January-March 1999