With great pleasure the American Partners announce the completion of Phase 2 of Solar Project Saves Lives! The construction of a new container for housing inverters and batteries is finished and pictures of the facility, containing both original and new equipment, are attached to this report. Since October, more areas of the hospital were added to the solar system and more hospital equipment was connected to solar power. We have succeeded in supplying solar power to the maternity ward which was one of our priorities under this phase. Now solar powered lighting and equipment will reliably allow women to deliver their children safely at any time. Further, newborns requiring the neonatal ICU will receive sufficient oxygen and will stay warm without interruption. The hospital administrative block has also been successfully connected to the system. These additions will allow us to take advantage of the full 28kW solar production during the day and to only use the power stored in the batteries during the night or as a backup in case of power failure.
With the recent new installations, forty-five percent of the electricity required for hospital operation is produced by the solar system. To put this power savings in perspective, the current solar system supplies the same amount of power that an average American home uses. In 2021, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,632 kWh, an average of 886 kWh per month (see US Energy Information Administration www.eia.gov).
We will continue to measure the benefits that the hospital gains from solar energy production and add other hospital areas or equipment to the system when possible. As the hospital increases its facilities as envisioned by the master plan, new phases of the solar project will be initiated.
This will be our last report on Phase 1 and 2 of Solar Project Saves Lives. Until new phases of the solar projectare needed, this GlobalGiving project will be closed. We are very appreciative that the support of our donors allowed the installation of a solar system at the Mwandi hospital, enabling reliable healthcare and saving the hospital precious resources. We hope that you will continue to help us achieve our on-going active GlobalGiving Projects: New Center to Improve Reproductive & Child Health and Medical Imaging Suite Improves Diagnostic Ability. Thanks for all you have done and are doing to provide higher quality healthcare to the people of the Mwandi District in Western Province Zambia.
The inverters and lithium batteries necessary for completing Phase 2 of the Mwandi hospital's solar project have arrived and are ready for installation. A blue container shown in this report's photo will house the batteries and inverters. Concrete platforms, seen in the second attached photo, will support the container in an area where no future buildings will be constructed. Hence, this facility will be functional for many years. Currently, the container is being prepared to house its contents, as illustrated in the third photo. The inverters and batteries will be installed there by the end of the month. When the installation is complete, the electrical production by the hospital’s solar system will increase by a factor of 4 and will supply up to 30% of the daily electrical power needed by the existing hospital's campus.
Once again, we owe much to our donors, both for your contributions and for your patience through the ups and downs of this phase of the solar project. By our next report, both Phase 1 and Phase 2 systems will be fully functional and we will report on the actual electricity produced by the combined systems. The savings obtained by the increased production of solar power will give the hospital more available funds for patient care.
As we complete this report, we have a special request for our donors. We invite you to join us for GlobalGiving’s Giving Tuesday campaign on November 29th. On that day we are asking for your support of the Mwandi hospital’s Center for Reproductive and Childcare. GlobalGiving’s $1.2M incentive funds will be proportionately distributed among their active projects on that day. Every donation that our project receives will increase our share of those incentive funds. Thank you in advance for joining our fund-raising efforts on that day!
After a full year of delays in the shipping the components necessary to complete Solar Project Phase II, our contractor is pursuing alternative solutions to obtain this equipment. Rather than waiting indefinitely for the shipment from Europe, he is arranging to fly inverters from Europe to Zambia and to purchase a refurbished container and lithium batteries that are now available in Africa without decreasing system quality or increasing the costs to the American Partners.
With the good news that Phase II completion is in sight, the contractor recently installed 75 new panels on the roof of the hospital, bringing the total number of panels on the hospital roof to 105. Pictures of the installed panels are attached to this report. Delivery of the remaining components is expected soon, and the targeted completion date is one to three months from today.
When completed, Phase II will have added the new solar panels mentioned above, as well as new inverters that will increase the production of electricity, and lithium batteries within a containerized system that will increase the storage capacity and delivery capability of the system. Overall, Phase II will increase Phase I’s electrical production by a factor of 4. After the final installation of Phase II, up to 30% of the daily electrical power required by the existing hospital and campus could be produced by Phase I and II of the solar project.
Many, many thanks to all our donors for your contributions and your patience through the ups and downs of this project. We hope that by the end of 2022, Phase II will be fully functional and reducing the costs of the hospital’s ZESCO bills, freeing these savings to be used directly for patient care.
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