Framework and Objectives
This project is part of a transdisciplinary research project named CROSS (Collaborative Research Programme on Science and Society) between the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).
The aim is to study an emergency power supply and electrical power stabilisation system which is adapted to the needs of district hospitals in Cameroon. The project seeks to explore a technology adapted to the local context and to develop deployment business models based on entrepreneurship rather than humanitarian aid. The project includes the study of appropriate technologies and their implementation, the maintenance and sustainable operation of facilities, and potentially, their duplication in other entities and companies suffering from the deficiencies and shortfalls of their primary network.
The solution will comprise an energy-storage system (batteries, charger and inverter), equipment geared to produce power locally (diesel generator, solar panels, etc.) as well as control and energy-optimisation electronics, in accordance with the needs, ranging from vital, necessary, to simply useful.
The business model will include the acquisition and all the operational costs of such a solution as well as the estimated funding and income, with a view to improving the operation and availability of electrical medical equipment as well as achieving savings (i.e. reduced electricity bills, fuel and maintenance of damaged equipment).
The project’s organisation implies exchanges and collaboration between researchers and professors from Cameroon and Switzerland.
- The first phase involves conducting audits as well as a detailed study of electrical infrastructures and grid problems in four district hospitals in Cameroon. Devising detailed electrical drawings and simulating associated models allow researchers to gain a better understanding of problems experienced and to review the impact of the solutions considered. An analysis of energy needs and the effective availability of power supply as well as the budgets, processes and stakeholders will enable to give an overview of the problem (from a technological, organisational and human point of view).
- During his training course in EPFL, and in partnership with Swiss researchers and companies, a PhD student from ESNPY is conducting a study on adapted equipment and solutions for stabilising power and protecting electrical equipment (from July to September 2013).
- The solution will be chosen according to the results of the analysis of performance and costs, and will be tested and validated within the CURES laboratory (from October 2013 to March 2014). Then, a pilot installation in a hospital will be considered.
- Researchers from the Faculty of Business and Economics (HEC) of the University of Lausanne in collaboration with businessmen from Cameroon conduct an analysis of the economic, administrative and institutional context for the launch of a project based on entrepreneurship in order to deploy the technological solution in Cameroon.
- Researchers from the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (SSP) of the University of Lausanne, in collaboration with consultants and researchers from Cameroon, carry out a study of the socio-political context to launch a project based on entrepreneurship in order to stabilise the electrical power supply of hospitals.
The EPFL Distributed Electrical Systems Laboratory
The EPFL Electromagnetic Compatibility Laboratory