The Environmental Change Institute has been working with Sindicatum Climate Change Foundation installing renewable energy systems on two remote rural clinics in Ghana. The chosen locations had no access to electricity, with obvious impacts on the quality of healthcare provision, so solar PV/battery/generator hybrid systems were installed to provide power to newly installed lights, ceiling fans and refrigeration equipment for vaccines. These two sites act as a pilot project for the future rolling out of this design to the many hundreds of similar clinics all across Ghana.
The project team undertook site visits in May 2009 to assess the energy requirements of the sites. A detailed system design was then developed (see report), which specified the electricity generation, storage and loads for installation in the clinics. The majority of the electricity comes from a solar photovoltaic array, which is stored in a large battery system capable of storing 3 days worth of electricity. A backup petrol generator is capable of providing power during the rainy season when solar energy is less plentiful.
The project team returned to Ghana in August 2009 to supervise the installation of the systems, which are now up and running, and providing light and cooling to the clinic wards as well as the ability to store vaccines on site. A key feature of the installation phase was the training of local electrical engineers in the safe installation and maintenance of renewable energy systems. This skills transfer enables local expertise to be retained, and potentially developed into a thriving local renewable energy business in its own right. A video showing the installation process can be viewed here.
Curtis, D and Jardine, C.N. (2009) Electrifying Clinics in Rural Ghana", Final report by the Environmental Change Institute for Sindicatum Climate Change Foundation