Remote monitoring of health facility power installations increases the speed, effectiveness, and value of maintenance activities.

Remote monitoring is a process that allows technicians to see instantaneous and historical energy system performance data and evaluate if the system is operating according to expectations. This is achieved through the automation of data collection, transmission, storage, and, sometimes, processing. Specialized data acquisition hardware must be procured and integrated with the health-care facility energy system in order to provide this additional functionality. The facility must also have internet connectivity—either through wired, cellular, satellite, or radio connections. While the data acquisition hardware and data transmission involve extra costs, it is expected that those costs are lower than sending a technician to conduct regular site visits to measure and test energy system functionality.

Remote monitoring is used in many industries for many applications, so there is a wide range of products that can be selected to facilitate remote monitoring of a health-care facility. Battery banks, photovoltaic (PV) arrays, and facility loads can all be easily monitored and provide the system operator valuable information on system performance. Performance monitoring can also provide feedback on the suitability of the energy system design. A remote monitoring system will include the same basic components—sensors, data acquisition hardware (data logger), a power supply, and a modem or radio.

Remote monitoring is dependent on being able to transmit data from the remote energy system to the technician’s location. Data communication is most cost-effectively implemented over the internet; it is cheaper to connect a remote site to the internet than it is to run a line or a series of wireless relays between the energy system site and the technician’s computer. The energy system site can connect to the internet through a wired (e.g., telephone wires), cellular, or satellite connection. In some cases, it is possible to relay data between two points using radio connections like Wi-Fi.

The remote monitoring system will communicate with a server that will store and possibly process the raw energy system performance data. This server may be owned by the organization responsible for monitoring the energy system, the manufacturers of the energy system equipment, or a third party. For any of these cases, the technician must be able to access the data, analyze it, and then act on it.

Additional Resources

  • Technical Standards

    Remote Monitoring Standards

    Remote monitoring utilizes multiple communication protocols that enable data loggers to transfer data over long distances. View the standards