Failure of power, heating and cooling systems to support the critical functions that hospital facilities deliver can have disastrous consequences. Unavailability of power could mean that the hospital cannot provide critical life support functions and failure of heating and cooling systems could increase the risk of the spread of infectious diseases.
If power is unavailable to the facility, a range of services provided by clinical activities, emergency surgery, medical and building equipment are affected – compromising the healthcare of patients. Even if emergency power is available after mains supply power has failed, it may still not be enough to satisfy the present load requirements of the facility.
The healthcare of patients is also compromised if cooling and heating systems fail. This could result from incapacity to meet demand, perhaps due to infrastructure changes, or even because extreme weather conditions encountered in winter and summer months have overloaded these systems. Consequently air-conditioning and domestic hot water will not be available, creating unhealthy ambient conditions.
Using its expertise in the supply of back-up and emergency power, heating and cooling systems from around the globe, Aggreko offers practical cost-effective solutions. For hospital facilities the speed of response is critical and Aggreko’s extensive footprint in Australia means that these systems can be deployed very quickly. Aggreko’s engineers visit the site to define system capacity and the interface with the existing facility infrastructure. The systems are installed, interfaces are tested, proven to the satisfaction of the facility, continuously monitored and maintained.
Either diesel or natural gas emergency generators can be provided. If preferred, natural gas-powered generators can be connected to the permanent supply line of the gas provider, thus alleviating the need for diesel fuel storage. When diesel generators are deployed, Aggreko provides a fuel management plan to ensure the continuous supply of fuel. It includes on-board fuel tank level monitoring, storage tank monitoring and, in the event that the generator has to run for longer than the fuel available on-site, tanker availability and access to the facility to replenish supplies are also considered.
Once these systems are running, Aggreko remotely monitors and maintains them. To maximise uptime, there are significant trouble-shooting features. Each system is remotely monitored via the Aggreko Remote Monitoring (ARM) system, which transmits real-time data back to the Remote Operations Centre (ROC), staffed by technical experts 24/7. The real-time data monitored includes run status, plant number, fuel level, battery level, telemetry status, estimated fuel expiry, fuel consumption rate, fuel responsibility, run hours, internal and external fuel status, output frequency, output voltage, active power and power factor.
The ARM monitoring system is used on diesel generators and chillers and in 2016 there were 6100 assets fitted with ARM Australia-wide. The real-time data gathered at the ROC is used to analyse, diagnose and solve problems faster and with greater accuracy, and is also used to proactively prevent potential issues. Responses tailored to fix the specific problem are relayed to technicians in the field through the ARM app on a mobile phone or tablet. If an on-site presence is required, Aggreko coordinates with the local service centres to rapidly dispatch a technician to resolve problems.
The potential issues that healthcare facilities may face in emergencies can be countered by Aggreko’s technological know-how, its extensive presence and its speed of response. The Aggreko solution not only provides these advantages, but the solution is offered under a commercial rental arrangement with significant cost benefits. With the rental agreement the customer does not have to buy and maintain systems and has the option of returning them when they are no longer needed. Aggreko delivers, installs and proactively maintains the unit for the customer, with costs associated with routine and preventive maintenance included in the rental fee. Supplied on an ‘as needed’ basis, the units can be deployed and relocated as required.
This article also appears in the August/September issue of Facility Management magazine.
Images courtesy of Aggreko.