Submitted by: Dr. Steinmair & Partner Beratende Ingenieure GmbH
Implemented country: Rwanda
Title: Supplying an Infirmary with Solar Energy and Clean Drinking Water
An infirmary in Africa not only needs good doctors but also water and electricity. Because enough sunshine and rain is available in Rurenge in the north-east of Rwanda, the only question was how to put these available resources to their best use. So Dr. Steinmair and Dr. Hronicek decided to not only build an infirmary but also to look for user- and maintenance-friendly solutions to provide water and energy for the infirmary. They wanted to put solar energy and rain water to use especially during the rainy season. The rain is collected in gutters and then stored in water tanks and cisterns with a total capacity of 12,000 liters. Ultrafiltration and water revitalization are used to reprocess the water and use it for essential drinking water all year round. Thanks to an ultrafiltration system provided by Sansystems from Vorchdorf, Austria, no chemical reprocessing is necessary. The electrical power needs for water reprocessing is so low that solar energy covers the system’s needs. A power buffer for the night is provided through a no-maintenance battery.
An initial investment of 8,000 to 12,000 euros provided a system for the production of up to 5,000 liters of drinking water per day, which supports nearly 500 people with drinking water. The system is modular, low maintenance and easy to operate, which is very important because no maintenance staff and no one with technical expertise is available there.
Dr. Steinmair, whose most important goal is to get businesses to rethink their approach towards energy and the environment, is married with three children. He enjoys a lot of different things, one of them being his job. He also considers it his duty as a human being to offer sustainable solutions to the people of Africa. He has made the Robin Hood principle his own motto in life.
“If people weren’t so self-centered and selfish then other people would benefit more.“
Dr. Oskar Steinmair