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Backup Power For Critical Care Environments

by Suzanne Hooley

Emergency Lighting, Medical Power Quality

Most large hospitals and medical centers are equipped with generators for emergency backup power and egress lighting.   In the event of unusable voltage, brownouts, complete power outages, or gen-set tests, the backup generator will supply adequate electrical power within the code-mandated 8 – 10 seconds.   In most locations within a healthcare facility, this time delay is completely acceptable.   However, critical care environments such as emergency rooms, operating suites, cath labs, and delivery rooms cannot remain in darkness for any length of time!

O.R. lights must remain “on” (without any 8 – 10 second delay), surgical procedures must continue … and in the event of a life-safety emergency, patients and personnel must be safely evacuated.

Sometimes individual battery wall-packs and/or emergency ballasts are installed in these critical care areas to alleviate potential power outages.   Yet for several reasons, these types of emergency lighting practices are not cost-efficient solutions.   The mandatory, code-compliant, monthly testing and data recording of all the individual wall-packs and emergency ballasts is very time consuming and labor intensive.   Additionally, these monthly efforts by maintenance personnel can lead to unintentional contamination of the critical care environments.

So, what IS the best solution for backup power and egress lighting in medical critical care areas?

Our centralized emergency lighting inverters are listed as UL 924 Emergency Lighting Equipment, and also UL 924 Auxiliary Lighting and Power Equipment.

As Emergency Lighting Equipment, each inverter is capable of completely replacing the egress lighting with a full 90 minutes of battery backup for each critical care area.

As Auxiliary Lighting and Power Equipment, our inverters can be supplied with 10 – 15 minutes of battery backup which will eliminate the 8 – 10 second generator synchronization / transfer delay.

For an added security / “contaminant-free” measure, all inverter testing, record-keeping, data-logging, and maintenance are performed from a centralized location — e.g. away from the critical care environments they’re protecting!

Read more … download our free  “Critical Care Environments”  whitepaper today!

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