After the recent economic turmoil, the increasing prices of oil, and natural catastrophes such as floods and hurricanes, the costs related to electrical distribution and for other utilities are expected to rise. In particular, the electrical power designs of hospitals are quite complex. They require a high amount of capital, as well as effort from engineers, to run effectively in situations where power cuts are possible.
For starters, designing an electrical power distribution system for a hospital is far more complex than for a regular building. The primary goal of engineers who design the electrical distribution system is to provide uninterrupted electricity to the facility to ensure the safety of patients at all times. In addition, the machinery employed in hospitals is huge and thus requires more energy to run without faltering. Likewise, the emergency power distribution system of the hospital needs to be designed in a manner that provides nonstop services.
The utility and infrastructure costs of a hospital are ever increasing, which is why each employee, especially the managing director, is interested in saving money and increasing operational efficiency. According to ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guides, hospitals consume as little as 2% of the floor space, but 6% of the energy consumed in the US. The average large hospital consumes 234 kBTUs/ft2 according to a report by the US Energy Information Association.
The increasing costs are forcing engineers to come up with alternative ways to create energy. Many green technologies have developed as a result. The increasing use of renewable energy in the US has enabled many hospitals to take advantage.
In the US, wind, for example, is an increasing source of renewable energy that has helped cut down on costs and create a balance between green and regular energy. Reliable and minimal-loss energy distribution is important to create sustainable energy for industries such as hospitals that require a highly stable power transmission. Using sustainable energy, industries will be able to receive building automation, HVAC, security systems, etc. These smart green technology buildings and hospitals can significantly help cut down energy consumption by as much as 30% by monitoring heating, air conditioning, lighting, and ventilation systems.
A hospital’s power distribution is divided primarily into essential and non-essential (or normal) electrical systems. The normal system includes regular HVAC and other non-critical equipment, while essential electrical systems have the most stringent and strict requirements to run effectively, and include circuits essential for life safety.
The essential and non-essential systems require unfaltering power, especially the essential power system. The utilities use alternative energy to create stable powerhouses to provide uninterrupted power in a cost-effective manner. Engineers also use busbar trunking systems when things get critical. This enables the power distribution system to provide electricity for longer hours, ensure top safety, and lower the electricity and power distribution costs.
Engineers use efficiency enhancing products in hospitals that help cut down on utility costs and increase the efficiency of power distribution across the board. These installation devices can be high-voltage transformers and other circuits that enable a facility to get continuous power supply.
Steward Hudson is a researcher/blogger with experience writing for multiple industries including health, energy, finance, and more. He currently writes for Electrical Engineering Company NY Current Solutions PC .