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Switchgear Eases Safety Concerns at Medical Center

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.



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.


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