Technical

During the last two years John Bean (a volunteer British engineer) has designed the systems and spent seven months on site enlarging refurbishing and providing water, power, insulation and heat to the building. This has now doubled in size. Whereas before there was one small cold general purpose room and two tiny bedroom broken windows and draughts, it now boasts a reception area, a consulting / treating area, a two bedded ward together with two Sherpa rooms and a research facility with bedroom attached for the researcher. For the staff there is now a large general purpose day room, three double bedrooms, bathroom with flush lavatory and warm shower and a refurbished kitchen.

Water has been piped with great human endeavour from a stream 100m up the mountain and there is now running water. A large heat store containing 2000 litres of a water and glycol mix has been installed under the bathroom floor, the water being heated via 8 large solar liquid panels. This heat is used in two systems. Water/glycol from the heat store is pumped to heaters in the medical and living rooms. A copper coil in this liquid store provides domestic warm water.

Power in now provided by a revolutionary wind turbine mounted on a 20m mast and from 8 solar panels attached to the roof. As Pheriche is so windy it has been possible to double the size of the battery bank which now boasts 24 large 24v batteries. The turbine and panels, some $25,000 worth was donated by Mr Percy Mistry, Managing Director of the Synergy Power Company . This is a unique unit in Nepal due to its pivoting head which in high winds and strong gusts protects the bearings by feathering. Thereby only requires servicing every 5 years.

With the amount of power generated all rooms are now lit and there is enough to run the oxygen concentrator endlessly. This has reduced the need for most bottled oxygen and the use of the Gamow Bag in all but the most extreme circumstances. There is now power for research equipment, ECG echo cardiograms, pumps etc though a hairdryer on full heat would rapidly attack the resources!! There is now enough reliable power for a laptop to be in constant use. In Feb 2002 the EMT was gifted a satellite phone from GMPCS personal Communications in Florida with airtime provided by Inmarsat. The Trust is deeply indebted to both these companies. Communication round the clock is now possible rather than having to wait for the fixed time of a radio watch and with this staff can now communication freely with the outside world via email.

This project is now nearing completion. We will return this April and October 2002 to conclude the building work and to decorate the Hospital. The Hospital will be handed back to its parent organisation, the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA). To ensure its continuing success the EMT is taking out maintenance contracts with both electrical and plumbing companies in Kathmandu who will visit the site twice a year to open up, close down and service the systems as needed. These contracts will be open ended.

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