In my last post, I outlined some of the symptoms and causes of “dirty power,” the term for power that is suffering from any of a number of issues, including voltage sags or swells, transients, surges and frequency variations.
As explained in that post, dirty power can have serious consequences, from higher utility bills to machines overheating or malfunctioning, leading to costly downtime. But solutions are readily available to prevent such issues. In this post, I’ll offer a case study example of a hospital that found viable solutions to its dirty power problems.
The hospital in upstate New York faced challenges in protecting its medical imaging equipment. Medical imaging encompasses various technologies, including x-rays, CT scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). As anyone who has had or seen one of these procedures knows, they involve sensitive, sophisticated – and expensive – equipment.
During use, medical imaging equipment requires a heavy inrush of high-impulse electrical current. And for the machines to function properly, the voltage has to be controlled to within narrow specifications – typically 2% of the connected line voltage during peak inrush. The power also has to be noise- and disruption-free.
Should any of these variables fall out of tolerated ranges, the machine may not be able to produce the desired image, or may produce a faulty image – which may mean an incorrect diagnosis. Or, perhaps the patient has to repeat the procedure. That’s annoying and time-consuming for the patient and costly for the hospital, especially for procedures such as MRIs, which take significant time.
Over time, such dirty power problems can shorten the effective lifespan of the imaging equipment – again, an expensive problem.
Knowing it couldn’t afford to take such chances, the hospital turned to a power quality product and solution provider in nearby Fairport, NY. It recommended the hospital install the SureVolt automatic voltage regulator.
SureVolt provides a broad range of protection against voltage fluctuations, addresses the hospital’s stringent inrush requirements and provides reliable voltage regulation. It also eliminates the noise that can wreak havoc on the images the equipment produces, putting patient diagnoses in jeopardy.
Addressing all these issues will prolong the life of the imaging equipment while also preventing downtime – a huge issue for any busy hospital.
“The hospital has had zero power quality issues since installing SureVolt,” says a project manager with the power quality solution provider the hospital used. “That has made a very positive impression on both the facilities and imaging staffs.”
This is just one example of a company that found viable solutions to its dirty power problems. Other examples exist in many other vertical industries, such as food and beverage, where I’ve seen customers reduce small sags by more than 87%, increase system availability and save as much as 7% on electricity by installing a power quality solution.
Click here to learn more about offerings from Schneider Electric that can help you address your dirty power issues, prevent problems and save money.