Magazine article New Internationalist

Solar System: Eritrea Hospitals Plug in (to Solar Power)

Magazine article New Internationalist

Solar System: Eritrea Hospitals Plug in (to Solar Power)

Article excerpt

ON 29 FEBRUARY 1992, in newly-liberated Eritrea, women and men of Adi Quala celebrated the commissioning of the country's first fully solar-powered hospital system. Adi Quala is an agricultural town of 14,000 people about 70 kilometres south of the capital, Asmara, and 30 kilometres from the border with Tigray.

On good days electricity used to be received from Asmara for just a few hours in the evening. This caused constant problems for the hospital, which caters for 50,000 people with a staff of 21. Now the solar-powered system provides all essential requirements completely independently from the grid connection.

The success of this pilot project led to a larger second-phase project with three similar hospital systems installed by local technicians, followed in June 1994 by a further 12 systems. To date Dulas Engineering, based in Wales, has supplied more than 60 solar-powered refrigerator units for clinics and hospitals in Eritrea.

Photovoltaics' (PV) for medical applications is now a mature technology for converting sunlight into electricity. …

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