The power distribution infrastructure at Monash Medical Centre in Melbourne was at its end-of-life and needed to be replaced. NHP met with the hospital to understand their requirements and recommended a smart closed transition switch solution, made possible by the Terasaki TemPower 2 air circuit breaker (ACB), which guarantees a seamless transition from mains power to generator.

Monash Medical Centre is an internationally renowned 640-bed teaching and research hospital in Melbourne’s southeast. Since it was opened in 1987, there have been upgrades to the front of house and in the wards, but only minimal upgrades to its power distribution.

Senior Project Manager, Capital Projects at Monash Health, Simon Early, said, “The hospital had a couple of issues. One was the bus ducts, and the other one was that the electrical infrastructure was at the end of life. It needed to be upgraded.”

The hospital’s regular testing of its generators would require a five to six minute downtime, which could potentially cause issues with the hospital’s operating procedures, as they could not afford to lose power. The need to find the right time for testing could cause delays in the servicing of the generators.

Before NHP became involved, generator testing required two to three months of planning to organise the shutdowns and put procedures in place. “The one that has the most clinical impact is the yearly ‘black start’, where we actually turn off the mains power and let the generators work naturally and kick in. That takes months of coordination with the hospital in making sure no-one’s on the operating tables with equipment that’s going to lose power,” Mr Early said.

Designs based on customised requirements

Business Development Consultant from NHP, Jeff Davis, met with the hospital to learn about their requirements. He explained the technology behind Terasaki TemPower 2 ACBs, which are ideal for closed transition switching and allow for the hospital to maintain power at all times. They also have superior short circuit clearance time performance due to their unique double break contact technology.

“The technology involved in the project was the latest technology. In terms of the switchgear, the bus tie, the switchboards, the generator, the transformers. There were whole levels of solutions that NHP provided,” Mr Early said. The project involved contractors from Downer Nuvo installing 69,000m of cable in a neat and tidy cable tray, requiring time and effort to design.

NHP worked with the contractors to design a CUBIC Modular Switchboard system with transformers and medium voltage switchgear, with a great deal of work going into the measurements within the switchroom to ensure that it would meet current standards. NHP’s smart switchboard, with closed transition functionality, allowed the hospital to maintain power at all times during generator testing.

“The step change from the old infrastructure is that there was a very small generator backed of 20-30 per cent to what will almost be 95-100 per cent generator backed for the site. It also means the infrastructure is better linked to the Monash Children’s in terms of the same systems,” Mr Early said.

“The systems, the structure of NHP’s equipment is absolutely wonderful. The NHP gear within this site is some of the best gear, recommended by our consultants, because it makes a much better, simpler process.”

This sponsored editorial is brought to you by NHP Electrical Engineering Products. For further information, please visit

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