What happens when a UK hospital experiences a power outage?
UPS power supplies at most hospitals do an admirable job of providing uninterrupted power. Unfortunately, however, a UPS system is simply a battery back-up.
What does this mean for the hospital’s power supply? It means the hospital will have 100% emergency power for a limited amount of time depending on the batteries used.
Some may provide power lasts for 10 minutes, some as much as 60 minutes, but without diesel generators back-up for those batteries the lights will fail for sure.
What if the power outage lasts all day, or more than a day? What about the critically ill patients for whom electrical power is literally a matter of life and death?
Continuous emergency power supplies are not an optional consideration for any hospital. When a Power Continuity Systems diesel generator is used to back-up the UPS battery system it becomes possible to provide unlimited power for all hospital operations for an indefinite period of time.
In a hospital environment, just a few seconds lost can adversely affect the outcome for many patients
It simply requires that the generator is refueled as necessary. Diesel generators can be refueled while in operation, preventing any lapse in power.
The hospital is covered 24/7, with no danger of a spike, brown-out or outage. That is an absolutely invaluable tool in a hospital setting.
Another issue that may arise with UPS power supplies is the fact that most of them can only run at a 75% Prime Power Rating, or less than full load. A prime power protection diesel generator is capable of running at full 100% or 100kVA load indefinitely.
How much could this affect a hospital’s patient care and security? Additionally, how much time does it take for the back-up power supplies to kick in and take over?
In a hospital environment, just a few seconds lost can adversely affect the outcome for many patients. It is also imperative that a hospital’s back-up stays on even after power is restored.
Sometimes power comes and goes when utility workers are attempting to restore power. The best system will remain on for at least five minutes after power is restored, just to verify that the surge is not temporary.
Full automation is the key; automatically turning on at the first sign of power failure and automatically turning off after a pre-set time period following restoration of public power. This is called active power and all hospitals should be equipped with this type of back-up system.
Having full power at all times is, of course, a mandatory requirement for any hospital. The need is arguably even greater in times of outage or disaster.
Anything that causes widespread or serious power outage will usually have other far-reaching effects. Accidents and crime increase exponentially, for example, in addition to any disaster that may have caused the power failure.
Life support and surgical theatres become even more important in these circumstances. Having a fully self-contained automatic power system that consists of both UPS battery and diesel generator back-up could allow a hospital to save many more lives in the course of an emergency situation.
Emergency, unforeseen situations can arise at any time and a hospital bears a responsibility to be fully prepared. The public depends on a hospital’s ability to provide emergency services whenever needed, in any circumstances.
A hospital’s ability to treat its patients is severely compromised if its systems are inoperative due to a long-term power outage. Fortunately, systems can be designed specifically to accommodate the amount of power required to operate all hospital systems at full capacity.
Power Continuity Systems are the most experienced providers of active power systems in the emergency power business. After 25 years of custom design, installation and maintenance of power systems they are the UK’s go-to source for emergency power supply systems for hospitals.
Not bound by brand names, they use only the highest quality equipment that is best suited to a hospital’s needs. They can evaluate power needs in the event of outages or disasters and provide detailed plans for implementing a fully protective automatic system.