Buildings Solar panels on the roof of Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais, courtesy of Partners in Health

Published on February 1st, 2013 | by Chelsea


Haiti’s Solar Powered Hospital

February 1st, 2013 by  

Maintaining steady electricity flow in hospitals is literally an issue of life and death. In places where electrical power is unreliable, hospitals are forced to rely on generators, even in the midst of surgery or with patients on ventilators. So what’s a hospital in Haiti supposed to do?

Install 1,800 solar panels on the roof, of course. And that’s exactly what Partners in Health (PIH) and Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais (HUM) recently did.

Solar panels on the roof of Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais, courtesy of Partners in Health

The brand new hospital, which is expected to open in March, has a 200,000-square-foot roof just perfect for harvesting solar power. But installing the rooftop solar farm hasn’t been without logistical concerns. Firstly, the ample energy coming from the roof had to work with the shoddy electrical grid and system of generators previously used. Once the panels were installed, inverters to convert the electricity and send it to the grid were added. In addition to all of this new technology, six local engineers were trained in maintenance and repairs, with two of them employed at the hospital full-time.

Haiti gets plenty of sunshine — and it’s actually too much for effective solar photovoltaics to work well. Another logistical hurdle was overcome by raising the panels about a foot off the roof and painting the roof white, which keeps the panels cooler and gets more rays to bounce onto the panels.

The results of all of this planning and implementation is expected to be a reduction of about $379,000 in annual operating costs, as well as preventing 210 metric tons of carbon emissions.

The HUM project is one of 11 other healthcare facilities integrating solar power into everyday operations (pun intended).

Providing stable electricity for healthcare providers and patients in Haiti (and other countries) and supporting campaigns like the Solar Light Fund’s “Energy is a Human Right, solar is genuinely saving lives.

Source: Partners in Health 
Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

About the Author

is a former newspaper reporter who has spent the past few years teaching English in Poland, Finland and Japan. When she wasn't teaching or writing, Chelsea was traveling Europe and Asia, sampling spicy street food along the way.

  • Are those cinder blocks holding those panels down? Say it isn’t so.

    • Looks like it!

    • Bob_Wallace

      Probably heavy enough for normal Caribbean winds. Probably not enough for the next hurricane hit. Better racking needed.

    • Tilolite Tout-Puissant

      Whoever installed those solar panels should be in jail? Using loose cinder blocks to hold down solar panels in a country known for earthquakes and hurricane seasons? That is criminal. As they say in Haiti, this is “lave men swiye’l ate” or “wash your hands them wipe them dry on the dirt floor”.

Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Low Voltage Electrification Event, April 25-27. Detroit, Michigan (US)
    Delve deep into the benefits and challenges associated with EV power supply.

    Offshore Wind Market Development USA, May 11-12, Boston, Massachusetts (US)
    Network and establish your business in one of North America’s largest energy industries.

    Energy Storage USA, June 15-16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

  • Search the IM Network