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Cummins provides a reliable power supply to St Anne’s Hospital

Doctors working with torchlights. Doctors working with torchlights.

The health industry is an important business segment for Cummins, as backup power is essential for hospitals to carry out their lifesaving services. In March 2013, Cummins South Africa completed the installation of a new generator set at Netcare St Anne’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, following the successful installation of a generator set at Netcare Linksfield Hospital in Johannesburg in late 2012.

St Anne’s Hospital realised the need for an open generator set as a result of the regular power outages that were being experienced, and Cummins South Africa power generation representative Herman Jansen notes that the hospital approached the company with regards to supplying the generators.

"Cummins SA supplied St Anne’s with a C1400 D5 generator with a prime rating of 1 250 kVA, along with a customised changeover panel to accommodate the existing infrastructure, as well as diesel pipelines and two 6 000 ℓ diesel bulk fuel tanks. The new generator set provides backup for the entire hospital, while the two pre-existing sets provide backup to the critical areas of the hospital in the event that the new generator fails,” he explains.

Following the order of the generator set in late 2012, Jansen reveals that the Cummins Power Generation team in Johannesburg built the unit in a customised oversized container. “The installation and the container build took place simultaneously, and the container was delivered in November 2012, while testing and commissioning of the generator was conducted a month later."

Jansen notes that expert electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering firm BFBA Consultants assisted Cummins in the installation of the LV cables and control cables, as well as digging the cable trenches and building a concrete plinth.

"In addition to removing the existing infrastructure to make way for the new generator, BFBA Consultants also assisted Cummins SA in lifting the pre-existing paving, and restoring the infrastructure to its original condition."

Jansen explains that in order to begin the installation of the new generator, BFBA Consultants  opened the pre-existing trenches, mindful not to disrupt the existing services, in order to prepare for the cable installation. “The cables were installed during the rainy season and the first layer was backfilled with soft sand to avoid damaging the cables. On completion of the changeover panel, the cables from the generator, which were inert at this stage, were connected. Upon arrival of the generator, the cables were connected and installed to the bulk tanks and fuel lines.”

A shutdown of the standard power supply had to be arranged in order to make the changes needed to route the power supply through the new changeover panel, adds Jansen. "Emergency personnel were on standby while the changes took place, in order to ensure that no critical services were hindered or interfered with in any way. During this time, the two pre-existing generators were used to supply power to emergency equipment."

Looking to the future, Jansen is confident of the future outlook for Cummins Power Generation, especially as the electricity crisis in South Africa continues. “Essential services such as hospitals need to operate during power failures. The operating theatres need to be available 24/7 in order to accommodate emergency operations. There are also patients who are connected to live saving devices that need electricity in order to function,” he concludes.

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