December 21, 2021
Diagnosing Your Healthcare Facility’s Electrical Needs
When it comes to electrical demands, hospitals and healthcare facilities pose their own set of challenges and complications. For instance, hospitals require:
- 24/7 uninterrupted power
- The ability to power high electrical loads at any given time
- Connectivity to remote MRI/other mobile services
- Redundancy and emergency back-up systems
- Testing, measuring and reporting to comply with regulations
- Cost-effective and energy-efficient systems
- Automation and controls
Put simply, the care provided at every hospital, clinic or other healthcare facility depends on the health of the electrical system. It is critical to get it right.
What is a Healthcare Electrical System?
At the most basic level, a hospital’s electrical system must be reliable to properly support the facility’s functions, especially patient care and associated services. That means even when normal grid power is lost, critical mechanical and electrical systems will always remain active and online. This is especially important for older facilities, as their electrical infrastructure may be aging/outdated, and may not meet current codes and compliance requirements.
Steps to Improve Electrical Systems
The first step in identifying and prioritizing electrical power needs is to create a risk/cost assessment of your facility. This information will be the roadmap for electrical systems improvements and upgrades. Items to consider include:
- Generator backup systems and load capacities (including future building additions)
- Battery backups/uninterrupted power supply (UPS) systems
- Multiple incoming power sources to create redundancy and switchover functions
- Intelligent power metering connected to a power management control system
- Renewable energy options, such as solar, wind and microgrids
- Robust maintenance programs that include data analysis (power management software)
- Harmonics/power rectification to protect sensitive medical equipment
- Variable frequency drives
- Routine testing and reporting
- Mechanical additions/upgrades
- Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations
- Solar/microgrid/battery storage considerations
While it may be easier to incorporate modern connected solutions into new construction, it is possible to plan downtime for electrical upgrades into existing buildings. In addition to retrofit projects, existing facilities should also consider opportunities for saving electricity to offset increasing load demands from added equipment. Replacing old lighting with LED fixtures, installing variable speed drives for pumps and fan systems, installing solar/microgrid and battery storage systems, installing intelligent electrical switchgear are just a few options. Incorporating building automation to collect data on energy use will also enable you to adjust systems to accommodate variability in daily power consumption. Digital connectivity to a building control system should be considered in every case; the information monitored and controlled is key to reducing energy consumption and controlling unforeseen/emergency electrical events.
Electric Assessment for Healthcare Facilities
Faith Technologies can assess and report the current power usage and health for your entire building. This could include mechanical systems, lighting, branch loads and more.
If your healthcare system is considering building or upgrading a facility, it can be helpful to have a conversation about what is new and possible in the energy space with an expert who is tapped into the industry. New, innovative technologies exist today that weren’t available even five years ago.
An experienced electrical partner will discuss all available options and make the process easier to navigate. At Faith Technologies, our goal is to improve the health and reliability of the electrical infrastructure, reduce energy consumption, increase reliability and protect equipment and assets. The demands for hospitals and medical facilities are ever changing to provide the best possible service to their patients, staff and guests, so it’s important to ensure appropriate electrical systems throughout:
- Patient rooms
- Surgery rooms
- Waiting rooms
- Nursing stations
- Mechanical systems
- Lighting systems
- Electrical submetering/branch metering
- Sound systems
- Data centers
- Security systems
- Fire alarms and response systems
- CCTV video surveillance options
- Parking areas
Multiple systems now communicate easily with building automation systems through standard protocols, allowing easier access to monitor and control these systems, making it easier to monitor/maintain and even lowering overall CAPEX/OPEX costs.
Diagnose Your Facility’s Electrical Needs
Many healthcare facilities do not know to a great extent where they are using power, whether that level of consumption is appropriate or how they can reduce usage by strategically powering down areas or non-critical systems when possible. By collecting data on how, when and where electricity is used throughout a facility, you can make better decisions about reducing energy use and improving the experience for patients, guests and providers.
Much the same as personal health, when it comes to a building’s electrical health, knowledge is power — and properly applied power monitoring and building automation is key.
Protecting Your Patients While Protecting Your Investment
The health of electrical systems is incredibly important to a healthcare facility. There are ways to protect your investment for the type of infrastructure that:
- Increases patient satisfaction and outcomes
- Improves financial performance
- Ensures safety and security
- Simplifies regulatory compliance
- Improves staff productivity
Contact us for more information about what is possible when it comes to the electrical needs for your facility. The experts at Faith Technologies offer a variety of unique technologies and services to solve your most pressing problems regarding reliability, sustainability, compliance and comfort.