Power on demand

Why back-up power is essential to smooth operations


We all acknowledge that adequate healthcare is vital to people’s wellbeing and to a nation’s development. Electrical power plays a key role in this regard. Imagine a hospital without power for a minute?

So too is power critical to a hospital’s wellbeing, or that of a data center, a bank, the telecommunications industry, businesses or private residences. Data centers, the banking and medical industries, businesses and private residences are all crucial users of energy. Picture a data center without power - what would happen to the sophisticated, computerized, essential equipment required to house the computer systems and associated telecommunications and storage system components?

Imagine a hospital without power—what would happen to the theater, neo-natal unit, trauma unit, lighting systems, X-Ray equipment, the list is endless…Envision a bank cut off of power—what would happen to transfers of funds, deals, transactions—there would be a total collapse of the financial industry.

In South Africa power outages are not uncommon, especially during the winter months when additional loads are placed on the grid. Maintenance outages have also become significant, resulting in reliable backup power sources becoming of utmost importance.

For critical power users, like hospitals and medical environments, financial institutions, data centers, to name but a few, power interruption creates risks that can have disastrous consequences. Expansions to infrastructure; networks, additional hospital wings and theaters; all require regular assessments of energy capacity requirements to ensure uninterrupted power and backup power is available and thereby averting any disruptions with irreversible outcomes.

Patients choose the best medical practitioner they can to take care of their health, often touted as “the one thing that money cannot buy”. Theaters are a “powerhouse” and next to the surgeon’s hands, an uninterrupted source of power is of vital importance. According to Dr Botha, a Maxillofacial and Oral surgeon, a doctor simply cannot give a reliable service without an excellent support system. In medicine, that support system includes electronic equipment that cannot function without an uninterrupted power supply. A patient in ICU, for instance, needs second to second monitoring of his heart rate, saturation levels, breathing etc. In the theater setting, in addition to the above, a surgeon cannot afford a disruption of the power supply to his powered instrumentation or that of the screens providing visualization of a delicate operating field. It does not only affect the quality of care, but can make the difference between life and death.

Hospitals require a sophisticated, reliable backup power source to support their energy needs should they suffer a power outage. Backup is a non-negotiable and unfortunately is often a grudge purchase. Key decision makers in the medical industry need to ensure they have sophisticated and reliable generators to support their needs. Key questions to ask include: when last was the generator assessed for capacity requirements? Has it had a recent technical check? Is it well maintained and are maintenance records kept? Is it stored in a secure location?

Is remote monitoring available to detect any future problems? Has it had its annual full health check? Kenny Gaynor, Director Power Generation for Cummins explains, “Backup power is a strategic asset to any data center, hospital or business and has to be viewed as an essential. Cummins can perform a health check on your generators to ensure the capacity needs, technicalities and maintenance requirements are adequately met. No one wants to find out in a power crisis that the backup power is inadequate.”

Cummins is a global energy leader providing electrical power generation systems and complimentary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies. The company provides a class-leading range of both diesel-and gas-powered generators and parts, backed up by a comprehensive warranty with immediate professional support from the local dealer network.

Remote monitoring for generators is the company’s most recent cloud-based, state-of-the-art technology providing support for generators via the cloud. It imparts real time data from a Cummins generator giving information that enables timeous planning of potential interventions. Maintenance can then be scheduled accordingly. Typical applications for remote power monitoring include maintenance for multi-building businesses that are controlled by one data center like hospitals, banks, telecommunications and franchisee operations.

Is your data center, hospital or business adequately safeguarded with backup power? Cummins offers a free assessment to ascertain whether your generator equipment is indeed in a good state of health and will then provide it with the proverbial “clean bill of health”. Subject to T&C’s.

Call Cummins on 011-321-8713



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This edition

Issue 39