BEIRUT: From this week a hospital in Syria will have uninterrupted power, after months of testing charged by solar power in a project designers hope will save lives and can be repeated across the country.
After six years of a volatile civil war Syria’s electrical grid has taken a big hit with most the electrical infrastructure bombed, dismantled or destroyed, leaving hospitals relying on diesel generators but at the mercy of fuel shortages.
So an international coalition of international medical organisations and NGOs, the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM) said it hoped creating the country’s first solar-power hospital would save lives.
Tarek Makdissi, project director of UOSSM told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone “To have those active (hospitals) resilient and operational,it’s a matter of life (or death) for many, many people in the country.”
With the aim of getting hospitals less dependent on diesel which the organisation says is expensive and not reliable, the France-based UOSSM launched the initiative, “Syria Solar”. On a mixture of a diesel generator and 480 solar panels built near the hospital that link to an energy storage system, the first solar hospital runs – for safety reasons the name and location of which the UOSSM would not release.
The solar system can fully power the intensive care unit, operating rooms and emergency departments for up to 24 hours without diesel, which is 20 to 30 percent of the hospital’s energy cost if there is a complete fuel outage.
Makdissi said by the end of spring 2018 with funding from places like institutions, foundations, government agencies, and philanthropists the goal is to get five other medical facilities in Syria running like this.
Makdissi believes this initiative creates a more resilient electrical infrastructure beyond reducing operational costs.
News Source: energy.economictimes.
Picture Source: www.google.co.in