08 Dec 2016

Canadian charity chooses Wind & Sun for off-grid equipment supply

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Kawkareik Teaching Hospital In Myanmar CrowdEarlier this year Wind & Sun supplied inverters and advice to a Canadian charity for a new teaching hospital in Myanmar (Burma). 

The charity visited our premises in Leominster to discuss their project and we helped put together designs for a system to meet their requirements. The equipment was shipped out to Myanmar and technical support was provided during the installation and with the commissioning.

About the project

Global Neighbors Canada Inc. (www.gnci.ca) is a humanitarian organisation working primarily in western Thailand and eastern Myanmar (Burma) amongst the Karen people group. Their main focus over the past 12 years has been to provide infrastructure for partner organizations. They have built orphanages, schools, medical facilities and Safe Houses, giving people a chance at a better future through permanent buildings, where they can live and learn in a secure environment.

Karen State has over 1.5 million people. Thousands of villagers don’t have access to medical treatment. This will be the first modern Teaching Hospital in Karen State, Myanmar. Medical personnel will be trained to provide medical services throughout the remote regions of Karen State. This 24 bed hospital will be operating in late 2016 with training starting in 2017.  

The hospital is located about 15km from the town of Kawkareik, Myanmar. The area is remote and very rural with agriculture being the main industry. It is surrounded by several villages within a 15km radius that is home to about 40,000 people. Global Neighbors has built many buildings in more urban areas that have had access to electricity. This hospital is the first major project without utility power nearby. This is also Global Neighbor's first foray into solar power so a lot of learning was needed.

Glenn from Global Neighbors describes how they solved this:Equipment Container

"In North America, solar power is not as widespread as many parts of Europe and Asia. We desired to build the system in Myanmar with as much locally available hardware as possible and built to local electrical guidelines. A group in Pennsylvania who have had some experience building solar hybrid power plants for jungle medical clinics was helpful to get us started. We then had the good fortune of connecting with Wind & Sun Ltd. In Leominster and they were able to answer many of our questions and help us specify equipment for this project. We also found suppliers in China for a diesel generator, batteries, and solar panels complete with racks.

PV Array 1We chose to use SMA Technologies equipment as it is available in Thailand for local support and it also supports a wide variety of programming and applications that suited this off-grid installation.

The equipment summaries are:Battery Store Inverters

System is 400VAC, 3-phase, 50Hz.

96 x 300Wp Bluesun Mono-Crystalline solar panels model BSM300M-72. These are connected in banks of 16 panels. These are oriented due south at an inclination of 17 degrees, fixed mount.

2 x SMA TriPower PV Inverters model 20000TL-30 rated 20kW each. Each inverter has 3 sets of solar panels connected with a maximum current rating of 8.75ADC at 723VDC. Peak power is at 14.4kW per inverter with room in the yard for another two sets of solar panels.

3 x SMA Sunny Island 8.0H battery inverters rated 6kW continuous.

72 x 1000Ah, 2VDC, VRLA batteries by EverExceed Corp. connected into 3 banks of 48VDC. The 3 parallel banks provide 3000Ah at 48VDC or about 135kWh of energy storage.

1 x SMA Multicluster Box 6.3 power centre.

1 x 80kW Tide Power System Co. Ltd. back-up diesel generator, 400V, 3-phase, 144 Amps with a Cummins engine. The unit comes with a ComAp InteliLite AMF20 controller.

Design objectives:

We want to see as much load provided by the solar panels as possible. Most of the hospital and residences loads are wired via distribution panels to the Load terminals of the Multicluster. An additional feed is taken from the diesel generator output to a power panel in the hospital for loads that are powered only when the diesel is running. This may include x-ray machines, autoclave, maintenance shop, or other high power loads that are not continuous.

The Sunny Island has been programmed to run the generator when the batteries drop to 65% charge during the hours of 15:00 – 21:00. This later in the day standard time period is to allow the solar panels to supply as much charging current as possible. If the solar panels can’t keep up then the diesel is called to run to top up the batteries for night. The loads at night are anticipated to be small and we hope the batteries can carry the load without requiring the diesel to run at night. The Sunny Island will let the batteries discharge down to 40% capacity at the other hours of the day before starting the generator.

Being a new build we were able to specify low energy equipment for some things. There are a total of about 130 light fixtures in the ceiling. These are 9W LED lights that produce a cool white bright light. Total lighting load is just over 1,100 watts and lights the building beautifully. The hospital is constructed with a centre courtyard so rooms have windows on both walls. The courtyard has a screen mesh stretched over it so it breathes well but reduces the amount of direct sunlight. It makes the courtyards noticeably cooler. There are ceiling fans in most rooms. Air conditioning is being limited to doctors residences and operating room.

Hospital BuildingSo far the system has performed flawlessly and the solar panels and batteries have supplied all construction and worker loads. The hospital is opening in a few months and that is when the real test begins. The diesel is programmed to run a few minutes each week for standby purposes. An X-ray machine is being installed in November. Staffing to run initially as a health clinic will be in place in early 2017 and operation as a hospital with overnight patients is likely a year away."

Here is a link to a YouTube video of the installation. 

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