The working group of the Photovoltaic Power Systems Program of the International Energy Agency (IEA PVPS), focusing on solar PV for Regional Development, has published a new study: PV Systems for Rural Health Facilities in Developing Areas, A completion of lessons learned as a technical overview towards deployment of PV systems for rural health facilities in developing areas.

In small off-grid health facilities, where the daily load is low, experience shows that autonomous PV systems are considered to be the best energy option. However, for medium and large facilities, where the daily load is higher, hybrid systems (e.g. PV with diesel generators) are likely to be the most economic and reliable power option. Lessons learned from field activities recommend installing a separate PV system only for vaccine refrigerator powering, the report concludes.

Lessons learned from past projects also show that the sustainability of PV systems requires consideration of technology aspects, capacity building, operation and maintenance. With PV systems for rural health facilities, the installation itself is often less a challenge than it is to establish sustainable financing for system maintenance and spare parts replacement, the analysis concludes.