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Reciprocating Engines (small generators) are the most common form of small generator. In generator-only systems, the generator must be sized to handle the peak expected load, but the system frequently runs at lower loads at reduced efficiency. It is common to find oversized generators at many development country health facilities. Running an oversized generator is expensive and inefficient and should be avoided.

Photovoltaic (PV) Systems

Photovoltaic (PV) Systems generate electricity from sunlight collected by solar panels. Energy collected in this manner can be used to supply direct power to electrical equipment, or it can be stored in batteries to provide indirect power.

Guyana: Mahdia District Hospital

Mahdia district hospital in Guyana serves a resident population of 1000 which swells to 4000 with the addition of workers from local mining operations. It is a priority area for the PEPFAR program based on the high-risk behavior of the mining community. Mahdia can be reached by a six hour drive from the capital Georgetown on dirt roads. The Regional Health Officer (RHO) in Mahdia identified power as his number one challenge. Mahdia district hospital is thought to be representative of district hospitals in Region I, IX, and VII of Guyana which are connected to quasi-grids but provide intermittent and low quality power.

A hypothetical clinic in the Kalahari Desert of Botswana currently has a small refrigerator, lights, hematology mixer, microscope, computer, and communications equipment. It is determined that the average daily load of the clinic is 13 kWh per day with additional load of 2 kWh per day expected in the near future. The clinic is not connected to the grid and currently utilizes a diesel generator to partially meet its energy needs. An international donor agency has been working with this clinic to improve local health care service delivery and would like to explore different options for upgrading its power generation systems.

HOMER Energy Tool

This exclusive online version of the HOMER energy optimization tool evaluates hybrid power systems to determine the most cost effective options for delivering continuous electricity to health facilities.

Energy Audit

A spreadsheet tool and guide designed to be an overall off-grid energy information package to help energy experts and procurement officers collect and analyze information, plan PV and generator systems in off-grid health centers, and develop specifications and bidding documents.

Wind Turbines

Wind Turbines generate emissions-free electricity from a renewable energy resource. Situating a wind turbine on a site requires careful measurement of wind patterns. While extensive maps of solar resources exist, the same is not true of wind resources. Small wind turbines are available with capacities in the range of a few hundred watts. Larger turbines offer significant economies of scale. Similar to PV systems, wind turbines must be connected to the grid or to a battery system to provide continuous power.