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Uninterruptible power supplies are essential in medical buildings and healthcare facilities – including, but by no means limited to hospitals and the NHS.

With a UPS, medical facilities are protected against a loss or interruption to their mains power supply, with hospital UPS systems designed to trip on quickly and provide a seamless supply of electricity.

This is especially important in public and private hospitals where procedures are ongoing, such as surgery and other operations, or anywhere with patients on life support machines.

But even when it is not a matter of life and death, medical UPS systems can keep computer systems running, preventing data corruption of patient notes, and avoiding damage to sensitive diagnostic equipment.

Some examples of the type of equipment a healthcare UPS system can protect include:

• Computer medical records
• Diagnostic tools
• Laboratory equipment
• Medical refrigeration
• Optical equipment
• Scanners and screening
• Surgical lasers
• X-ray machines

Short or long-term UPS battery backup?

One of the most frequently asked questions about UPS battery backup for hospitals and healthcare facilities is how long it will last – and as with any battery, the answer depends on how much energy you draw from the battery.

The more systems you keep switched on, the faster your UPS power supply will drain, which is why it is sensible to combine a healthcare UPS with low-energy emergency lighting, or power down non-essential equipment as soon as possible.

You can add extra capacity with external UPS battery towers, but ultimately a medical UPS battery is there as a stop-gap solution to bridge temporary power outages and give you time to switch over to alternative power sources.

Some medical equipment is likely to have a built-in battery so that it does not fail immediately if the power goes out, but a hospital UPS system adds an extra level of protection that can cover all of your most crucial equipment for a calculable length of time.

What about long-term UPS backup for hospitals?

An AMF generating set can provide longer backup power for hospitals, so that you can keep essential operations running for longer than can realistically be achieved with UPS batteries alone.

AMF stands for Automatic Mains Failure, and in the event of a mains power outage, this switches over to a generator that runs from a tank of fuel rather than from a battery.

In theory this allows you to continue indefinitely, as long as you can supply the generator with fuel. Combined with built-in battery backup and a medical UPS supply, this gives you several layers of protection, so that even in the worst-case scenarios, your life-or-death equipment should still have power from at least one source.