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Design and Installation

Proper system design and installation are the first steps required for sustainable on-site health facility energy systems. Off-grid energy system design is quite complex and should typically be done by a trained professional. This page does not attempt to teach the user how to do a design and installation, but rather covers some general principles and lessons learned.

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.

6 Steps to Powering Health

Powering Health's six-step approach to understanding a health facility’s energy needs and designing an energy system to meet those needs in a cost effective way. Learn about the approach and find resources supporting each step.

Useful Links

These are links to external publications and Web sites that have information on issues related to providing reliable electricity and energy services at health facilities.

Glossary of Terms

Definitions of technical terms used on the Powering Health website.

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.

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.