The St. Joseph’s Catholic hospital has been present in Monrovia and admirably providing health care to Liberians for more than 50 years, even in the most difficult of times. The hospital is within a large complex comprising many different facilities to cover the essential medical and personnel services, and in order to be self-sufficient.
Historically, this complex has covered its energy demand alternatively from the grid and on-site diesel generators. As one might imagine, it demands annually a significant quantity of energy as well as the power supply must be guaranteed at all times. What is more, the grid electricity prices in Liberia are very high, and running 24/7 on diesel generators are not cheaper either. Under these circumstances, the Hospital Management Committee – represented by its director Brother Peter Dawoh Lansana, in partnership with the Foundation “Juan Ciudad” has been committed to change this unfavourable situation. The present vision of the hospital includes to achieve a more optimum operating model system. The solution came with the first idea of integrating a solar photovoltaic system to provide a reliable and complementary generation alternative. Furthermore, the project would also take this opportunity to modernize and optimize the current diesel generation system.
The solution came with the first idea of integrating a solar photovoltaic system to provide a reliable and complementary generation alternative. Furthermore, the project would also take this opportunity to modernize and optimize the current diesel generation system. This initiative presented some challenges what led to consult some local and international companies. In addition, the project looked for technical advisory and expertise to support the process.
In this regard, the project engaged Mr. Ramon Sanabria, a senior engineer with expertise in renewable energies and hybrid solutions. Based in Australia and working for a re-known company in the renewable energy sector, Mr. Ramon Sanabria has been providing advice on the different technical and commercial aspects altruistically.
Finally, the proposed design consists of a new set of diesel units, that are thought to cover the load demand more optimally, a 200 kW solar photovoltaic system integrated in the rooftop of the hospital and an energy storage system based on chemical battery technology.
The system is designed to operate independently and to minimize the fuel consumption. The solar plant will provide power during daylight time and the diesel generators at night, when demand is lower. In addition, the batteries will store the spill energy from solar for posterior use when required and helping to reduce the running time of the generators. Briefly, it is estimated that more than 50% of the current energy bill of the hospital will be saved annually.
This represents a new era for the St. Joseph’s Catholic hospital, not only for being more environmentally friendly but also because the additional savings can be dedicated to improving and increasing the healthcare services.The Hospital team is very excited with the project and looking forward to being connected to a green source of energy.