Solar Hot Water Generation

For the generation of hot water to be used in the hospital’s bathrooms and kitchens, the X-Sol collector was chosen. It is a very robust and simple yet efficient solar collector. The collector consists of a hot water storage and an attached solar thermal collector that heats the storage water. The system needs no pump as the water can circulate through the collector, driven by natural convection. Each collector has a capacity of 102 ltr. For higher consumption, more collectors can be easily connected in series. The system is designed to be installed with existing overhead water storage tanks commonly used in the target countries.

Solar Steam from Photovoltaics: PVsteamCube

Photovoltaic electricity is used to heat up a well-insulated metal block, where it is stored in form of heat at up to 400°C. The metal block serves as heat exchanger, generating steam on demand at any time.
Storage media is either aluminium or iron.
Considering the needs of the hospitals selected as demo site, a 40kWh PVsteamCube was developed by the SophiA partner Simply Solar. This will be integrated into the water container and it will use deionised water. The PVsteamCube provides steam to hospital consumers with a temperature demand higher than what solar hot water collectors can provide. Consumers can be the autoclaves, hospital laundry and hospital kitchen.

Solar Steam from Scheffler Reflectors

Fully automated Scheffler Reflectors of the latest generation developed by the SophiA partner Simply Solar will also be used to produce steam. Each reflector of 2.5 m² focuses onto a steam-generator from cast aluminium, generating steam any time the sun shines. The steam generators serve as interim storage allowing to buffer fluctuating sunshine intensities. The system is modular and can be adapted to different steam demands by adding individual reflectors. It presents an alternative to the PVsteamCube and it can be locally manufactured.


The PVmedPort is an autarkic station powered by photovoltaic modules. It can be either used to power (or provide additional power) to existing small health facilities, it can be used for outreach programs (awareness campaigns, health and education programs, vaccination campaigns) or implemented as a completely equipped energetically self-sufficient station (e.g. a dispensary or a pharmacy).

Four versions of PVmedPort are developed in the framework of SophiA for different applications:

  • PVmedPort power
  • PVmedPort for mobile vaccination campaigns
  • PVmedPort multimedia
  • PVmedPort pharmacy

Depending on the application, the equipment and interior of each version is different.
The PVmedPort is scalable and can be implemented in modules of 2kW peak, each providing up to 3kW of electric power.