Health Business: Delivering Backup Power For Medical Equipment

Find out why moving to modular UPS as backup power for medical equipment makes economic and environmental sense.

According to the Carbon Trust, the healthcare sector in the UK spends more than £400 million on energy every year. Hospitals have the fourth-highest energy use out of all sectors and industries, behind only private offices and manufacturing.

health business magazine logoWhile even though significant energy efficiency improvements have been made, NHS England still generates 22 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. That’s a sizeable carbon footprint.

Riello UPS’s efficiency expert Chris Cutler speaks with Health Business magazine about steps the medical sector can take to reduce this impact.

Of course, reliable backup power for medical equipment is hugely important. Life-saving devices and appliances such as MRI scanners or heart-rate monitors require 24/7/365 availability.

And that’s before considering everything else that depends on uninterrupted power. Lighting, computer and IT systems, heating, air conditioning. The list is endless, so it’s no surprise electricity accounts for half a hospital’s energy costs.

UPS Providing Backup Power For Medical Equipment

In such mission-critical environments as a hospital, laboratory, or GP surgery, uninterruptible power supplies are the traditional method for delivering backup power for medical equipment.

A UPS reduces the risk of IT downtime and ensures the clean, consistent power supply demanded by operating theatres, A&E departments, and research labs. In such settings, even a slight fluctuation can literally be the difference between life and death.

As Chris explains, until recent years a UPS was often part of a hospital’s energy problem. The units tended to be large, static cabinets only capable of carrying heavy loads. These inefficient power protection systems consumed – and wasted – large volumes of energy.

Perfect Prescription – Moving To Modular UPS

However, UPS technology has come on in leaps and bounds thanks to the development of modular uninterruptible power supplies. Based on transformerless technology and able to closely match the actual load requirements, modular UPS can deliver up to 96% efficiency even carrying loads as low as 20%.

Another advantage of the move to modular UPS is the flexibility it offers facilities managers. Extra power modules can simply be added in as and when the need arises.

These compact-yet-power-packed units are smaller and lighter and generate less heat so reduce the need for air conditioning too.

Delivering enhanced performance and efficiency in a reduced footprint make them a great option for medical environments. IT infrastructure isn’t often given top priority in a hospital, with equipment often bundled into any available corner.

Chris concludes his piece by touching on several recent projects where Riello UPS products are now providing backup power for medical equipment. We’ve installed modular UPS for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to name just two. For the latter, our modular Multi Power is in place at both Wrexham Maelor Hospital and Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan.

Find out more about standby power solutions for healthcare organisations on pages 94-95. And read the Riello UPS company profile on page 96.