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Backup Generators in the Healthcare Industry

By Alterra Power Systems
1 year ago
APS blog hospital photo

Importance of Industrial Generators in Healthcare
The healthcare industry is one of the most important sectors in any economy. Hospitals and other medical facilities provide vital services to the community and must be able to depend on a reliable power supply. This shows the importance of industrial backup generators where these systems provide a power supply that can be used in case of an emergency. They are also highly efficient, and many hospitals install generator systems in order to reduce their reliance on power grids. As the healthcare industry continues to grow, the need for various industrial backup generators is quickly becoming more valuable.

Types of generators, requirements, testing/maintenance, and more can be found within this article. Alterra Power Systems is the leading provider of generators and power systems for a wide range of industries, including hospitals. We are the largest distributor of HiPower systems, which is a world-class power generation manufacturer.

HIPOWER Natural Gas generator
HNI-650 T6U Natural Gas Generator

Generators Commonly Used in Healthcare
Natural gas: This generator is dependent on underground pipelines and systems to fuel these generators through way of natural gas that takes out risk factors regarding weather and natural disasters. In addition to reliability, using natural gas as fuel for power generators is environmentally friendly producing significantly less air pollution than other fuel types. When sites are difficult to access for fuel delivery, natural gas industrial backup generators can be the optimal choice.

Diesel: Catered towards any business or field using a backup power system, diesel generators offer on-site reliability. These generators can create large amounts of power to support a vast amount of equipment. They are built to meet world-class standards offering high efficiency and low fuel consumption. This is one of the most universal generators offered, commonly used by hospitals and healthcare systems. It has a low capital cost per kilowatt, a long run time, and cheaper fuel and maintenance costs.

Dual-fuel: These specific industrial generators run on both diesel fuel and natural gas. Dual-fuel generator options can be seen as a great choice because of reliability and efficiency that substantially minimize drawbacks. By consuming multiple fuel choices, it gets rid of issues that occur with on-site and utility fuel. Weather and or supply chain issues become insignificant and there is no need to store large quantities of diesel since the generating can rely on natural gas once diesel is exhausted.

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Hospital Backup Generator Requirements
A hospital power outage can be catastrophic. Doctors, nurses, surgeons, and machines working day and night to ensure safety for patients need consistent power. Just a few moments without power can be devastating in a hospital which is why the equipment and tools rely on emergency generators. Strict rules and regulations govern hospital emergency power requirements to make sure hospitals are always prepared.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
wrote two lists for two standard categories with requirements for the backup energy sources. NFPA 99 requires that healthcare facilities have systems and equipment that meet certain minimum standards in order to protect patients, staff, and the public from electrical failures, fires, and other hazards. However, the NFPA 110 have more specific guidelines listed below:

NFPA 110 requirements:

  • Level 1 generators are relied on for human life and safety during a power interruption
  • Level 2 generators are if the facility losing power won’t put anyone’s life or safety at risk but could still damage products and equipment
  • Generators that need to run emergency lighting must meet all Class 1.5 requirements included in the standard
  • The emergency power for a facility located near a fault line may need to be Class X, which means it can run for 96 hours without refueling

Specific Equipment Generators Stabilize:

  • Vaccine and Medical supply refrigeration: Includes vaccines, insulin, blood plasma, tissues, organs, and IV drips that must be preserved at specific temperatures
  • Life Support equipment: essential equipment for patients in ICUs on life support that must be powered full time
  • Medical equipment: MRIs, X-ray machines, and other monitoring devices can be severely damaged costing thousands more to replace or repair
  • Surgical Equipment: Operating room lights, heart monitors, ventilators, or heart-lung machines allows surgeons to continual operate on patients without chance of error
  • Occupational safety: Lessens chances of accidents from dimly lit highways, operating rooms, or patient care rooms
  • Electronic medical records: Cloud based storage of patient information and medical records cannot be lost due to electricity outages

Testing, Maintenance, and Preparation for Backup Generators
General standards facilities are advised to follow are listed below:

  • Manuals with detailed instruction manuals on site
  • Standards for maintenance and testing operations
  • Tools for testing and maintenance must be available on site.
  • Personnel that are qualified with all the necessary training.
  • Weekly Inspections: Qualified personnel must inspect the generators on a weekly basis to ensure that they are operating correctly and remain up to standard.
  • Monthly testing should include generator testings monthly to ensure they work correctly and can be dependable in case of emergency.

Power Solutions for Healthcare, Hospitals, and Beyond
Healthcare is a vital industry that relies on dependable power to keep things running no matter the situation. In these life and death situations, it’s important to have a backup power supply that you can count on. The power generation experts at Alterra Power Systems are here to help you each step of the way to select the correct power generation solution for your particular use case. There are several variables that need to be accounted for when selecting a backup generator for the healthcare industry and Alterra Power Systems has the experienced industry professionals to guide you through this process and assist in selecting a backup power solution that is right for you. Contacts for sales representatives can be accessed here to explore generator series, pricing, and more through Alterra Power Systems

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