A reliable power supply is a fundamental requirement for any hospital. The charity “Haiti Hospital Appeal” runs a hospital in Haiti and struggled with unreliable grid power even before the recent earthquake. After the quake, however, things became unworkable and the decision was taken to install an independent system.
The team of voluntary workers in Haiti have only basic electrical skills, so the challenge for Off Grid Energy was to provide a solution that could be shipped to Haiti and put to work without the need for specialist electrical skills in the field.
The solution was far from straightforward. The brief outlined several requirements. Sufficient power would be needed to run all the basic services, such as lights and general appliances, as well as air-conditioning and medical apparatus. The system would need to be energy efficient as possible, using power from the grid when it was available, and from renewable energy sources where possible. The power needed to be fed from the location of generating equipment out to 8 separate buildings.
The system supplied consists of a 40kVA single phase Pramac generator, three (later upgraded to five) inverter chargers, a 48V battery pack with a capacity of 1500Hgts, a controlled monitoring system, and all the necessary distribution equipment. 10kWP of solar PV, made up of four separate generators, was added in the second phase.
The initial plan was to fit the equipment into a shipping container that could simply be positioned and connected. Problems with offloading a container on-site in Haiti, however, meant a revision to the plans. the system was fully assembled in the UK, the partly dismantled into components that could be reassembled in the UK, then partly dismantled into components that could be reassembled on-site following basic instructions.
UNINTERRUPTED POWER SUPPLY
Reassembled, the system now ensures uninterrupted power supply to the hospital vital for the running of equipment and providing light during the hours of darkness when emergency operations needed to save lives. When grid power is available, it is utilised. In the event of a grid failure, or when power demand is high or if the batteries need to re-charge.
With the abundance of sunshine, our solar panels utilise clean energy.
LOWER FUEL CONSUMPTION
The additional resource of solar energy charging the batteries reduces the need to run the generator, cutting down on fuel and saving scarce money.
With the reduction of the generator burning diesel, CO2e emissions are vastly lowered helping both the environment but also the patients.
Before fitting the solar PV system, the hospital was spending $4,000 every month on diesel and this has been reduced to a fraction of that cost.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Payback for the investment can be measured in months rather than years.
REDUCED MAINTENANCE COSTS
With the battery system requiring virtually no maintenance and a significant reduction in generator running hours, the costs for maintenance are significantly lowered.
By reducing the running hours of the generator and utilising the silent battery power at night, the noise pollution in the hospital is eliminated at night allowing patients to rest.