March 16, 2022


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As the fourth largest medical center in Illinois, with 5,800-plus employees and 649 beds, OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria serves all types of patient care needs—from acute pediatrics and kidney transplants to advanced heart surgery—24 hours a day, seven days a week. With 10 large buildings situated across more than 40 acres, the campus is like a city unto itself. To keep the power on at all times, two mission-critical power plants are located on the north and south sides of Glen Oak Avenue. Six Cat® C32 generator sets that produce 1 MW of power each are housed within the standby power buildings, while a seventh is located in a separate enclosure. Altogether, the generators can provide 7,000 kW of power, which is more than enough to handle the hospital’s entire load. The generators are set up using an N+1 configuration, which is a form of redundancy. If one of the generators were to fail, another idle genset is available to pick up the load. Energy Center 1 serves the older part of the campus, while Energy Center 2, with four gensets, provides power to the rest of the campus. An eighth Cat C32 generator set will be added this year to supply additional backup power to the newly built OSF St. Francis Cancer Institute. In the event of a power outage, the Cat generators start up within 10 seconds to provide ongoing, campus-wide power for critical patient care needs. Emergency power supports lighting, operating rooms and patient rooms. Behind the scenes, power is required for critical things like the fire alarm system, elevators and HVAC system. Additionally, standby power is required for the two pharmacies and a laboratory, which require a climate controlled environment to preserve lifesaving drugs and a blood supply…