How To

Manage Energy Requirements

The best option for sustainable and independent energy is to install a solar and battery power system. When funding is available we recommend this for all potential partners, since it is not only ideal for operating the laboratory but better for the environment. Still, reliance on grid power is perfectly fine in most urban and rural areas. Regardless of the main source of power, a back-up system is imperative. Here are some context-specific options for backup systems:

Reliable power grid

(with infrequent, short-term energy cuts)

Obtain Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs) for freezers and refrigerators only

power grid

UPS for PCR, freezers, etc ($)
Back-up generator (gas or diesel)
Solar + battery system ($$$)

No power grid

Solar + battery energy system
Back-up generator (gas or diesel)

How To

Select an Energy System

We recommend discussing solar energy options in detail with local service providers, up to 2 or 3 different providers if possible. The following estimates generated from the WCL-Peru facility provide a helpful points of reference:

47 (± 10) kWh→ avg. 24hr consumption from an ISL Level 4 facility in active use (n = 43)
70 kWh → Maximum consumption
30 kWh → Minimum consumption
40%→ laboratory load directly from PV system (24 hr)
60%→ laboratory load from batteries (24hr)
~34.2 kWh→ minimum battery capacity estimate = (47 x .6) + (10 x .6)
~57 kWh→ minimum required energy production per day =  47 + 10

Table 1: The WCL-Los Amigos’s solar power requirements, as a reference

How To

Calculate the Size of Energy System Needed

Installing the minimum possible number of solar panels is an ill-advised move. How then does one calculate the total number of panels required?
How To

Evaluate an Installed Solar System

Once a solar + battery system is installed it is important to monitor overall system health metrics to keep track of production and battery status.