A recent update of the standby power installation at Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in Woolwich proved a challenging task for Dieselec Thistle, as the company’s Pedro Araujo explains
Since opening in 2001, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) has experienced an increase in patient numbers and technology has become more business critical to the day to day running of both clinical and non-clinical services. Therefore, the need for power and standby power has also grown, as the importance of keeping equipment working in a hospital environment is obviously critical.
The existing standby power provision at QEH was already considerable – the hospital has two standby power substations, Substation 1/3 and Substation 2, which were served by standby generators with 1.3MVA and 1.1MVA capacities respectively. Following a survey it was concluded that the standby power provision needed to be increased from 1MVA to 2MVA at Substation 2 with a control and synchronisation system that would ensure critical power was restored within 15 seconds of mains failure.
Dieselec Thistle was brought in to work with main contractor, Skanska, in developing a standby power solution for Substation 2. As the existing generator was still in good working order, it was decided that a second 1MVA generator synchronised with the first generator to increase the capacity to 2MVA would offer the best response.
A major part of the brief for Dieselec Thistle was to also redesign the control and PLC (programmable logic control) systems to ensure that switch over to standby and back to mains was smooth, power was prioritised to the most critical services first, and both generators were synchronised to operate as a single standby installation.
The complexity of installing the new infrastructure, updating the control systems and synchronising the new generator with the legacy kit required the existing generator to be taken offline for several weeks. As a result, the Dieselec Thistle team installed a temporary generator to provide the full 2MV standby capacity while the work was carried out.
While the primary aim of the standby power project at QEH was to increase capacity, the end result has been to enhance provision. The additional generator provides the work horse, but it is the complex control systems and infrastructure improvements that will really future-proof the hospital’s standby power capabilities.
T: 0207 871 5001