Emergency generators support Florida hospital

Newly opened Nemours Children’s Hospital gets an emergency power system.

By Kevin McKinney, MTU Onsite Energy, Mankato, Minn. November 13, 2015

In October 2012, Nemours, a nonprofit children’s health system, opened a new $397 million hospital in Orlando, Fla. The state-of-the-art, 630,000-sq-ft health care facility has 95 private rooms, world-class pediatric surgeons, a full-service pediatric emergency department, and anchors a 60-acre, fully integrated health campus that includes extensive research and education facilities (see Figure 1). The new children’s hospital supports families in Florida and Southeastern U.S. in need of highly specialized medical care.

Like all critical care facilities, Nemours is required by state, local, and federal codes to have emergency power systems that can be online within 10 sec of a utility outage. To meet the power generation needs of today and plan for growth that may require additional load management, the hospital installed a new central power plant equipped with four 2,250-kW MTU Onsite Energy generator sets with paralleling switchgear (see Figure 2).

Environmental challenges

The hospital’s Central Florida location presents two uncontrollable challenges: heat and hurricanes. The system was customized to withstand the wicked weather found in the Southeast. If air conditioning goes down, having no operable windows, the hospital would quickly overheat and put lives in danger. Summertime also ushers in hurricane season, which could easily render the hospital powerless and threaten flooding that could be catastrophic to life-sustaining technologies including computers, the information technology infrastructure that maintains patients’ medical records, HVAC systems, incubators, and defibrillators, to name a few.

Engineering a solution

To customize a solution specific to its needs, Nemours collaborated with the local MTU Onsite Energy distributor, Florida Detroit Diesel-Allison, to design an emergency power system capable of withstanding Florida’s harsh elements. The four generator sets were installed on the second floor of the hospital to decrease the potential for flood damage, and to ensure the plant can provide enough backup power to supply electricity for more than 7 days in the event of an outage.

Project snapshot

End user: Nemours Children’s Hospital, Orlando, Fla.

Building type: Hospital

Product/system manufacturer: MTU Onsite Energy

Name of product/system: Series 4000 Generator Set, 2,250 kW, quantity 4

Distributor: Florida Detroit Diesel-Allison, Orlando, Fla.

Project type: New construction

Project timeline: August 2010 to July 2012

Project budget: $400 million

Budget for this system only: $4 million

Kevin McKinney is the senior manager of sales for MTU Onsite Energy. As part of the company’s leadership team, he works toward finding power solutions for customers’ business challenges. He has more than 16 yr of experience in the power generation business.