top right: The solar panels are positioned to optimize sunlight.
above right: A technician checks the battery bank on the solar and wind system at Pheriche.
above left: The wind turbine at Pheriche Clinic, one day’s walk from the Mt. Everest base camp.
All photographs Lotus Energy
|Himalayan Rescue Association Pheriche Clinic
|Synergy Power Corporation (turbine), Shell Solar (PV panels)
Lotus Energy, a renewable-energy company based in Nepal, designed a hybrid wind and solar system to power the world’s highest hospital, the Himalayan Rescue Association Pheriche Clinic. With a rotor diameter of just over three feet (1 m) and a weight of only 11 pounds (5 kg), the small but efficient turbine is appropriate for the remote location. The altitude was the determining factor for the design of this power system, because the air is literally too thin to support a wind-only configuration. The output power of the wind turbine is 500 watts; that of the 16 75-watt solar PV modules is 1.2 kilowatts. The hybrid system supplies the necessary power for lighting the hospital and powering medical equipment such as X-ray and oxygen machines, EKGs, and other life-supporting devices.