Russelectric Upgrades Hospital’s Emergency Power System

June 24, 2014 By Karen Henry

RexHospital-energy-manageRex Hospital in Raleigh, NC, has upgraded its emergency backup power system. The upgrade, which was designed by Russelectric, was featured in the June 2 edition of Mission Critical magazine.

With enough capacity to power the 660-bed hospital, as well as a planned seven-story heart center and the eventual addition of a cancer center, the new system was designed to meet the needs of the hospital now and well into the future.

The upgrade included replacing three 1.25 MW generators with two new Caterpillar 3 MW generators (one 2.25 MW Caterpillar generator was retained). An automatic transfer switch and uninterruptible power system were also added.

The system’s two 40,000-gallon fuel tanks, if full, would allow the hospital to meet its peak demand of about 5,200 kW for nearly six days. The substation was replaced with four utility-owned parallel transformers with a total utility capacity of 10,000 kVa. If one utility transformer goes down, the hospital will still be able to maintain uninterrupted service, even at peak demand, since the other transformer has a capacity of 7,500 kVa. Should both transformers go down, the hospital’s generators will kick in until the utility source is restored.

Switches and switchgear were relocated from the main hospital building to a new central energy plant, so there is plenty of room for more switchgear and circuit breakers, if needed, the Mission Critical article said.

If there is an unusually high demand for power, the system allows the hospital to quickly curtail its load should the utility ask it to do so. As a result, the hospital receives contractual rebates, which allows it to reduce its overall energy costs.

The new system also features a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, which was brought online in early 2013. The SCADA system provides interactive monitoring, real-time and historical trending, distributed networking, alarm management, and reporting for all aspects of the power system. If there is an internal failure, the SCADA system will automatically bypass the failure and re-energize the system without starting the generators. It also has a full manual backup.

The installation and switchover of Rex Hospital’s emergency backup power system was completed with a single, planned 10-second outage.

Photo credit: Photograph of Rex Hospital via Rex Healthcare.

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