New power system with Canadian Solar modules helps a medical center in Sierra Leone


Canadian Solar, one of the world’s largest solar power companies, today announced it has donated modules for a solar power system at the Evans Medical Center at Kirma, in Lungi, Sierra Leone.

The charity project was initiated a year ago by Melanie Evans from the Lungi Sierra Leone charity and was realized with Canadian Solar MaxPower CS6U-P 330W modules for a 4 kW system.

Four industry partners donated equipment including storage and control systems. SegenSolar (Pty) Ltd. supplied the inverter, charge controller and electrical components; the Schletter Group contributed the mounting system and Bonus Solar provided batteries, cables and isolators. Installation and commissioning was carried out by Electric Future, which specializes in the design and delivery of solar installations.

The latter provided the expertise and manpower, along with Canadian Solar, to deliver a safe and reliable energy solution. The solar system provides the clinic with a sustainable energy source that enables a constant power supply for vaccine refrigerators, blood bank and many other medical accessories and emergency lighting.

A reliable power supply is a fundamental prerequisite for adequate medical care. The solar system will directly improve the quality of medical care in the region. A new blood bank, the first in the Lungi area, will provide patients with vital bloods where previously people had to rely on a suitable donor and wait for screening. The solar power system not only provides energy for the blood bank but also powers the vaccine refrigerators, fetal monitor and labor ward ultrasound machine, along with other critical equipment. A constant power supply is required as any power outage could destroy vital bloods and vaccines.

Before the solar system was installed, the medical center had to rely on an ageing generator which would incur prohibitive costs if operated constantly. Now the generator is used as a backup power source.

“The realization of the solar power system for the clinic in Lungi shows how our industry can sustainably improve the situation for newborn babies, children and the local population in a developing country,” said Shawn Qu, chairman and CEO of Canadian Solar Inc.

The project is also an example of how different companies from the same industry can consolidate resources to achieve positive results.

Sierra Leone is one of the least electrified countries in the world, with a nationwide electrification rate of just 5%. In rural areas the figure drops to 1% so the use of photovoltaics provides greatly needed electricity.

The clinic today has its official opening ceremony to thank donors and staff. The ceremony will be attended by the vice president of Sierra Leone, Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, and other dignitaries including the ministers of health and education.