Hospitals require electrical power 24/7 because of all the medical equipment that runs on electricity. The electricity in Haiti is very unreliable – power often goes down for several hours a day. This means that hospitals that rely solely on grid power are incredible fragile for their patients.
This newly built 205,000 square feet hospital in Haiti runs entirely on electricity from solar power. 1,800 photovoltaic solar panels will make sure make sure that the hospital has access to electricity at all times. This makes Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais (University Hospital of Mirebalais) the largest solar-powered hospital to date.
Since it`s opening in March, the hospital has treated more than 4,000 patients.
It will provide care to over 185,000 people in nearby communities, but also expects to treat patients from all over Port-au-Prince (almost one million people in total)
Much as net metering in the U.S. and in the rest of the world, on days when the solar panels produce more electricity than what is needed by the hospital, the excess power is fed onto the national grid. This way, the energy can be put to use by nearby buildings and will not end up as waste.
“This is an incredibly simple system to maintain… All we need to do is rinse the panels quarterly with water.” Says Jim Ansara, which is the hospital`s director of design and construction.
The project has been made possible by a wide array of different supporters including American Red Cross, Bank of America and GE from America. The solar panels were brought to the hospital through a longstanding partnership with Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF).
Solar power can be incredible useful in countries that lack in infrastructure but are rich in sun. Read more about solar panels at Energy Informative.