In Syria, years of violence left the electrical infrastructure suffering from immense damage. Many sections of the electrical grid in Syria were destroyed and went completely out of service. The alternative that emerged was diesel generators, turning into a damaging dependence on diesel. This particularly applies to hospitals, mobile clinics and health care centers that need power in order to provide urgent medical service.
Funded by Syria Relief and partners, Bab Al Hawa Hospital (BHH) is the largest and busiest hospital in northern Syria. The hospital treats about 3,500 patients a month, including emergency treatment and elective work. Facilities at this hospital include an Intensive Care Unit, 6 Operating Theatres, 2 Treatment Rooms, a Blood Bank and a CT Scanner. All of the treatments obviously depend on continuous electricity.
In the past diesel and power cuts have led to life threatening situations. Therefore, after research and assessments regarding alternative energy resources, the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM) has found that solar energy is the most practical and stable solution to ensure continuous electricity 24/7 and planned a photovoltaic system.
The pilot project at the Bab Al-Hawa Hospital is the first of its kind in Syria and was made possible by efforts of several entities and individuals who chose anonymity. Due to the urgency and the high importance of the project, the project team decided to solely assign this contract to a company that has a proven track record of similar reference projects: A home run for the seasoned photovoltaic expert SOLAR23, who won the tender for this solar project and could additionally score due to its Africa expertise, staff skills and financial stability.
After more than a year of planning and preparation, only 100 days were sufficient to deploy and commission the solar PV system. While system design and configuration had already been specified, it was the task and challenge of SOLAR23 to create a package according to the local building & infrastructure, in line with the tender configuration and specification, comprising matching components and high-quality products “made in Germany” by renowned companies of the solar industry - and should still offer the truly convincing price/performance ratio, which SOLAR23 is known for.
The project comprises 480 solar photovoltaic panels with a capacity of 127 kWp DC power, 288 batteries capable of storing 720kWh of power, and advanced data control systems.
The project is expected to save over 7,000 liters of diesel per month on average. This amounts to approximately 20-30% of the monthly energy cost of the hospital. The system can fully power the ICU, operating rooms and emergency departments during diesel outages.
SOLAR23 was also responsible for technical planning, delivery and training of local staff and the system conforms to the highest international standards.
“We are very happy that we are part of this vital pilot project, that now gives the hospital the certainty to have continuous, steady power, that is so desperately needed – especially i.e. in the intensive care units and for the baby incubators for new born babies”, underlines Jochen Rühle, Technical Director at SOLAR23.
“We believe that this type of projects brings hope. Solar energy is a democratizing force, that has the capacity to empower institutions and communities in very positive ways. Syria is in one of the best regions globally to harvest solar energy, and needs to be leveraged. The goal now is to empower the health system by scaling the solar project to at least five other critical hospitals. Our dream is to see every medical facility in Syria running on clean, sustainable energy,” said Tarek Makdissi, Project Director- UOSSM Syria Solar Initiative.