Kagando Hospital in Uganda

Many parts of the world are without a reliable electricity supply and suffer losses of power for several hours a day. Whilst power outages are inconvenient for local consumers, it can become a potentially life-threatening problem in medical facilities and hospitals which cannot afford to lose the power running essential life-supporting equipment.

Dulas was recently asked by Friends of Kagando Hospital to provide technical support to a hospital in Uganda, to help them mitigate power outage problems and provide a constant supply of clean electricity to essential facilities.

Kagando Hospital, Uganda

Kagando Hospital is located in the Kasese District of Uganda, close to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Kagando Hospital

Electrical power was previously provided to the hospital by two small hydroelectricity installations about 4 kilometres upstream from the site, which were supported by a backup diesel generator. The hospital switched to grid-supplied electricity when the grid reached the district, but the change has led to different problems. The new electrical supply from the grid is inconsistent, with power being down around 11% of the time over the course of a year. These power outages are currently covered by the diesel generator. This new configuration has made the old hydroelectricity installations redundant, and no longer operational, and the costs of running the hospital from a combination of grid-supplied electricity and diesel generation has proven to be higher than the previous setup.

Faced with these problems, the Friends of Kagando Hospital looked to redevelop a longstanding project for a much larger hydroelectricity scheme on the same river as the old installations. However, the costs relative to the benefits delivered from the project proved to be unviable, and a decision has therefore been made to develop a smaller – but expandable – solar-powered scheme at the hospital site.

Entrance to Kagando Hospital. The hospital is situated in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains.


The proposed solar solution

Dulas’s technical consultancy team has provided a provisional electrical design and technical specification for a solar-powered scheme to deliver the hospital’s objectives of a reliable and continuous power supply, reducing grid supply costs and dependence on fossil fuels.

The proposed solution is a 120 kWp solar array, which can be either ground- or roof-mounted on the hospital building. The system controls will enable solar-generated electricity to be integrated and synchronised with grid-supplied electricity, and the backup diesel generator when the grid is unavailable. The scheme is designed to maximise the utilisation of solar electricity when the hospital is both connected and disconnected from the local grid.

When the grid is available, the solar electricity will be consumed as a priority over grid-supplied electricity. If the solar scheme provides more power than required, the excess electricity will be exported to the grid.

When the grid goes down, solar electricity will continue to be consumed as a priority. If the solar scheme output is insufficient for the requirements of the hospital, the balance will be fulfilled by the backup diesel generator. Any short-term loss of power supply whilst the generator starts up will be covered in critical areas by Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) units.

Future-proofed design

Retaining the diesel generator for a backup supply recognises the need to work within the capital budget available for the project at this stage. However, the scheme has been designed so that it can be easily developed to reduce dependence on diesel generation when more funds become available. This would be through the incorporation of additional solar generation capacity and a lithium-ion battery, designed to maximise consumption of solar-generated electricity.

Next steps

The provisional electrical schematic and technical specification provided by Dulas will be used by the Friends of Kagando Hospital to tender the installation of the scheme. The aim is to employ a local contractor to complete the project, and we hope to report on its successful completion later this year.

We are very grateful to Dulas for understanding our needs and adapting to our requirements. The work has been carried out very efficiently and professionally.”

Peter Lunn

Friends of Kagando Hospital

A long history of providing renewable energy solutions worldwide

Our solar scheme design for Kagando Hospital adds to more than 40 years’ experience in delivering renewable energy solutions to remote areas all over the world. If you would like assistance in bringing reliable, sustainable electricity to an area that needs it, please contact us at info@dulas.org.uk or call +44 (0)1654 705000.

Did you know that Dulas also pioneered the first solar-powered vaccine refrigerator? Since 1982, we have worked closely with many UN organisations, governments, charities, as well as the World Health Organisation, to develop cold chain products that meet stringent performance, quality and safety standards. For more information, please see: Refrigeration – Dulas

Chris White
Technical Consultant

For further information, feel free to get in touch.

Email: info@dulas.org.uk
Renewables Tel: 01654 705 000