Blog Post

SimpliPhi Powers 8 Puerto Rican Hospitals

After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and caused the second largest blackout in world history, hospitals across the island faced the stark reality that they were unprepared to power their critical equipment for extended periods of time during a prolonged power outage. Most turned to their only backup option: costly, loud, polluting generators that required constant refueling, which often involved waiting in long lines for gas or diesel fuel. In addition, the generators were unable supply enough energy to meet all of the hospitals’ essential needs, as medicines and vaccines would expire and have to be repurchased due to lack of refrigeration.

The financial costs of the power outage, as well as the stress of not knowing whether their generators would even be able to meet their needs, became too burdensome for eight Puerto Rican hospitals, including 5 COSSMA hospitals. These hospitals began the search for a more robust, reliable and low maintenance source of long-term back up power that had a superior safety profile for a medical environment that did not pose the risk of toxicity, thermal runaway or fire hazards.

Solar system + SimpliPhi energy storage installed by Sun Power Energy - solar install

Solar system + SimpliPhi energy storage installed by Sun Power Energy - energy storage install

Having installed SimpliPhi PHI 3.5 kWh batteries with solar all across Puerto Rico for businesses and homeowners alike, Frankie Alemany of Sun Power Energy highly recommended PHI 3.5 batteries to the hospitals. “We have chosen and continue to choose PHI 3.5 batteries for their safety, durability and 10 year warranty. We have tested these products in the field at many sites and have found they have superior performance. They also integrate very easily with Schneider Electronic equipment. They are extremely reliable and fit perfectly with the purpose of the hospitals. Also, if the hospitals ever need more energy storage in the future, they can easily scale up by adding more of these modular PHI batteries.”

Each of the eight grid-tied, DC coupled, solar+storage systems consist of a 3.96 kW solar array, 4 PHI 3.5 kWh batteries providing 14 kWh of energy storage, 1 Schneider SW4048 inverter, and 1 Schneider 60A charge controller. All equipment was purchased from altE Store.The solar+storage microgrids primarily power refrigerators for critical vaccines and medicine.

Refrigeration for vaccines and medicine at the Las Piedras COSSMA hospital

Refrigeration room for vaccines and medicine at the Las Piedras COSSMA hospital

“Thank you SimpliPhi & Sun Power Energy! We were not accustomed to using renewable energy and energy storage, so we had to make ourselves familiar and learn about these technologies. Now that we have SimpliPhi energy storage solutions installed, we have a Plan C, not just a Plan B, for our medicines and vaccines!,” exclaimed Norma Antomattei, Hospital Administrator for the COSSMA in Las Piedras.

Norma Antomattei, Las Piedras COSSMA & Troy Daniels, SimpliPhi Power

Although initially installed as a source of critical backup power in the event of another natural disaster, these hospitals began using their solar+storage microgrids to both offset their daily electric bills as well as maintain 24/7 electricity during shorter, weekly grid outages. Additionally, as Puerto Ricans face utility bills that are on average double that of mainland US utility bills, the hospitals’ management were ecstatic that they could also use their solar+storage microgrids year-round to reduce their electric utility bills and reallocate the savings to patient care.

One of the eight hospitals powered by SimpliPhi + solar - COSSMA Las Piedras.

One of the eight hospitals powered by SimpliPhi + solar - COSSMA Cidra.

Now, all eight hospitals can rely on seamless, uninterrupted access to electricity during long or short-duration power outages with a reliable and enduring solar+storage system, be prepared for the next possible hurricane, as well as reap the benefits of their investment daily throughout the year by reducing their utility bills!