Emergency Power for Hospitals and Critical Facilities

Emergency Power for Hospitals and Critical Facilities

Emergency power management is always a big challenge for hospitals and critical facilities. Loss of power even for a second poses significant risk to people and materials. Therefore, power systems in these facilities must meet certain criteria. 

As the size and complexity of critical facilities continue to increase, the provision of emergency power is also becoming more challenging. Yet, these facilities are still prone to unexpected power problems occasioned by natural occurrences. Managing these events successfully is next to impossible, particularly when 

For facility management, finding a balance between the demands of the emergency power system and budget is a serious challenge. This leads to an analysis of the available options that often leads to one answer – diesel generators. 

As we review the power requirements in these facilities, we will focus on diesel generators as solutions for emergency power. 

The Basics of Emergency Power Requirements

Emergency power solutions are essential for the smooth and safe running of critical facilities. When an emergency occurs and the power goes off, the ability of critical facilities to continue operating can mean a lot. It could save lives if we are talking about the hospital environment. 

Consistent Power Supply

Hospitals, for instance, need to have emergency power supply that can keep them operating for 72 hours or more. That’s because there are critical systems, such as incubators, that need to remain powered no matter what. 

Airports are also in this category, given that unscheduled system downtime can be too costly in terms of passenger inconvenience and revenue loss. 

Consider a situation whereby there is an unexpected failure of the mains supply and the backup fails or is nonexistent. Imagine the amount of chaos that would be at the airport – no lighting, luggage system not working, lights off, air traffic control affected, and so forth. 

Danger of Unimaginable Loss

British Airways had a scare in 2017 when a power problem brought the IT network down. The disruption across different systems was so massive that the estimated loss was in the range of £100 million. 

So, some facilities cannot afford to lose electricity even for a second. The main reason for this is that critical systems have to remain operational, as has been reiterated in the above example. 

However, even the handling of customer data is a reason for emergency power plans for some facilities. Computer systems are the most vulnerable during an unexpected power outage. 

Putting customer data at this kind of risk by not having emergency power can ruin the reputation of a business. 

Stricter Requirements

Delivering emergency power to hospitals and critical facilities is more intricate and demanding than for standard facilities. Many systems are at play including the alternative source of electricity, controls, and switching systems. 

Power Systems Used for Emergency Power

The main technologies for emergency power in critical facilities include solar battery backup systems and generator sets. Fuel cells and wind turbines can also be applicable. 

Which of these is the most suitable? The answer to this question depends on the specifics of the application. For instance, what is the power capacity, and how long are you intending to use the emergency power solution? 

Solar Battery Backup System

A solar energy system connected to a battery storage can store energy generated during the day. The stored energy can be tapped in the event of a power outage. Commercial facilities and residences can use this system to safeguard against the dangers of power loss during an emergency. 

The Diesel Generator 

The generator, particularly the diesel generator, is a top choice for emergency power in most cases. One of the reasons users prefer this technology is the reliability it presents. Diesel generators are designed to deliver continuous and quality power in the event of a failure or shortfall from the grid power. 

For critical facilities such as hospitals and data centers, there is no room for power outages. The power supply must not be interrupted because if that happens, data or life may be lost. Rapid response is crucial for the alternative power supply. Diesel generators can activate within seconds, thereby playing this role perfectly. 

The usually portable design of the diesel generators and the fact that fuel can be within the unit is a big advantage. You can trail the unit to the facility and have it running within minutes. You may have witnessed government agencies deploy these units to fixed critical facilities during surges caused by storms.

Every business looks to make a profit, and the power supply element is not exempt from this concept. The cost-effectiveness of the diesel generator makes sense for hospitals and critical facilities. Although the initial capital of a diesel generator set can be relatively high, the benefits will soon outweigh this cost. Think about the savings from data safety, enhanced productivity, and the sustenance of machine integrity. 

Plus, the diesel engine technology is easy to manage, whether you consider its servicing or maintenance requirements. Ease of these processes means that the chances of the emergency power being unavailable when you need it the most are minimal. 

