Balancing Redundancy, Reliability and Budget for Campus Primary Electrical Distribution Systems

A power outage can have significant impacts on your healthcare facility including jeopardizing patient safety as well as facing a potential loss of revenue and limiting patient services. But, taking the necessary steps to reduce these risks can be perceived as costly. How do you balance reliability, redundancy and budget to reduce your risk of a power outage while maintaining your system’s needs and meeting your project budget?


Reliability of a utility service can be affected by factors such as the distance of the campus from the utility substation; the routing of the utility distribution lines and other possible loads connected to the utility line(s) feeding the campus. And while an electrical engineer or designer may be able to work with electric utility companies to improve potential shortcomings in these areas, most of these factors are out of the engineer’s control. An experienced electrical engineer can, however, improve the reliability of the on-campus distribution with proper placement of exterior and interior electrical equipment and feeder routing and reducing possible single points of failure within the distribution.


Improving redundancy, or back-up systems, often increases installation and maintenance costs, which can deter facility owners from making these necessary improvements. However, an electrical engineer versed in the requirements for healthcare facilities can work with the campus owner to find the right balance that meets their system requirements and budget while reducing the impacts and liabilities associated with a power outage.


When considering campus primary electrical distribution systems, reliability, redundancy and budget are not mutually exclusive. That’s why consulting a professional electrical engineer with experience working with all aspects of campus and primary electrical distribution systems, particularly for healthcare campuses, is an essential part of this important process. An experienced engineer who understands the inter-relationship between reliability and redundancy can design the most appropriate, cost-effective solution for your system improvements.

To learn more about campus primary distribution and how you can achieve a balance among reliability, redundancy and budget, please do not hesitate to contact Jon B. Slagel, PE at (717) 845-7654 or

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