Having installed solar microgrids at rural schools, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore has now set up a 5.2 kW system in a primary health center at Gudgeri village, in Karnataka’s Dharwad district. The network will act as a back-up power supply during emergencies.
The health center provides care for people in nearby villages and delivers around 10 infants per month at its maternity unit. The facility, which has a deep freezer for storing vaccines, is entirely dependent on national grid electricity, with supply usually inconsistent in remote rural areas.
The solar panels can generate an average 20-26 kilowatt-hours of electricity during a typical day, which can be stored in the lead-acid battery. The stored energy can be used at night or to support the load when the solar power supply fluctuates during the day.
The installation is the third of its kind by IISc Bangalore and the Sunrise network—an international project led by Swansea University, in Wales, which aims to address energy poverty by developing solar systems. Rural schools in Manchenahalli and Tiruppur have benefited from similar solar microgrids which supply renewable energy where the national grid is unreliable and intermittent.
Sunrise is funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund, a £1.5 billion (INR14,728 crore) budget supplied by the U.K. government’s UK Research and Innovation body. The Global Challenges fund was established to support research to address challenges faced by developing countries.
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