DOHA, Qatar - Thanks to abundant oil and natural gas reserves in the region, Doha, Qatar in the Persian Gulf is a bustling, modern city on the move. With a rapidly growing population comes a need for expanded health care, and the 250-bed Al Ahli Hospital is the newest and largest private facility in Qatar and one of the largest in the Middle East. Hospitals worldwide have rigorous standards for their mandatory standby power systems, and the 47,000 square meter Doha facility selected Cummins Power Generation generator sets, paralleling switchgear and digital master control for its standby power system.
The Al Ahli Hospital complex consists of three buildings, with the largest being the main hospital building that supports all in-patient and out-patient activities. A separate building houses administration, ophthalmology, and an ear, nose and throat center. A 210-room nurses' residence rounds out the complex. The backup power system for the complex consists of three 1005DFLC generator sets with a total output of 4,000 kVA. The generator sets, digital master control and switchgear are located on the main floor in the rear section of the main hospital building. A fourth stand-alone 345DFEC generator set from Cummins Power Generation produces 431 kVA and provides dedicated standby power for the administration building.
Prepared for utility outages
"The local utility is quite reliable," says Kamal Najjar, director of engineering at Al Ahli Hospital. "However, outages do occur nonetheless. Since a lot of construction is taking place in Doha, there are power interruptions from time to time, lasting 20 to 40 minutes. During these outages, the standby power system automatically starts and provides emergency power."
Najjar says the power system is designed to supply about 40 percent of the hospital's total needs, including all of its critical needs as required by international building codes. The loads supplied by the standby system include the intensive care unit, the critical care unit, operating rooms, other treatment rooms and the lighting, elevators, computers and a portion of the air conditioning system. Although it is anticipated that utility outages will seldom be longer than two hours, the standby power system has a fuel supply for up to ten hours of operation before refueling is necessary.
Switchgear and digital control simplify operation, testing
Synchronizing switchgear from Cummins Power Generation is designed to work seamlessly with the generators to provide flawless connection and separation with the local utility mains. When the utility power fails and the generators receive a start signal from the digital master control, the first generator to get up to speed will close its breaker to the main bus. Then, the two other generators will synchronize with the first generator before closing their breakers to the main bus. Having PowerCommand® digital controls on each generator set eliminates single points of failure and assures that even if one of the generators doesn't start, the system as a whole will not fail.
With the PowerCommand digital master control and switchgear from Cummins Power Generation, the hospital also has the ability to parallel with the utility during full-load testing. This allows the hospital to phase-in the load so as not cause any noticeable break in power. However, with the generators supplying only about 40 percent of the hospital's total load, regular monthly testing can be done without utility paralleling or placing a significant load on the generator sets.
In a city that is growing as rapidly as Doha, construction projects have been known to occasionally interrupt the city's water supply. As a result of this risk, the hospital also has a separate water supply system with holding tanks for both potable water and water for firefighting.
"As a private hospital, one of our main targets is to provide excellent service, and so, patient safety can't be compromised," says Jamal Saleh Hammad, executive director of Al Ahli Hospital. "We have to opt for the very best systems on the market."
Hammad says that the contractor did submit other competing power system brands, initially, but none of them matched or gave them what they wanted in terms of reliability, performance and efficiency. "The contractor then came back and submitted Cummins Power Generation generators and it basically exceeded what we wanted," says Hammad.
First outage went unnoticed
The hospital's UPS system is the first line of defense against power failure, according to Hammad, and when there is an outage, the generators are designed to start and accept full load in 10 seconds or less. "We did have a power failure about a month ago while I was in my office working on my personal computer. I didn't notice anything unusual until the chief engineer called to say that there had been an outage and we were running on the standby generators. I was surprised to have not noticed anything, but he said the generators had started immediately and were supplying the hospital," Hammad says.
"We are very happy that we selected Cummins Power Generation because the system is very reliable, it ensures our patients' safety, and it is very efficient. It is also backed up by excellent support services."
Cummins Power Generation, a subsidiary of Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI), is a major leader in increasing the availability and reliability of electric power around the world. With over 80 years' experience, its global distributor network delivers innovative solutions for any power need - commercial, industrial, recreational, emergency and residential. Products include alternators, generator-drive engines, and temporary or permanent pre-integrated power systems combining generator sets and power control and transfer technologies. Services range from system design, project management, financing, and operation and maintenance contracts to development of turnkey power plants.
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