María Jesús Ortiz is 12 years old and was born at 25 weeks of gestation. This caused important motor problems that prevent her from running and playing like a girl of her age.
She is electricity-dependent, that is, she depends on electrical energy to stay alive. Her mother, Paula Piña, must suction her daughter’s trachea with an electric pump at least four times a day. In addition, and also due to her premature birth, on innumerable occasions María Jesús, or "la jechu" as her mother calls her, has had to be connected to mechanical ventilation, as even a common cold can put her life at risk.
A month ago they installed 12 solar panels on their house in the Maipú district, as a pilot plan that gives them some tranquility. The energy generated by the panels is for self-consumption and, in some cases, they are even able to inject energy into the Central Interconnected System. On the other hand, their home is registered in the Enel Distribución Electricty-dependent registry, which means that, during a power outage, they have priority for the restoration of the service.
In the future Paula will be able to install batteries to store part of the energy generated by the panels. With the batteries, the accumulated energy will serve to supply the needs of María Jesús for 3 or 4 days, which gives even more peace of mind to the family because the little 12-year old girl will have her electric pump and/or oxygen secured in case of any emergency.
In this way, residential solar panels can be a viable solution for electricity-dependent people, since in this, and in other similar cases, the priority is to ensure the electricity supply.