We Care Solar
The Solar Suitcase is a complete solar electric system aimed to be of asistance in off-grid clinics.
The Solar Suitcase is a packaged solar power system designed by We Care Solar to power off-grid medical clinics and provide surgical lighting, power mobile devices, and medical devices. The system includes two 20 watt solar panels, a 14 amp-hour lithium ferrous phosphate battery, a 15A charge controller, two rechargeable LED headlamps and a phone charger.
- Africa: Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, the Gambia, Uganda, Zimbabwe.
- Central America: Mexico, Nicaragua.
- The Caribbean: Haiti.
- Asia: Afghanistan, Burma, India, Pakistan, Japan, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Tibet, Vietnam.
NGOs or donors contact We Care Solar to implement the Solar Suitcase. Partners include AMREF, Safe Mothers Safe Babies, Save the Children, Pathfinder International, Kissito Healthcare International, UNICEF, Kasimu Education Fund, WEEMA International, One Heart Worldwide, YWAM Medical Ships, and Power Up Gambia.
Generator powered lighting, headlamps, and solar home systems.
Medical facilities in the developing world that have limited or sporadic access to electricity, including hospitals, clinics, and other health centers.
Mass produced by a local contract manufacturer in California that assembles the Solar Suitcase product.
The Solar Suitcase is available under open hardware licensing.
NGOs or donors contact We Care Solar to implement the Solar Suitcase
3,250 as of November 2018.
The Suitcase has 2 WCS Lighting Connectors, two 12VDC Accessory (lighter) Sockets, and two Expansion Ports to allow for optional accessories. A homerun cable and installation hardware are included.
- Dimmensions(h/w/d): 19.75″ (502mm) / 15.53″ (394mm) / 7.48″ (190mm)
- Weight: 35 pounds (16kg) (with internal SLA battery)
- Lithium Ferrous Phosphate (LFP) battery: 153.6 watt-hours (max capacity)
- Aluminum Framed Solar Panels can be ordered in a range of sizes of 40-350 W
- Light Expansion Box (SAT-100)
Provided by We Care Solar at +1-510-766-0206. A users manual is also available at We Care Solar’s website.
The product’s lifecycle is unknown. However, the LED lights have a life expectancy of more than 50,000 hours of use, the battery 4-7 years, and the solar panel more than 10 years.
The manufacturers specify the following key design features:
- Whole System Integration – The lighting appliances and power production components are delivered as one unit, designed for daily use.
- Safety – The sealed batteries can safely be stored inside health facilities; the low-voltage DC system avoids shock hazard and includes overcurrent protection.
- Low Maintenance – There are no fuses to replace, and no regular battery maintenance is required. Battery replacement is estimated to occur every 2 years.
- Durability – Our high quality components are designed for longevity, even in harsh environments.
- Simplicity – One switch turns on the system; another turns on lights and charges devices. The system is plug-and-play and can be installed without need for an experienced solar technician.
- Expandability – The 15 amp modular system is designed for expansion and can accommodate up to 200 watts of solar panels and a 100 amp-hour sealed battery.
We Care Solar follows standard US design principles to ensure the products are over-current, over-and-under-voltage protected. Interview with representative
Can be enhanced with additional solar panels or Maternal Health Kit. The Solar Suitcase MATERNAL includes a fetal Doppler.
Podmore, R., Larsen, R., Louie, H., Waldron, B., Affordable energy solutions for developing communities. Power and Engergy Society General Meeting. 2011 Jul 24-29;2011:1-8.
Taylor, M., Power and responsibility. Women in Engineering Magazine. 2010 Dec;4(2):22-23.
Adair-Rohani, H., et al., Limited electricity access in health facilities of sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review of data on electricity access, sources, and reliability. Global Health: Science and Practice Journal. 2013 Aug 1;1(2):249-261.
Humphreys, G., Harnessing Africa’s untapped solar energy potential for health: for a continent with abundant sunlight and poor electricity grid coverage, Africa makes very little use of solar power in health sector. Given recent initiatives, this may be set to change. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2014 Feb;92(2).
McKnight, G., Herrera, A., IEEE humanitarian projects: open hardware for the benefit of the poorest nations Open Source Business Resource; 2010 Dec.
Callister, L.C., Let there be light: WE CARE Solar. MCN. 2012 Sept/Oct;37(5):351.
No specific standards identified.Interview with representative
We Care Solar also provides an expanded version of the suitcase with two 80 watt panels, a 79 Ah sealed AGM battery, and an extra set of LED medical lights.
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