U-Solar Helps Stabilize Healthcare For The Last Mile

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Healthcare services need to ensure life-saving pharmaceutical drugs are preserved and reached to needy patients in a perfect condition. Various Decentralized Renewable Energy Technologies (DRE) have helped stabilize healthcare systems over the years.

They not only act as a reliable power source, but also help in minimizing power costs, thus helping the establishments to better use their resources. One such implementation was done by a CLEAN Member, U-Solar.

Gudalur Adivasi Hospital, a small tribally-owned hospital, is situated at a remote location in Kothervayal Gudalur, Tamil Nadu. The hospital is a part of the ‘ASHWINI’ Group (Association for Health Welfare in the Nilgiris). Spread over an area of 30,000 sq. ft., the hospital caters to around 35,000 outpatients every year.

However, the hospital’s operations are often hampered by high fluctuations in power. This has damaged the limited equipment the hospital possesses on many occasions, putting its patients’ lives at risk. Imagine an operation theatre that experiences power cuts in the middle of a surgery!

This was the scenario until a few years back. Shyla Nandakumar, who heads the Gudalur Adivasi Hospital, was desperate to find a solution for the power cuts. She reached out to U-Solar a DRE enterprise that provides complete solar power solutions for both institutional and residential clients, thereby reducing the dependence on grid power.

U-Solar helped Gudalur Adivasi Hospital to install solar-powered panels and a solar plant of 7kWp with a configuration of solar microgrid. This meant that it offsets most of its power using solar energy during the day and switches to the main electric grid at night. This system was further upgraded with an advanced Indian stabilized inverter with four batteries of 300aH capacity, which helped them utilize the excess energy generated during the peak hours at night when the solar generation is low.

The power system runs on two separate plants with 3KVA inverters each. While one of them is used to power the operation theatres, the second setup takes care of the ward, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, & lightings’ electricity demand. This unconventional electric configuration has helped them to solve power fluctuations experienced at night due to the high voltage output.

Recently, a full-scale transformer was installed in the Gudalur region, which brought down the voltage output to 130V, further accelerating solar generation and mitigating power losses. After the solar panel installation, the hospital received an uninterrupted flow of electricity for all its equipment such as CT scan and other sensitive stabilizers and life support devices. Now, even during severe power cuts, the hospital has sufficient energy to function. In addition to uninterrupted power supply, they have been able to cut down on the electricity bills considerably.

With timely and efficient maintenance services from U-Solar, the solar panels generate power with direct and indirect sunlight, even when the light is partially blocked by clouds. It has proven to be a reliable source to generate electricity and has enabled the organization to function without interruption.

This uninterrupted power supply has ensured better treatment for patients, which has made them curious, leading them to enquire about the solar units installed. With this initiative, the Gudalur Adivasi Hospital aims to become increasingly sustainable in its approach and contribute towards reducing carbon emissions.

Addressing the needs of 20,000+ Adivasis spread over 320 hamlets in the Gudalur Valley of the Nilgiri hills in South India, the initiative is an example of how energy security is critical to the healthcare industry, especially in rural India. With transitions to renewable energies across healthcare operations such as these, efficient service delivery and improved health outcomes can be ensured for the last mile, energy-deprived population.

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