When the phrase ‘mission-critical environment’ is used, it’s most often referring to a data center. But the reality is that there are many other environments out there that are just as, if not more, critical. Medical facilities are an excellent example of this.
While healthcare facilities of all sizes will have some type of emergency power system required by health codes and government regulations, hospitals always have multiple backup measures in place. This includes a generator and redundant Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS) for their critical systems and sensitive equipment. But in recent years, more and more smaller medical facilities have recognized that their need for always-on power is just as critical as the larger operations.
Making the Case for UPS in Smaller, Edge Medical Facilities
It doesn’t matter how big or small your facility is, if your facility uses vital sign monitors, CT scanners and MRI machinery, etc., the power supply needs to be constant, non-fluctuating and reliable to prevent damage to the equipment and ensure accurate readings and test results. Doctors, nurses, and patients rely on the critical information these sensitive machines provide, and often cannot wait for them to bounce back after a power surge or outage. Uninterruptible power supplies keep a steady current flowing to maintain performance over time.
In addition to diagnostic equipment, UPS systems provide battery backup for life-sustaining medical equipment in the event of an emergency. For patients relying on ventilators, dialysis, respirators, anesthesia machines, even a second of lost power can have major consequences. A UPS can provide that instant and smooth transition to backup power until a generator is available.
And although patient safety is the number one reason for reducing the risk of equipment malfunctions, healthcare administrators must also consider the financial repercussions of lost power. Electrical disturbances can result in repeated diagnostic tests, wasted medical supplies, and expensive service and repair calls. UPS systems can mitigate those damaging power disturbances.
You’ve Got Critical Power Options
The most common backup power source for UPS systems has historically been lead acid batteries. While having a redundant UPS that uses lead acid batteries is better than not having one at all… there are other options worth considering. Both lithium-ion battery UPSs and flywheel-backed UPSs are more efficient, environmentally friendly and provide a lower total cost of ownership than lead acid battery systems.
Li-ion UPS Systems
While it’s true that the initial cost of a lithium-ion UPS system is more than a traditional lead acid setup, their many long-term benefits make them a smart choice for server rooms and network closets that support smaller medical facilities.
- The longer li-ion battery life of the UPS – 2x longer than lead acid – can eliminate the cost of procuring replacement batteries as well as the labor cost for in-person battery replacement.
- Lithium-ion batteries are three times lighter than their lead acid counterparts yet have the same amount of energy potential.
- Their charging capabilities are four times faster than lead acid batteries.
- Due to the absence of toxic lead, lithium-ion is an attractive option for an industry that prioritizes health and safety.
Flywheel-powered UPS System
Flywheel-powered UPS systems are battery free – using a kinetic energy storage system that presents the ultimate eco-friendly alternative to lead-acid batteries. Flywheels are ideal in a healthcare facility where storage and disposal of hazardous batteries is problematic. In addition, flywheel UPSs are low maintenance, have a longer life cycle than traditional batteries, and can work in any environment.
Because they provide a shorter period of backup power (30-40 seconds), flywheels are best suited for situations where the UPS is only needed to cover fluctuations or gaps between power outages and generator power kicking in. Look to lithium-ion UPS if you require longer runtimes,
UPS Systems Need Wellness Visits Too!
While both UPS systems require less ongoing maintenance than their lead acid counterparts, your entire backup power system should always receive annual “checkups.” Your UPS should be visually inspected quarterly and cleaned semiannually. A full scan and operational test of the system and its batteries should be performed each year.
CEG helps Ensure Always-on Power for Any Critical Deployment
If you’re thinking about adding a UPS system to your backup power plan or wanting to make the switch to a more efficient, eco-friendly setup, CEG can help. We can assess your specific power needs, recommend which type of UPS system is right for your critical environment, and provide ongoing maintenance. From enterprise to edge, hospital networks to hometown clinics, CEG can address the critical power needs for infrastructures of all sizes. CONTACT US today to ensure your patients always have always-on power!