Woman’s Hospital: Flexible GE Equipment Integration
Affinity Energy was chosen by GE for a simple SCADA integration, but ended up also solving several frustrating power monitoring issues for end-user Woman’s Hospital.
Woman’s Hospital is a 168-bed hospital located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the largest specialty hospital for women in the U.S.
In 2012, Woman’s Hospital moved six miles south to a new location, due to the facility’s expansion constraints at their former location. With the move came the opportunity for the general contractor to select new equipment for the central energy plant. The electrical contractor selected GE electrical switchgear, and Affinity Energy was contracted by GE to provide integration services
Even though we had a brand-new environment, we were considering replacing virtually new equipment and starting over, which obviously would have presented a huge cost and time commitment.
Affinity Energy became involved and helped us work with the equipment we had to make it work more effectively for our situation. They understood our frustrations and truly wanted to help.
–Richard Oswald, Systems Specialist, Woman’s Hospital
Woman’s Hospital is obligated by The Joint Commission to provide detailed reporting on generator testing activities performed every month including runtime with electrical load values. During each 30-minute test, facilities management personnel stood by with a clipboard and stopwatch to record times, monitor power, and wait for the test to finish. If power dropped below a certain level, the test had to be rerun.
In addition, even though the hospital’s construction was brand new, power quality and power loss issues occurred frequently. As a mission-critical environment and health care institution, frequent power outages are unacceptable. After confronting the utility with the situation multiple times, Woman’s Hospital needed a way to prove the source of power outages.
Because Affinity Energy wasn’t involved with Woman’s Hospital as the end-user from the beginning, it was challenging to incorporate their wishes into the original scope. But it was important to Affinity Energy to ensure the end user was happy and ultimate goals accomplished.
As planned, Affinity Energy integrated each generator data point to log into a database once per minute. But Affinity Energy also adjusted the original scope to ensure Joint Commission testing was easier for Woman’s Hospital.
Engineers developed a report spreadsheet that pulled the generator run data and graphically displayed it in an easy-to-read table. Instead of searching through raw data points in a database, Woman’s Hospital plant managers are now able to visualize system data, identify any abnormalities, and export the data. They can now easily produce graphs to include as a part of their Joint Commission documentation.
Affinity Energy integrated already-existing meters into GE’s SCADA system to record power data. In order to utilize the system to monitor power conditions, engineers configured it to record waveform capture. The data from the power quality meters provide a snapshot of waveform transients consisting of several cycles before and after. Woman’s Hospital can use this waveform data to troubleshoot the source of power transients.
Even though Affinity Energy wasn’t involved with the end user in the beginning, the company was flexible enough to enhance the original scope to meet the goals of both the equipment manufacturer and the end user.
Woman’s Hospital no longer endures the manual and labor-intensive process of recording data via clipboards and stopwatches. Employees have a quick, accurate, and visual way to conceptualize generator reports for periodic Joint Commission testing and reporting.
Woman’s Hospital now has access to specific power usage data for different areas of the hospital. After working with their utility provider about power quality issues using the data from the GE SCADA system as documentary evidence, virtually all of the issues have since been resolved. Ultimately, the utility provided a more reliable source of power to the facility and the hospital hasn’t had unexplained power outages since.