Power Management indispensable in modern electrical installation

Technical managers of hospitals and care institutions face major challenges. Numerous energy-saving measures must be taken. In addition, the increasing use of electronic equipment and network pollution are putting the reliability of the electrical installation under more and more pressure.

Electrical power supply in hospitals

Hospitals have seen a sharp increase in electronic medical devices in recent decades. CT scanners, MRI scanners, X-ray equipment, kidney dialysis equipment and operating robots are now an integral part of healthcare provision. More and better devices are being developed, increasing productivity and reducing the average nursing time. In addition, more and more energy-saving measures must be taken. These include the installation of solar panels, LED lighting and frequency-controlled drives.

All these energy-saving devices and medical equipment pollute the power grid and negatively affect power quality (At the same time, these devices are increasingly sensitive to the pollution they cause themselves. This has major consequences for the stability of the electrical power supply:

  • there is an increased risk of failure of (parts of) the installation due to voltage dips and/or power peaks;
  • Failure of emergency operation due to a capacitive grid, harmonic pollution and unevenly loaded phases;
  • more failures and higher maintenance costs due to increasing grid pollution caused by mechanical installations, medical equipment, LED lighting and solar panels;
  • a more heavily loaded neutral conductor as a result of unevenly loaded phases and network pollution;
  • a more heavily loaded transformer as a result of grid pollution and asymmetrical loads;
  • an increasingly strict legal framework and definition of responsibilities with regard to the quality of electrical energy.

One consequence of the above trends is reduced controllability of electrical power systems. Systems fail in emergency power mode and voltage dips lead to process breakdowns or even the temporary closure of departments. The costs of poor power quality are not always visible and are often paid for from maintenance budgets. 


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Power management in hospitals

Quality aspects of voltage and current in energy management systems

Existing energy management systems within care facilities are often linked to building management systems and focus mainly on energy consumption. The "health" of power and voltage is lost from sight in this process. Electrical disturbances and power quality are usually not registered, which means that the cause of power outages is often unknown. This is no longer acceptable for today's healthcare facilities.

Fortop automation & energy control uses its experience in critical applications such as data centres and hospitals to increase the availability of voltage and power under all conditions. To this end, Fortop uses its unique chain of competencies of measure, analyse and improve.

This chain of competences contributes to a higher reliability and continuity of electrical energy and is also called power management. Read more about a good power supply.

The four aspects of power management

Power management is a continuous improvement process of measuring, analysing and improving with the aim of preventing failures, reducing energy and maintenance costs and minimising the consequences of failures.

Power management can be divided into four aspects:

1. Energy management

The mandatory EED energy audit and stricter government requirements necessitate continuous insight into the energy flows necessary. Making energy visible increases awareness and involvement in measures, and provides continuous insight into their effects. It also makes it possible to charge energy to subletting tenants. By visualising the power from top to bottom in the installation, energy loss, standby consumers and meter connection errors are immediately recognised.

2. Load management

Managers want to know where growth in the installation is possible, without expanding the installation. When switching to generator operation, it is essential to have an insight into the available power in order to be able to supply the connected equipment. Harmonic pollution, low cos-phi and unevenly loaded phases put additional strain on the electrical infrastructure. In addition, the dynamic behaviour of the load makes it difficult to make predictions. Insight down to the millisecond is then necessary.  

3. Event management

Events such as voltage dips and power surges can lead to failure of (parts of) the electrical installation. Timely alarms can reduce downtime by speeding up troubleshooting. By registering these dips and peaks to a resolution of 50 microseconds, the cause can be determined and appropriate measures can be taken to minimise the negative consequences of these phenomena. Read more about analysers for timely alerts.

 4. Power Quality management

A "healthy" voltage leads to lower maintenance costs, helps prevent breakdowns and saves electrical energy. It also provides insight and a clear division of responsibilities. This is important in liability issues after equipment failure. Voltage quality standards play an important role here. Among other things, it determines whether medical equipment may be connected and whether or not equipment is covered by a warranty.