To tap into these benefits of the diesel generator for emergency power, you need to identify the best setup for your application. 

Let’s look at that aspect next. 

Best Backup Diesel Generator in Hospitals and Critical Facilities 

When determining the most suitable diesel generator for hospitals and critical facilities, you need to focus on several points. These include the power requirements of the facility, the required size of the diesel generator, maintenance requirements, and regulatory requirements. 

Analyze the Power requirements of the hospital/critical facility

Hospitals and critical facilities require substantial power for the various systems. For instance, a data center needs power for servers, cooling systems and other infrastructure.

While these facilities consume a lot of power, each situation is unique. The power requirements will rarely be the same for two facilities. That’s why as a first step, you need to assess these requirements carefully. 

This entails defining the load profile of the hospital or critical facility. The load profile refers to the level and manner of electricity consumption at a particular time. 

Use the profile to identify the load factor, power demand, changes in demand, etc. With the load profile, it becomes easy to determine the size of the diesel generator needed in the facility. This includes the power quality the facility requires as well as the capacity of the generator. 

Choose Diesel Generator 

After assessing the power requirements, choose the most suitable diesel generator. Here, you are focusing on the capacity and type of the diesel generator. The generator parameter in question is kilowatts (kW), which shows the size of the equipment. It is tempting to choose the largest diesel generator (one with the most kilowatts (kW)), but the danger of underloading is rife. Go back to the peak load that you calculated for the facility and use it to choose the best size of diesel generator. The best practice is to put the generator size at least 125%  of this load to accommodate peak load currents. 

Diesel generators for emergency power can be either the prime or standby type. Get a prime generator if you are looking for continuous power for over 200 hours annually. Of course, this type costs more than the standby generator, which does less than 200 hours annually. The installation demands for the two are different, with the prime diesel generator requiring more skill. 

Check Fuel Efficiency and Noise Performance

Diesel generators have varying performance capabilities for fuel efficiency, noise, and other aspects. The fuel efficiency depends on the amount of load, type of fuel, engine condition, engine technology, and environmental conditions (temperature).

On fuel efficiency, the guiding principle is to select the one with the highest power output-to-fuel consumption ratio. 

The generator noise level is given in decibels (dB). Depending on the neighborhood, it is recommended to ensure adherence to noise pollution regulations. If your preferred diesel generator cannot be as silent as required, consider putting it in a soundproof area. 

Environmental Impact Analysis 

Still related to the environment, you want to check how the diesel generator would impact the environment. The by-products of this power generation process include carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and others. Fossil fuels, which are the power behind this technology, are getting depleted. 

The point is that you want to ensure that the diesel generator set that you choose adheres to the local emission standards. 

Those are the most important points to remember when choosing a diesel generator for emergency power for hospitals and critical facilities. 

What other considerations do you think would help in getting the best emergency power diesel generator? 

The Role of a Reliable Diesel Generator Supplier

Once you have done all the homework and now need to get the diesel generator, who do you turn to? There are many diesel generator suppliers, each claiming to be among the best. Since you cannot go with the supplier’s word alone, there are various indicators to look for. You don’t want to gamble with an investment worth $100,000 or more. 

Your choice of diesel generator supplier can determine whether your emergency power solutions go according to plan. 

Among the characteristics to investigate is the expertise of the supplier. Apart from helping you select the best generator, the company should be in a position to service the equipment when needed. Having the right diesel generator is one thing while being able to recommend the best one is another. Since you will need continual support for the smooth running of the generator, you cannot afford to overlook the servicing expertise of the company. 

Conclusion 

Among the many emergency power solutions for critical facilities, diesel generators stand out for their reliability, durability, and cost-effectiveness. Like commercial and residential facilities, critical facilities prefer this emergency power option. As long as you take into account the power profile, type, and compliance of the technology, diesel generators are ideal for this application.

For many years, our team has been providing diesel generator products and services. We are ready to support you in your next project, whether in the sales or management of the product. Call us today.