Switchgear Eases Safety Concerns at Medical Center
June 18, 2007 - Facilities Management
Arc flashes, which can be up to four times hotter than the surface of the sun, are a major concern among electrical system operators at St. Vincent’s, the oldest medical center in Birmingham, Ala.
A leading cause of serious injury among electrical contractors, arc flashes occur when the electrical insulation between conductors cannot withstand the applied voltage.
As a preventive measure, facility executives at St. Vincent’s installed Entellisys low voltage switchgear from GE Consumer & Industrial Electrical Distribution. The switchgear allows electricians to work beyond the arc flash energy zone, reducing exposure risk. Operators control the switchgear from a stand-alone stack or wall-mounted enclosure with a touch-screen interface. Protection, control and other functions are handled by central processing units.
In addition, a remote software package provides operators and other designated personnel secure access to the system from networked desktops and laptops. The system can provide alarm information and reports to users via e-mail or messages to their PDAs and other digital devices.