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Transfer Switches Help Hospital Improve Control, Shed Peak Demand

Altoona Hospital in Pennsylvania wanted more precise control of its emergency power system so it could participate in a utility load curtailment program and reduce its utility bills.



Altoona Hospital in Pennsylvania wanted more precise control of its emergency power system so it could participate in a utility load curtailment program and reduce its utility bills.

Adding ASCO power transfer switches and power control systems to manage the doubling of on-site generator capacity enabled the hospital to shed load from the utility source during periods of peak demand.

To make the upgrade work, the hospital refurbished its two engine generators and installed two new ones. All four are rated at 900 kw capacity. Three satisfy the hospital’s entire load, including chillers, and the fourth serves as back up.

The upgraded system includes 28 ASCO low voltage and medium voltage power transfer switches and a power control system. The system enables the 346-bed hospital to respond within two hours when the utility requires it to shed load from the utility grid during peak load demand.

When the hospital needs to shed demand, staff start the generators and transfer the load from the chillers seamlessly using the closed transition transfer switches.

“There’s no break in power,” says Jim De Stefano, the hospital’s director of construction and design services. “People don’t even see it.”

The transfers are “invisible” because closed transition transfer switches eliminate momentary power interruptions by connecting with one power source before breaking with another. That also means patients don’t see transfers conducted during the hospital’s monthly testing procedures.


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