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I sometimes wonder how many young undergrads dream of being the first to achieve actual perpetual motion, where a machine runs forever and needs no additional energy to keep going. Unfortunately, science says it violates the laws of thermodynamics. Rules are rules it seems. So we have to construct our infrastructure knowing that it could all come to a grinding halt, and we build in strategies for redundancy in the event things come undone. In the case of energy management – especially in areas like healthcare facilities – we also have to be sure to assess and maintain the electrical power distribution system.
Did you know the most common reason for assessing a healthcare facility’s power distribution system is electrical malfunctions that cause concern or stress in staff, and that these assessments are commissioned after the fact? Regular assessments should be a healthy part of any hospital or other healthcare facility’s longevity, as they can highlight potential problems, show if the current systems meet codes of operation, and determine requirements and costs to improve existing infrastructure—they should not be a consequence of neglect.
Power distribution system assessments should be performed by experienced electrical engineers, and are crucial not only for repairing and maintaining existing equipment, but also for upgrades, expansion, and potential innovation. Engineers should be comfortable with a wide variety of hardware, and should be familiar with and enforce all the electrical codes and standards of operation.
An on-site assessment is an expansive but necessary undertaking for all healthcare facilities to ensure they operate at maximum safety and efficiency. Facility staff should ensure that the assessors have all the equipment necessary to conduct the assessment. The authorized assessor will examine nearly all aspects of the power distribution system, ranging from assessing power class transformers, to service equipment, to electrical room construction and more.
We don’t live in a hypothetical world where perpetual motion is possible. In the real world, we need to regularly assess our infrastructure, to maximize our financial gain and safety.