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Sunlight to power CT system

5 March, 2012
solar panels

The Lake Constance Radiation Oncology Centre in Singen, Germany has installed 232 solar panel modules on its roof to harness the power of the sun.

The panels create a 400m2 energy collector that converts sunlight into hundreds of kilowatt-hours of electricity daily, which help to power the radiotherapy centre’s lights, treatment systems and other machines.

In the summer, the solar panel system provides more electricity than the centre needs to run its two Elekta Synergy® systems, a large bore CT system and the clinic’s IT technology, lighting and air-conditioning.

In winter, the clinic will supplement its solar power generation with electricity from the power grid, so although the centre ends up purchasing more electricity than it will produce, it is the concept of decentralised power production that is pivotal.

The solar power project idea came from Holger Wirtz, the clinic’s Technical Director/Chief of Medical Physics. Interested in renewable energy production since his school days, his curiosity translated into proposing that the clinic adopt solar power to offset its electricity costs.

Energy conversation, combined with the centre’s bottom line, led Mr Wirtz to acquire the two Elekta Synergy systems for the centre. He explained: “In 2007, these linacs consumed 30 to 40% less power than other treatment systems on the market.”

Elekta develops state-of-the-art tools and treatment planning systems for radiation therapy, radiosurgery and brachytherapy, while striving to minimise its technology’s environmental impact.

Professor and Medical Director Johannes Lutterbach said: “It is now possible to achieve environmentally friendly radiation therapy that patients and employees can identify with.”

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