Established in 1957, the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera, Israel, houses a trauma center and educational, training, and research facilities serving a diverse population of some 450,000 people. In 2016, the hospital performed over 11,600 surgical operations, 399 diagnostic, and 663 therapeutic catheterizations. Hillel Yaffe is the first hospital in Israel to be granted a “Green Label” from the Israel Standards Institute and Ministry of Environmental Protection for its efforts to protect the environment. Aiming to reduce its carbon footprint while protecting patients, scheduled procedures, and equipment, Hillel Yaffe decided to invest in the GenCell G5 hydrogen-based fuel cell solution. The GenCell system provides uninterrupted backup power with a dynamic load extender to absorb peak power up to 100 kVA.
Photos: GenCell Energy Ltd.
In accordance with public health and building codes, the Hillel Yaffe medical center is required to maintain diesel generators to provide backup power in case of outages, but these generators pose some fundamental problems. First, because diesel generators are not 100 percent reliable, the hospital feared that power outages could negatively impact patient care and the hospital’s reputation, as well as result in incurred costs.
Second, in case of an outage, sensitive medical devices such as the cardio-catheterization apparatus could be easilydamaged by energy transitions between the grid and the emergency generator, entailing downtime and costly repairs that could add up to sums of many hundreds of thousands of dollars. What’s more, the routine monthly maintenance and testing of these diesel generators, which is mandatory by law to check their effectiveness, is time-consuming, costly, and causes pollutant carbon emissions that violate the hospital’s environmental values.
“Any interruption to the flow of electricity to the cardio-catheterization apparatus due, for example, to an outage, can cause the device to reboot during a medical procedure,” said Dr. Amnon Ben Moshe, administrative director of Hillel Yaffe Medical Center. “Although the backup generator restores the flow of electricity after only a few seconds, it could cause an interruption to the procedure and endanger the life of the patient. With the GenCell G5, thanks to stabilization of the electrical flow to the electronic circuitry, there is no possibility of interruption of even a few seconds.”
Key Features of theGenCell G5 Solution
Should the grid cease to supply power, the GenCell G5 solution kicks in seamlessly and immediately (within 0.04 ms) to supply power continuously for as long as the grid is out, and for as long as the cell has fuel. The G5 seamlessly regulates the flow of power, activating an electronic energy bridge to absorb the intense dynamic electrical peaks and loads typical of the imaging equipment incorporated in sophisticated medical devices such as the cardio-catheterization apparatus used at Hillel Yaffe.
Thanks to the redundant microgrid configuration using distributed generation, wherein the failure of any one cell has been designed not to trip the system, the G5 is fail-safe. Featuring no moving mechanical parts, the solution is fully solid-state, and its operation is noiseless, as well as vibration- and emission-free. The system is easily and economically maintained by a software-based remote Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring and management module, which provides visibility into system health at all times and alerts users to take prompt proactive action in case of any issues, eliminating the need for routine maintenance. In contrast to the maintenance of diesel generators, parts, and fuel replacement for the G5 are also far less frequent.
G5 Project Implementation at Hillel Yaffe
Following precise and thorough measurement and testing of the electrical profile and of the behavior of the medical equipment by GenCell engineers, the backup system was carefully adapted to meet the exact requirements of the medical devices. The expertise of GenCell’s engineers in specifying the topology and configuration of the system architecture, including the electronics and electrical schemes, instilled high confidence in the system. Together with local partner Medtechnica, GenCell installed the solution on site, carried out thorough acceptance testing to confirm that the system functioned in accordance with exact specifications, and trained the hospital’s engineering staff to manage and maintain the system.
“Following the successful G5 DLX installation at Hillel Yaffe, there is already a growing interest from other hospitals in Israel, and I am sure that hospitals abroad will be quick to adopt the solution as well. I am proud and pleased that the system provides us with new and innovative methods to ensure the safety of our patients,” said Ronen Edri, director of the technical and engineering department at Hillel Yaffe Medical Center.
Thanks to the G5 power backup solution, the staff at the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center are carrying out cardio-catheterization processes without hesitation and fear of power outages. The G5 system protects patients and medical procedure schedules, and extends the lifetime of the imagery solution and the peripheral equipment, enabling considerable financial savings as a result of the minimization of equipment downtime, repairs, and part replacements. The solution improves the quality and integrity of the electrical flow within the operating facility and throughout the medical center while also supporting the hospital’s environmental objectives by moving towards the elimination of polluting diesel generators.
“From the start of testing, we have been impressed by the GenCell G5’s flawless performance,” said Edri. “In addition to its measurable contribution to smooth equipment operations, the reliability of regular power now enables our staff to carry out medical procedures with full confidence and peace of mind. Undoubtedly, this has resulted in better patient care and personnel well-being.”