Analyze Energy Demand and Supply

Health-care facility staff in classroom training
Health-care facility staff in classroom training
USAID

Before investing in any energy technologies, a health facility must first understand its current day-to-day energy requirements. An initial energy audit is critical to ensuring proper system design and operation.

Small lab in a health clinic
Health labs contain multiple types of loads; here there is lighting, air conditioning, an incubator, a centrifuge and a microscope.
David Jones / USAID

An initial load and energy analysis of an off-grid health facility is a critical component to facilitate the design and operation of energy supply systems. When properly executed, a load analysis can yield valuable insights into facility energy usage that can help reduce energy costs, increase productivity, and protect critical assets.

A basic load analysis involves creating a table that shows power ratings, or loads (in Watts), of all electrical equipment in the facility, along with an estimate of the number of hours each piece of equipment will operate on a daily basis. This results in an estimate of facility energy consumption, the number of Watt-hours used by the facility per day, and the total facility electrical load. These two basic metrics, load and consumption, form the basis for the design of energy supply and distribution systems, such as photovoltaic (PV) panels, battery banks, inverters, generators, electrical circuits, and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems. They are also used to track increases or reductions in energy usage, a key energy management indicator.

The following resources explain the basic methodology of performing load analyses, best practices and lessons learned, and a number of example load calculations for different types and sizes of health facilities.

  • Step 1.1

    Load Characterization

    Off-grid health facility loads can be categorized into critical and non-critical loads, which helps in attributing the appropriate energy supply source to a particular end-use equipment. Learn more

  • Step 1.2

    Load and Energy Consumption

    The load and energy consumption profile of an off-grid health clinic helps in developing energy indices that can be used to compare its energy performance with that of similar health facilities. Learn more

  • Resources

    Health Facility Load Calculation Examples

    An off-grid health facility’s load calculations vary depending on its size, which is determined by the number of patient beds and health services provided. Learn more

  • Tool

    Load Calculation and System Optimization

    This exclusive online version of the HOMER Powering Health Tool evaluates hybrid power systems to determine the most cost-effective options for delivering continuous electricity to health facilities. Use the tool

  • Tool

    Energy Audit

    An energy audit helps develop an inventory and pattern of operation of energy equipment within a health facility, which enables the cost-effective planning and management of energy supply systems. Learn more

Last updated: June 23, 2020

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