Redundancy powers Texas hospital

Doctors Hospital at Renaissance (DHR) in Edinburg, Texas, is a 90-acre medical complex with an east and west campus that includes seven different medical centers, three central cooling plants, and a 506-bed, full-service facility with a medical staff of more than 500 physicians.


Doctors Hospital at Renaissance (DHR) in Edinburg, Texas, is a 90-acre medical complex with an east and west campus that includes seven different medical centers, three central cooling plants, and a 506-bed, full-service facility with a medical staff of more than 500 physicians. The hospital encompasses more than 1 million sq ft of space.


For the first 10 years of operation, the hospital's planning team relied on the traditional solution for backup power generators. As the hospital expanded, the facility managers consulted with the MEP engineering firm GPM Engineering , Corpus Christi, Texas. In 2003, GPM was visited by Generac Industrial Power , Waukesha, Wis. The team came to introduce GPM to Generac's Modular Power System (MPS).


The Generac MPS combines the output of multiple generators without the need for space-consuming paralleling switchgear that is typical of traditional paralleled systems. Redundancy and expandability are built into the system since each genset features onboard paralleling capabilities, which allows the unit to achieve N + 1 or greater coverage simply by adding modular generators of the appropriate size.


In 2008, a 200,000-sq-ft, 105-bed Women's Hospital at Renaissance was added to the east campus. During construction of the new Women's Hospital in 2007, Generac introduced the Bi-Fuel generator, combining diesel fuel (30%) with natural gas (70%) in configurations of 600 to 9,000 kW of power. With the MPS Bi-Fuel option, the hospital extended its single-engine run time by about six times that of straight diesel.


As space outside the Women's Hospital was limited, the team recommended that DHR invest in the Generac Twin Pack genset. An option of the MPS, the Twin Pack consolidates two 500-kW engines operating within a single, weather-resistant, sound-attenuated enclosure. The result is 1,000 kW of power in a confined space. John Rustick, DHR's associate administrator and director of engineering, ordered 12 Bi-Fuel generators, two sets of 3 x 750 kW Gemini Bi-Fuel gensets, and 4,500 kW of backup power for the new Women's Hospital and adjacent central cooling plant.


The hospital's backup power system was put to the test in 2008 when Hurricane Dolly rushed ashore with wind gusts higher the 100 mph and rainfall of more than 16 in. The Category 1 storm caused more than 212,000 people to be without power in the Rio Grande Valley. “The Generac engines whirled into action instantly and kept us operating for 14 hours before we got power restored. Not a single venue on campus was without power,” Rustick said.


Sixty days later, a main switching gear blew up on the main power supply line to the Women's Hospital from DHR's electric utility. Due to Generac's modular platform, the units ran continuously for 13 straight days. The smaller, modular units allowed the engine to go off-line occasionally for rest and maintenance without sacrificing any power needs.


DHR engineers requested that their older, single engine units be replaced by MPS systems. Today, out of a total of 25 engines on the two campuses, only two 2 MW large engines still remain.


Information provided by Generac









The Doctors Hospital at Renaissance (DHR) is a 90-acre medical complex comprised of more than 1 million sq ft of space. The 2008 addition of the Women's Hospital at Renaissance included a 200,000-sq-ft, 105-bed facility in the east campus.




The facility managers selected Generac Bi-Fuel generator, which combines diesel fuel (30%) with natural gas (70%) in configurations of 600 and 9,000 kW of power. The MPS Bi-Fuel option selected by the DHR staff included:




  • Two 500-kW engines operating within a single enclosure

  • 12 Bi-Fuel generators

  • Two sets of 3 x 750 kW Gemini Bi-Fuel gensets

  • 4,500 kW of backup power.

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