SolarWorld solar blog

Hospital of Light Part 3: Bringing it all together

Posted 25 August 2016 12:00 AM by Jody Murphy, Director Operations & Project Management

Read part 1 | Read part 2

Rainy days and a snow storm slowed installation progress but by the end of the first trip (10 working days) one of the three main roof arrays were completed along with racking for the second and layout began on the third.

SolarWorld solar system in Haiti installed by Smucker's Energy. Installing the solar system.SolarWorld solar system in Haiti installed by Smucker's Energy. Installing the solar system.

In the power room with all electrical components laid out and mounted including AC wiring complete to the POI (including 9 sunny boy inverters, 6 sunny island inverter/chargers, PV combiner panel, multi-cluster box, battery combiners, external contractor and future loads panel) focus was turned to the next trip. Confirming phase rotation and planning the integration of the hydro and diesel generators was now the priority. All in all we were happy with the progress of the first trip and felt would be in good shape for the completing the project on schedule, as long as, some items that were delayed in shipping beat us to Haiti for next portion of the installation.

SolarWorld solar system in Haiti installed by Smucker's Energy. Installing the solar system.

The second trip a few weeks later repeated the journey to the hospital in almost identical fashion, not missing a bump! This trip we were sans land rover as it wouldn’t accommodate, the larger volunteer crew which included Michael P. Manlove, P.E. the engineer of record for the project or the added luggage filled with all last items needed. This time our stay was much shorter; consisted of 5 working days where we completed the remaining arrays along with wiring and conduit for DC source and output circuits, communication wiring, outage, interconnection to the Hospital’s transformer bank programming of the sunny boys and sunny island inverters, system testing and commissioning.

SolarWorld solar system in Haiti installed by Smucker's Energy. Solar panels on the roof of the hospital.

We did not let up on a strong pace even when we got ahead of schedule, not wanting to be caught short on programming and testing time. And thanks to that plan we managed on this trip to have some down time to take in the experience a bit more since the pressure to complete the system before our flights left waned with each passing day. We all made the two mile hike down (and then back up… not quite as exciting) to the hydro generators in action, attend Haitian Church services and purchase some items from local artist who brought their wares to us, and most gratifying received a tour of the hospital.

This system was the first AC coupled micro grid we’ve done to date, so professionally this was a very interesting exciting project to be a part of, only surpassed by the personal experience. On a personal level being a part of this project was immensely rewarding, equally humbling and at times emotionally overwhelming…to see so many struggle for resources we often take for granted, such as lights and indoor plumbing.

 SolarWorld solar system in Haiti installed by Smucker's Energy. Hospital patients.

SolarWorld solar system in Haiti installed by Smucker's Energy. Solar panels on the roof of the hospital.

To have had the opportunity to help create something that will for decades help power this Hospital and enable funds that would have otherwise went to pay for diesel fuel and repairs to now go directly to help provide much needed healthcare to so many, words fall short, except to say how grateful I am to have had the privilege be part of this installation and to work with and meet so many talented and generous people.

SolarWorld solar system in Haiti installed by Smucker's Energy. The Smucker's Energy team.

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Read part 1 | Read part 2

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