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Our Approach to Sustainability

We Care Solar recognizes that sustainability is one of the most important aspects of our work. Through our technical design, programmatic approach, and allocation of resources, we aim for Solar Suitcases installed at maternal health facilities to offer reliable lighting and electricity for at least 10 years.

© Evelyn Fey

We frame our approach to sustainability through three key overarching areas:

Technical

  • User-friendly design optimized by more than 10 years of field experience
  • Proper sizing of solar panel and battery capacity for maximum lifespan
  • Highest quality parts for reliability and durability
  • Prevention of user abuse as devices powered by the Solar Suitcase use Direct Current (DC)
  • Safety and longevity through protection of system wiring and electronics contained within the Solar Suitcase
  • Remote monitoring capacity for Solar Suitcases from 2019 onward

Organizational

  • Collaboration with government and private partners to develop and implement country-specific sustainability plans
  • In-country capacity building of installers, health workers, and government technicians
  • In-country inventory of spare parts to fulfill immediate maintenance needs
  • Integration of Solar Suitcases into routine government maintenance of other health facility equipment
  • Feedback mechanisms include contact information provided on each Solar Suitcase that health staff can use if there is a problem

Economical

  • Donor funding for sustainability is included in funding proposals
  • Free remote technical assistance is provided indefinitely in response to Solar Suitcase issues or questions
  • Two-year warranty for all Solar Suitcase batteries and key components
  • Partnerships with governments who agree to provide in-kind support for routine performance checks and to cover the cost of main battery replacement after five years
  • Private partnerships to supplement and strengthen government-led sustainability efforts
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For more information about our approach to sustainability, download our handout.

If you are having problems with your Solar Suitcase or want general information about maintaining the Solar Suitcase, visit our Maintenance & Troubleshooting page.