RUH Bath

Case study 15506

Name of Client and Location: Royal United Hospital, Bath
Project Value: £100k -£500k
Duration of the Project: 8 Weeks
Services: Existing HV cable diversions and new HV & LV supplies
Market Sector: NHS
Powersystems Fact: Powersystems and The Royal United Hospital Have a 21 Year Relationship!

The Royal United Hospital (RUH)

The Royal United Hospital (RUH) is a major acute-care hospital, located in the Weston suburb of Bath, England, which lies approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west of the city centre. The hospital has 565 beds and occupies a 52 acres (21 ha) site. It is the area’s major accident and emergency hospital, with a helicopter landing point on the adjacent Lansdown Cricket Club field. The hospital is operated by the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust.

The Royal United Hospital takes its name from the union of the Bath Casualty Hospital founded in 1788 and the Bath City Dispensary and Infirmary founded in 1792. The Casualty Hospital was founded in response to the serious injuries sustained to labourers working on the buildings which were being constructed in the city. The Dispensary and Infirmary developed from the Bath Pauper Scheme, a charity founded in 1747 to provide medical treatment for destitute persons in Bath.

The combined institution opened in a building designed by John Pinch the elder in Beau Street as the Bath United Hospital in 1826. It was awarded the title Royal by Queen Victoria in 1864 when a new wing, named the Albert Wing after the recently deceased Prince Consort, opened. This building was later occupied by Bath College.

The hospital moved to its present site, Combe Park, on 11 December 1932. The site had previously been used for the large First World War Bath War Hospital, which opened in 1916. In November 1919, it was renamed the Bath Ministry of Pensions Hospital, which it remained until it closed in 1929.

The site was also used by the Forbes Fraser Hospital and the Bath and Wessex Orthopaedic Hospital, both founded in 1924 and which merged into the RUH about 1980. The former manor house on the site, originally medieval but remodelled in the 18th century, became an administrative building. The building is a Grade II* listed building due to its fine Adam style interior.

In 1959, the hospital absorbed the Ear Nose and Throat Hospital and in 1973, the Bath Eye Infirmary, both located elsewhere in Bath.

In July 2011, the Dyson Centre for neonatal care opened for premature babies. Over half of the £6.1 million cost was raised by the hospital’s charity, the Forever Friends Appeal.

In 2015 and 2016, some services were transferred from the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases to the RUH, including endoscopy and children’s services, following that hospital’s takeover by the RUH Trust. Construction started on a dedicated building at the RUH site in November 2017. It is planned that the last rheumatic diseases services will be transferred to the RUH site by autumn 2019.

In 2008, plans were revealed for a £100 million redevelopment of the pre-Second World War RUH North buildings, which would include an increase in single-occupancy rooms in line with Government targets. In 2014, a five-year £110 million development plan was confirmed. The development will include a new cancer centre, pharmacy, integrated therapies unit, pathology block, IT centre and 400 extra public car parking spaces.


The Royal United Hospital (RUH)

Powersystems has delivered the practical works for the design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning for the electrical infrastructure for a new radiology and therapies power supply at The Royal United Hospital, Bath.

Project facts and figures:

  • 2 new substations were integrated into the existing 6.6 kV HV system to support the LV network extension of the Radiology and Therapies Departments
  • Each substation is capable of providing approximately 1400A of LV power
  • The dual voltage transformers (11kv and 6.6kv) were 1000kva distribution transformers with oil temperature relays and earth fault passage indicators.
  • The transformers had close coupled Schneider RN2c-T2/21 200A Ring Main Units complete with VIP 300 protection relays. 

Powersystems Partnerships:

The electrical works was undertaken in partnership with J. Projects (Civils Contractor) and PRW Group

(LV Electrical Contractor).

The Royal United Hospital (RUH) major design considerations:

The main scope of work was to supply, install, test and commission a new sub-station comprising 2 HV ring main units and their close coupled transformers. From the LV side of these transformer supply cables were installed and terminated onto 2 LV switchboards in adjoining rooms. Both switchboards had the facility of essential and non-essential circuits in case of the loss of power.

The reason for this was that the RUH wanted to extend the existing HV ring system to allow for the provision of additional LV circuits to supply future installation of more MRI scanners, CT scanners and x-ray machines.

As space is at a premium on site the new sub-station was to be located between 2 existing buildings and beside a road which had to be open at all times for access for emergency vehicles.

In between the existing buildings, during excavation, it was found that the ground was full with HV cables, LV cables, BT cables, generator cables, Medical gas pipes, storm drainage, foul drainage, heating pipes, steam pipes, water pipes and unfortunately asbestos. There was also an existing standby generator for the adjoining wards and a HV substation which had to be kept in operation at all times.

To enable construction of the new sub-station all of the above services had to be diverted.

The existing HV system is 6.6kv but may be upgraded in the future to 11kv so dual voltage transformers had to be used.

A HV earthing system was installed around the sub-station base and connected into the existing HV earthing system.

Signal cables were installed and terminated between both the RMUs, the earth fault passage indicators and the winding temperature indicators onto a section of the LV switchboard to be included into the existing BMS system.

How Powersystems helped:

To allow the sub-station base to be constructed 4 existing HV cables had to be diverted away from the new construction area.
In order to carry this out the existing HV system had to be reconfigured to be able to isolate the cable to be diverted. This consisted of moving the existing open point of the system to be at one end of the cable and isolating the other end of the cable at its respective sub-station. The existing system also had to have its CHP throttled back as the operation of the HV system had been altered.
The relevant cable had to be located and exposed to enable it to be isolated, identified, spiked and new cabling jointed onto it to complete the ring. On completion of the diversion the HV system had to be reverted back to its normal operating mode for safety of circuits for the Hospital and the patients. This operation had to be carried out for all 4 cables.
The existing HV cables are a mixture of modern XLPE (Cross-Linked PolyEthylene) cables and older type PILC (Paper Insulated Lead Covered and PICAS (Paper Insulated Corrugated Aluminium Sheath) cables. Each having their own different methods of jointing and terminating. Also the existing phase rotation of the system is anti-clockwise.
We provided advice on the installation and integration of the new HV switchgear into the existing HV system.

We also provided ongoing advice during the construction phase for the sub-station construction (including ventilation, incoming HV cable access, outgoing access for the LV cables into the adjoining LV rooms, access for the transformers (the transformers were installed into position before the roof was constructed), design of the cable trenching arrangements and general compliance for HV service installations.

The results:

  • With a relationship with the RUH spanning some 20 years, again, Powersystems High voltage engineering were delighted to meet all of the critical milestones of this project.
  • The HV cable diversions were successfully carried out with respect to altering and reverting back the existing system to normal operating mode. This was crucial for the protection and preservation of supplies to enable the care to continue for vulnerable patients who did not know the works had been carried out.
  • We completed the installation within the new building constraints which could not be altered due to the close proximity of adjacent wards and an emergency services access road.
  • The project was successfully completed to provide the Hospital with the future capacity for additional medical testing facilities for the local community.

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