Dialysis center powered by hydrogen in Guinea

News - 26 October 2020

The main problem facing the metropolises of Africa is their rapid demographic growth accentuated by a rural exodus which leads to a lag in regards to the absorption capacity in terms of price, housing, and connection, even when Africa needs cheaper, better served and more livable cities.

To reduce this handicap, there are many means to implement. Among the latter, it is necessary to be able to distribute elsewhere services that attract to these metropolises and thus improve the homogeneity of services.

MAHYTEC maintains strong links with the African continent. In particular, our teams went to the Republic of Guinea in 2016 to meet with many decision-makers on site and discuss together how hydrogen could play a role in the country’s energy mix. In particular, we talked about the global challenges of this country: access to clean energy is one of the main ones, the treatment of chronic diseases is another.

We are therefore particularly proud that our discussions have materialized through the construction of an energy-independent dialysis center, a world premiere.

During the call for Innovative Solutions Project for the Sustainable Cities in Africa from the French Direction Générale du Trésor, MAHYTEC was selected among the 21 laureates and saw its project receive the funding necessary for its implementation.

Our project consists in proposing a complete set allowing the rapid creation in a hospital area or an urban center, to treat chronic diseases, with an initial focus on dialysis and the ANAIM hospital of Kamsar in Guinea, with the possible support of teams from Conakry hospital.

In fact, the Republic of Guinea has only one public dialysis treatment center in Conakry, the capital located in the far west of the country, forcing patients to migrate to the capital at the risk of perishing. To decentralize dialysis centers in the provinces, it is already necessary to have the possibility of stabilizing the energy source that will be used to supply this treatment center and the necessary machines.

The city of Kamsar northwest of Conakry is located about 4 hours from the capital. It is an industrial center of the Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée (CBG) with a rail connection with the nearby Sangaredi plateau, which is one of the world’s largest reserves of bauxite and the region has around 350,000 inhabitants. The town of Boké, capital of the region, is located about fifty kilometers.

Although the electricity network is fairly stable in the city, dialysis treatment requires additional security of the electricity network.

Our proposal is based on 3 elements:

  • A containerized solution – containers arranged in different spaces – one of them serving as a dialysis room with tropicalized equipment and suitable air conditioning, the others serving for the energy storage system, reception and preparation rooms for staff. This allows for direct implementation at lower cost compared to building and transporting the system to site with minimal infrastructure impact and easy maintenance.
  • A source of solar renewable energy through solar panels installed on a shade covering the containers also helping to reduce the temperature of the center while providing energy to the storage and control system.
  • A hybrid hydrogen / battery storage solution, which will make it possible to operate the center 24/7 in order to make it as profitable as possible for the benefit of patients, with a very low impact on OPEXs. Hydrogen is produced on site by electrolysis and then stored in gaseous form at medium pressure and then converted back to electricity as needed. This system is based on our SECURITHY solution.

The center, which was initially scheduled to be installed this fall, is expected to rise from the ground by early next year. Ultimately, it will allow around 80 dialysis sessions per week; a first step when we know that 10% of the Guinean population suffers from renal failure.

The whole making an autonomous system, functional and innovative both by its organization and by the energy storage solution which allows the center in addition to the permanence of the service a reduction in operating costs. That’s an important point of economic view where OPEX are a major handicap in access to energy and healthcare.

With this project, we are responding to two major challenges facing medium-sized cities in Africa: providing a sustainable and autonomous energy solution, and improving the living conditions of the populations.

The experience feedback from this first project will then make it possible to disseminate this solution within the country and in other countries which generally have the same problem.

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