Installing backup power to keep the hospital running

​Toronto Western Hospital's (TWH) Critical Infrastructure Reliability Project is responsible for keeping the hospital running – and allowing patient care to continue – in the event of a power outage.

The project involved the installation of two state-of-the-art backup generators, as well as the delivery and installation of a 150-foot exhaust stack to meet environmental regulations. The new equipment replaces a dated system that could no longer support the expanding site.

The new generators serve as a much-needed backup that will keep the hospital's power on in the event of an interruption – which could be short term, like during a storm, or long term, like an issue with a Toronto Hydro transformer, resulting in a days-long power outage.

Without these backup generators, the hospital would rely on emergency power, which only lasts for up to 90 minutes. That means all surgeries and procedures would have to be wrapped up – whether complete or not – and any equipment, like ventilators, would shut down.

By installing this secondary means of utility power, the hospital – including its Operating Rooms and Intensive Care Units – can stay up, running and saving lives in an emergency situation. Like all projects and renovations across UHN, the installation must happen seamlessly with no impact to patient care. As a result, the work often happens around clinical schedules, in off hours or even overnight. For example, the 150-foot exhaust stack was delivered at 5 a.m. in the middle of the week, as not to cause a major disruption to clinical operations.

A project like this also needs to consider the role TWH plays in the surrounding community, which is why state-of-the-art generators that produce minimal noise were installed, along with an enclosed acoustic cabinet to act as an additional sound barrier, absorbing any ambient or residual noise.

For more information on this project, please contact

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