ASHWINI (Association for Health Welfare in the Nilgiris) is a registered charitable society established in 1990. Its primary objective is to establish an accessible, effective, and sustainable health system that is owned by the community. The program addresses the needs of more than 20000 Adivasis spread over 320 hamlets in the Gudalur Valley of the Nilgiri hills in South India. This particularly vulnerable tribal community, having lost access to the forests and an entire way of life, was on the edge of being decimated by poverty, malnutrition, and disease.

Gudalur Hospital in Ooty also believes in a sustainable environment for future generations. It comes under the management of the Welfare division for ASHWINI to improve its energy security & also to reduce operational costs. To switch to green technology to promote environmental sustainability, the hospital has installed customized Mangalore tiles structure with the rooftop solar power plant of 7 KW capacity using a total of 56 “Schuco” solar modules connected to “Outback” solar inverter which converts DC into AC power. The excess power is stored in the battery connected to the system which ensures a 24/7 power supply.

The battery-based system provides valuable support to the hospital as it does not need to depend on diesel generation for its electricity consumption. This will help in improving the condition of the hospital function as the power cut in that area is more & the region experiences electric transmission losses. Net metering Technique has also been implemented which has further increased the property value.

The solar power plant generation is approximately 10,220 units per annum offsetting the facility’s total energy consumption. The CO2 footprint has reduced significantly since the solar power plant has been commissioned in September 2014. To overcome the power outage problem, Hospitals invest in expensive invertors and DG sets which contribute greatly to air pollution, making fossil fuels-based energy generating solutions both, risky and expensive. The best way to guarantee constant clean power is having a reliable, long term, renewable power- generating unit that is installed, operated, and located ideally within the hospital’s compound.

In essence, if hospitals are looking to the perfect solution to their power problems, they only need to look up at the sun to find the best answer.
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