NFPA 99, 1999 edition, identifies three types of electrical distribution systems:
Hospitals must comply with Type 1 electrical distribution system requirements as found in Chapter 3.
and Limited Care Facilities comply with type 2 requirements.
"Other" Health Care Facilities comply with Type 3 requirements.
The provisions for Nursing Homes begin with Chapter 3-5.2.2. Two distributions systems are required: the Emergency System and the Critical System.
If the overall demand on the essential electrical system is under 120kW you may use a single automatic transfer switch. If it is larger than 120kW you must use separate automatic transfer siwtches for emergency and critical.
I always recommend separate distribution panels for emergency and critical. That way you keep it clear how you distribute your load.
For a type 2 system the Emergency System equipment that must be included is listed in Chapter 3-184.108.40.206. This includes things such as exit signs, alarm systems, illumination, phones, elevator cab lighting, etc. Nothing, other than the equipment listed in chapter 3-220.127.116.11, may be included.
For a type 2 system the Critical System equipment allows more leeway. It includes such things as smoke control equipment, kitchen hoods, sump pumps, and climate control systems as listed in chapter 3-18.104.22.168.
Generators and automatic transfer switches as well as their appurtenant devices employ high voltages that can hurt you. Do not attempt to work with this equipment unless you are qualified. Observe all rules and cautions found in the manufacturer’s manuals as well as NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.
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