Company provides energy storage for hospital
25 Jun 2021

Solar energy company SustainSolar has completed the supply of its battery energy storage system to the Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in East London, in the Eastern Cape.

The system was supplied to the hospital as part of a joint initiative between electrical equipment supplier Siemens, nonprofit organisation Solidarity Fund and the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, as well as branded and generic pharmaceutical products supplier and manufacturer Aspen Pharmacare, which built a 100-bed modular treatment facility at the hospital.

The aim of the project – successfully completed at the end of March this year – is to alleviate healthcare pressure at the hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic.

SustainSolar was responsible for delivering a 20 ft container that houses a 61.2 kWp grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) inverter system, including 222 kWh of lithium-ion batteries.

It also installed the SiCam microgrid controller, which was provided by Siemens and complements the PV system. The SiCam microgrid controller and PV system ensure that with such self-consumption the hospital has the capability of generating and saving their own energy, and a backup and peak shaving functionality.

Siemens’ SiCam portfolio offers network operators and utilities all that is required for futureproof microgrid automation, highlights SustainSolar MD Tobias Hobbach.

“This was SustainSolar’s first home-ground project using the battery energy storage system (BESS) … It was an important project for us because it allows for the seamless integration of a decentralised and clean power supply,” says Hobbach.

He points out that SustainSolar is delighted to have a seamless and close collaboration with the Siemens team: “Building on this great partnership, we look forward to supporting further worthy causes of this nature.”

SustainSolar believes in using its technology, such as BESS, in future projects, as it is well positioned to service the battery energy storage market needs, says Hobbach.

This is possible because of the company’s recently developed suite of BESS products in partnership with its technology partners energy equipment and solutions SolarMD and solar energy equipment supplier SMA Solar Technology.

The three systems are applicable to meet off-grid and grid-tied energy storage requirements such as emergency backup, load shifting and peak shaving.

“Our state-of-the-art design for the product comprises SMA battery inverters and high-quality lithium-ion batteries which ensure technology reliability. These lithium-ion batteries include a variety of custom sizes, ranging from 222 kWh to 829 kWh.”

Hobbach mentions that the growth in the battery energy-storage market has “massively accelerated” in recent years, and this trend is expected to continue.

In the South African context, energy storage allows for self-consumption, backup and a peak shaving functionality. This, according to Hobbach helps consumers navigate and approach their tariff structure in the most economical way.

With SustainSolar’s commitment to quality, a growing record on the African continent and an expanding network of local partners, it is a preferred solutions provider for mini-grid operators and off-grid and hybrid fuel-saving applications, he adds.

SustainSolar strives to reduce implementation risk for project developers; alleviate operational challenges, such as sourcing, logistics and commissioning; and offer asset financing for its product range, Hobbach concludes.