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Remote monitoring of mobile health clinics in Malawi

The Malawi Polytechnic is working on building clinics to enable a mobile phone based monitoring system for off-grid electrical generation systems. By creating this new facility they managed to create a clear concept of how the remote health clinic facility functions and how they can monitor energy under all types of weather conditions.

The clinic comprises of a 2 kW array of solar photovoltaic panels; a charge controller, which is required for every solar installation; an inverter, which is also required for every installation where the output is required to be 240 V AC; and a small-scale Renewable Devices Swift Wind Turbine.
mal 2The clinic was later integrated with a NI Data system which enables them acquire detailed knowledge of the amount of electricity the mobile unit consumed and the amount that the facility could generate. The data displayed assists them to check on any significant amount of generated current wasted as heat during the hottest part of the day. With this information they have managed to reduce the amount of excess energy. They are also investigating the possibility of using the wasted energy for other tasks such as pumping and heating water.

The developers behind the solution managed to also improve on the power limits that determined the energy supply from reaching to critical loads especially when the battery voltage starts to fall. It was also possible to increase the battery storage by 25 percent to ensure that the clinic has power during all types of weather conditions. The Usage of the data from the DAQ system over a long monitoring period enabled the ability to make decisions on the running of the clinic much easier as well as it introduced more ideas for future development.

Malawi’s biggest challenge in health has been a well distribution health network in the country, especially the ability for mobile clinics and health institutions to work accordingly in sync. This solution will enable ease of information access and sharing from one clinic to another as well as ensuring the mobile clinics are working efficiently. READ FULL CASE STUDY HERE

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