Hospital electrical safety is a topic that can’t be taken for granted. It is important to know what IT systems are and how they can be used in hospitals.
In this article you will discover their importance, and you will have the guidelines to take action and start providing more electrical protection to critical areas of your hospital.
We also want to share with you that at ETKHO we are specialists in providing support, equipment and installation of IT systems in hospitals, we are your partner for electrical safety in health centers.
If you want a diagnosis, advice and purchase equipment that guarantee the proper electrical operation of your facilities, contact us.
First of all, what is an IT system?
IT systems are distinguished by the fact that all active components are grounded through a high impedance.
The reason why a high impedance is applied is due to metrological aspects, in order not to jeopardize the electrical safety, in this case hospitals.
Therefore, the grounding of the electrical installation masses can be done either together or individually.
Differences between TN and TT systems
Before we move forward, it is necessary to establish the differences between TN and TT systems, since this allows us to get a better understanding of IT systems and their application in hospitals.
In this regard, on TN systems the neutral point of the supply transformer is grounded, only with a low impedance, and it is through a protective conductor that the electrical installation’s masses are connected to the network’s operating ground.
On the other hand, on TT systems, although the neutral point is earthed with a low impedance, the electrical installation masses are earthed independently to the system earth.
Main feature of the isolated grounding system
Note that the power supply in ungrounded IT systems requires the use of a separate power supply or transformer. This can be a generator or a battery.
This is due to the fact that there would be no active low-impedance conductor connected to earth, so that a high current failure does not occur in case of earth contact.
Under these conditions only a small failure current is produced, and its magnitude will depend directly on the insulation resistances, as well as on the capacity of the wire. System components must also be taken into account in relation to earth.
Therefore, the main feature is an insulation monitor for IT systems, in fact, regulations require its use.
At ETKHO, we can provide you with the integral installation of IT systems, with all its components, including the insulation monitor.
However, with one example you can better understand the aforementioned. Let’s suppose that in an intact 2390 V AC grounded network, which itself has low grounding capabilities, a person goes and touches a live conductive housing, there will be no electric shock.
Current transmitted to the person is almost unnoticeable. This is because the voltage drop that occurs due to the fault current in the projection line, which is connected to the housing, is what determines the contact voltage.
The reason for this is that the fault current is generally very low and the resistance of the protective conductor is also minimal, so that there are no high contact voltages.
However, a grounded system is based more on the argument that a high fault current must be generated, so that a quick shutdown of the power supply is developed in the event of a failure.
This is why it is important for hospitals to have protective devices, such as differential switches, with which it is possible to switch off the system immediately before it causes any damage.
What are the advantages of ground isolated IT systems in hospitals?
Finally, we offer you a list of advantages that you can get in your health center, with the implementation of an adequate IT system:
- It makes it easier to identify failures during the health service provision
- If insulation failure occurs, it can also be located while the installation is in operation.
- If insulation faults occur, the system will continue to operate without any problems or risks
- You can provide more protection for patients, medical staff and others
- There is less risk of electrical shock, since failure currents are reduced
- Reduced testing costs
- For periodic inspections, there is no need to disconnect, and the differential protection tests are no longer necessary, as well as the RISO insulation measurement
- You also give the health center more fire protection
- By permanently monitoring the insulation, the dangers and thus the insurance costs are reduced
Now that you have a general knowledge about IT systems, its importance, the differences between TN and TT systems, the main characteristics of the IT system, among other things, you can realize the advantages it offers to your health center.
That is why in ETKHO we are dedicated to provide support, installation, and even to offer diagnosis that leads to the improvement of the electrical installations of health centres, because we know that better conditions allow better service and reduce risks to nothing.
Finally, we want to explain that at ETKHO we offer an insulation panel for IT systems that is effective, because it is capable of providing a protected isolated power supply system, for surgical units and other critical care areas, designated as wet procedure locations.
This panel consists of:
- Automatic switch
- Medical Isolation Transformer
- Transformer protection
- Isolation Watcher
- Isolation failure locator for each line
- General ground floor busbar
- Circuit breakers
We invite you to contact us to learn more.