Monday, May 2, 2011

Off Grid Solar System for Hospitals: A Critical Need of Third World Countries

Off grid solar system provides electrical power to remote hospitals in third world countries for sustainable day to day operation. Many industrialized countries saw this urgent need and have responded very positively.

Developing countries have received many aids from non profit organizations and government agencies of highly developed countries. The aids came in various forms like food, medicine; infrastructures, etc for a better life. Solar power helps in the preservation of life itself in a sustainable way.

It all comes down to - no electrical power, no hospital. While there is other off grid sources like diesel generators, solar is the outstanding choice because it only needs sunlight to keep it running.

Hospitals are a big financial burden to local government. With the availability of independent solar power and the savings from its operation, more clinics and small hospitals can be built in rural areas.

Why Off Grid Solar is urgently needed

Rural areas are always not reached by utility grid lines and putting one is almost impossible. The absence of electricity will mean no clinic and hospital at all.

People are left to fend for themselves and most often they go to quack doctors for their medical needs. Those with more serious afflictions, have to travel 10 to 15 hours to see a doctor and oftentimes medical intervention may be too late to save the patients.

No wonder mortality rate for children and adults is high. Lives could be saved if only hospitals are within the area and it is for this reason that solar energy is a critical need.

Off grid solar system is an ideal source of energy with a service life of up to 30 years. Its fuel from the sun is free. Fossil fueled generators would require oil to run it and with the attendant problem of high acquisition cost and difficulty of transportation from the urban centers, this electricity source will prove more expensive in the long run.

Basic needs of rural hospitals meet by solar

1. For refrigeration and heating
2. For kitchen appliances
3. For the hospital laundry and sterilization of medical apparatus
4. For lighting and support of communication facilities.

The problems

1. The World Health Organization on Extended Program of Immunization (WHO/EPI) identified that one of the technical problems is unstable quality of the components. WHO/EPI outlined rigid technical standards for the purchase of solar system components.

2. One major obstacle is the high capital cost. In the past, the solar panels were the most costly part. Nowadays, roughly equal amounts of capital are needed for the batteries and the solar panels. The advances in conversion efficiency and reduction of production cost have started to bring down the cost of the system.

3. Adding to the cost are transportation and the labor expenses necessary to install and maintain the systems in remote areas.

4. The lack of skilled manpower is a serious obstacle to the use of off grid solar system. Most technicians and users are not yet thoroughly familiar to handle the system. Frequent misdiagnosis of technical problems is an additional cost factor.

Conditions ideal for System adoption

1. The hospital has no economical power supply available as a public utility.

2. Other decentralized electricity sources such as diesel generators involve high operating costs, or the reliability of fuel supplies is questionable.

3. There must be qualified technicians who are familiar with the technology of off grid solar systems and their maintenance.

Foundations helping remote hospitals with solar power:

1. Worthy of mention is the work of Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF). It is an independent not-for-profit organization that designs and implements sustainable energy solutions for enhancements in health, education, agriculture and economic growth in the developing world.

In many of the countries in which SELF works, there is no other organization undertaking a similar, independent role in providing power to villages without existing resources.

2. We Care Solar is a U.S.-based non-profit organization that helps hospitals in developing regions by providing health workers with reliable lighting, blood bank refrigeration and mobile communication using solar electricity.

3. African Solar Electric Light Foundation (ASELF)improves the daily lives of children and adults by providing clean and healthy lighting. They distribute environmentally friendly, solar Systems around the world, replacing dangerous and polluting kerosene lamps.

We invite you to visit our Informative Solar Article page for more practical tips, simplified application guide and established solar benefits.

Author’s Box
Jacinto Demonteverde, Jr., the owner, is a strong advocate of solar power adoption. He writes practical articles to keep established and prospective solar users well informed. Visit him at: You are welcome to republish or reprint this article free of charge provided the content remains unchanged including the Author’s Box. No permission is needed.


  1. solar system saves lots of power and it can easily produced by sun. Thanks for the great way to produce energy from sun.
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  2. Thanks for being aware about the potential of the sun as a great way to produce energy. Visit our Informative Solar Article page for more practical information about solar.

  3. Thanks for sharing the idea
    Solar energy is been seen as the future power source which will lighten up our new world.

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