Sustainable off-grid solutions for rural hospitals in Africa (SOPHIA)

SophiA will enable increased access to carbon-neutral energy for health facilities in Africa, thereby accelerating the sustainable development, growth and economic transformation, and ensuring improved access to energy and health services for all.

SophiA will develop and locally manufacture innovative, modular, flexible, affordable and efficient solar powered containers which provide:

  • Safe, clean drinking water and distilled water for medical purposes
  • Hot water and steam production for hospital thermal requirements
  • Cooling of surgical or intensive care units
  • Cooling of medicines and food at +5°C
  • Low temperature storage of blood plasma at -30°C
  • Ultra-low temperature storage of sensitive medicine at -70°C
  • Emergency electricity supply for surgical and intensive care units

SophiA’s multifunctional systems will use photovoltaic panels, solar thermal modules, water purification and natural low global warming potential refrigerants in a cascade refrigeration system incorporating highly efficient thermal energy storage.

They will be demonstrated in four rural health centres in different climatic regions in Africa: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Malawi and Uganda. The project is coordinated by the Institute of Refrigeration, Air-Conditioning and Environmental Engineering of Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences.

Steinbeis Europa Zentrum  supports as a project partner:

  • Administrative and financial project management and support to the coordinator
  • Management of intellectual property rights and technology transfer and definition of exploitation strategy for the project
  • Definition of upscaling and roadmap for green energy transition in Africa using SophiA technologies
  • Support to business plan definition and value chain analysis
  • Support to knowledge transfer through building collaborations with other initiatives and EU funded projects.


Further information:

  • Project name (acronym): Sustainable Off-grid solutions for Pharmacies and Hospitals In Africa (SophiA).
  • Funding: European Commission, Horizon2020 (Grant Agreement Number: 101036836)
  • Funding budget for all partners: 7, 4 million EUR
  • Countries involved: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, France, Germany, South Africa, Switzerland, Uganda.
  • Duration: 10/2021 – 09/2025

Contact us!

Dr. Frederick von Netzer
Contact us

Contact us!

Dr. Frederick von Netzer

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