The Necessity of the Infrastructure Upgrade

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Upgrading infrastructure can be complicated and difficult, particularly in a hospital. How can a hospital serving patients around the clock be expected to shut down to allow for an entire system to be replaced?

TRO JB was able to overcome this challenge with our work at Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital.

Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital is a 1,000,000 square-foot facility consisting of an adult and pediatric level II trauma center and a children’s hospital which also serves a 504-bed teaching hospital. TRO JB’s work included the complete replacement of five of the six normal power substations, the complete replacement of the generator power plant and the replacement of the majority of the transfer switches throughout the facility.

Prior to the replacements, Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital electrical system could not be properly maintained, and day-to-day operations were in jeopardy. As our engineers bluntly put it, it was only a matter of time before a wholesale failure occurred.

The comprehensive mission of this project was to increase redundancy, reliability and overall system capacity. In turn, these measures worked to save energy in the present and for the future.

Through a phased implementation, treating each substation as its own mini-project, TRO JB was able to increase the reliability and sustainability of the system without impeding any daily operations. The solutions involved allowed for the following:

1. Emergency power is now made available to the chiller plant and as a result the hospital can run three (3) chillers on emergency power: more than enough to maintain the chilled water system during a power outage in a period of peak cooling demand.

2. Equipment branch power is extended to the mechanical spaces supporting the patient care tower and as a result the air handling systems for the tower, which were in need of replacement, are being upgraded.

3. The double-ended electrical switchgear design and additional redundancy at the 208/120V level have given the hospital an electrical system that is easier to maintain and is more reliable. Since the completion of the project, power interruptions have occurred with no incidents.

4. The system now in place permits troubleshooting, data collection, and monitoring of the electrical systems. The Power Management System enables issues to be located, isolated, and resolved more efficiently.

These upgrades are the foundation for necessary mechanical changes required for future hospital expansions, daily maintenance and overall operational flexibility. With TRO JB’s solutions, Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital could recoup additional economic, patient-care, staff, and energy benefits.