When integrating energy measurement systems for energy saving purposes, it is a must to include and integrate the quality aspects of voltage and current into the measurement concept.

The four aspects of power management - Advice fortop

Three steps to lower consumption, lower maintenance costs and fewer failures

Power Management is a continuous improvement process of measuring, analysing and improving with the aim of reducing energy consumption and maintenance costs and minimising the risk of failure.

Step 1: Measuring with Power Analysers

For a continuous improvement process it is necessary to measure 24/7. Only in this way can trends be recorded, energy savings demonstrated and an immediate alarm triggered in case of incidents.

In order to set up a measurement system that covers the entire installation, Fortop uses a standard blueprint in which each level of the electrical installation is given the most suitable measurement instrument. Fortop uses measuring instruments from Janitza for this. With a resolution of 50us, voltages and currents are sampled, resulting in an accurate measurement and accurately registering every disturbance. The Janitza meters are produced in Germany and used in many high-end applications. We distinguish four measurement levels, each with their own measurement instrument:

Janitza has a suitable measuring instrument for every level.

Power management; voor elke niveau heeft Janitza een geschikt meetinstrument

The choice of an energy meter depends on what you want to measure and how you want the data to be presented. Read more about help choosing the right meter. 

Stap 2: Monitoren en rapporteren met DCEM

DCEM Healthcare Edition was developed to collect all measurement data within hospitals and care institutions in one system. The package is tailored to the specific characteristics of electrical installations in healthcare facilities. DCEM provides millisecond insight into real-time and historical measurement data of the entire installation. Data from measuring instruments, switches and UPSs are converted into real-time alarms, visualisations and reports. This information is accessible via a user-friendly web interface on all devices with a standard web browser. The package is infinitely scalable in number of users, functions, data points and locations and has proven its usefulness in applications up to 8000 energy meters in one network.

Alarm manager

The most important function of a power management system is the alarm manager. Impending overloads, voltage failures and deviations in the quality of voltage and current are recorded with a precise date/time stamp. The active alarms are transmitted via SMS, e-mail, BMS or a special app for the smartphone.

Understanding energy flows with the Power Tree feature

With the Power Tree function, the real-time and historical load per phase of the entire electrical installation is mapped. With the push of a button, you can determine where any overcapacity exists. Standby consumers and energy guzzlers are recognised immediately.

Inzicht in power tree - DCEM energiemanagement fortop

Step 3: Improve the mains voltage through active solutions

Solving the problem at the source is not always easy. Individually, polluting equipment complies with the applicable standards, but when added together, the standard is exceeded. Passive solutions such as cos-phi compensation or passive filters do not offer a solution in dynamic networks. In modern grids, modern active compensation systems often prove to be the most effective solution.

Improve power quality by applying active filters

Active filters are the ideal solution for solving the most common problems in modern power grids. The operation of an active filter can best be compared to an anti-noise installation. A counter-current is injected that is shifted 180 degrees in phase with the current that is to be cancelled. This makes it possible to solve almost all common power quality problems.

Possible power quality problems

  • Failure of emergency power operations due to capacitive grid, harmonic pollution and unevenly loaded phases
  • more failures and higher maintenance costs due to increasing grid pollution
  • heavier loads on the neutral conductor due to unevenly loaded phases and grid pollution
  • heavier loads on the transformer due to grid pollution and asymmetrical load
  • non-compliance with the minimum voltage quality standard in hospitals, leading to potential liability issues

Elimination of voltage dips by application of voltage stabilisation systems

Voltage stabilisation systems are solutions for "filling" voltage dips. Unlike UPSs, these stabilisation systems are parallel to the load and can therefore cope with short-term voltage dips. This prevents equipment failure and avoids unwanted power peaks.

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All from one source

Fortop has a team of technical specialists who can guide you through all the steps of power management. From choosing the right meters at each level to commissioning and maintaining software and active compensation systems.


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