| March 22, 2024 | Medi-Products

Why You Need an Uninterruptible Power Supply for Imaging Equipment

Backup power for MRI, C-Arms and CT Scanners


Power outages happen in our everyday lives, disrupting vital activities in an instant. Yet, we learn to work around these disruptions with creativity and wait for the power to be restored.


Unfortunately, for medical facilities, doing nothing about a power interruption isn't an option. For a medical imaging facility, this is doubly true and can lead to even more severe consequences. Having no power (or the wrong kind of power), can lead to the severe or irreparable damage of this equipment. To replace or repair an MRI machine could cost upwards of 150,000 to 3 Million dollars.


But, the good news is that a facility can limit its exposure to these unpleasant consequences. The best way? Investing in itself with excellent uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for its imaging equipment.


Below, we'll discuss all you need to know about sizing and finding the right UPS systems for imaging equipment such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and C-Arms.

How a UPS protects Medical Facilities from Power-Related Emergencies


Power Protection During Outages and Surges


A UPS protects your medical equipment by instantly powering it once a surge or outage occurs. The UPS prevents imaging equipment from shutting down for a short period. This allows for you to save what you were working on, and safely shut the system down. This ensures no data loss as well as no harm comes to patients or equipment.


Preventing Medical Data Loss


Data loss is especially costly in a modern medical facility. The challenges posed by losing patient data will be a logistical nightmare. Lost revenue. Unhappy patients. Administrative staff needing to work overtime to reschedule a cavalcade of patients.


Imagine. A busy executive rearranges their schedule because their elderly mom needs to go in for an MRI scan, but doesn't drive.

Now, imagine telling that them that you'll need to schedule another appointment because his mom’s data was lost during a brief power outage. While most people are understanding, it's not a very professional look.


Next, you'll need your administrative staff to do more work. The time it takes to coordinate and shuffle them back into the facility's schedule can be nigh impossible. This represents only one unintended consequence an power outage could cause if you're unprepared.


Preventing Damage to Your Medical Imaging Equipment


Complex imaging equipment, while incredible, can also be quite fragile.  In the worst case scenario, interruptions or surges in power can cause expensive damage to electrical components. As stated before, the cost to repair or replace this equipment can mount to tens— if not hundreds—of thousands of dollars. A repair bill that large has the ability to damage a facility of any size, even with insurance.


Ongoing equipment failures can exacerbate scheduling problems too. We return to the same scenario with our executive as before. The power outage has caused an issue with the imaging equipment, putting it out of commission.


Because you cannot perform any MRIs you cannot even begin to reschedule the appointment. At the same time, the same staff now needs to reschedule dozens of MRI exams. Maintenance may need time for either repairs, or to contact a qualified vendor. Finally, the vendor will need to diagnose, and give an estimate on when the MRI machine is working again.


The complex nature of restoring functionality to your facility is an excellent example of what a UPS system will help prevent. UPS can provide even greater benefit for rural facilities or those who experience frequent and severe weather events. An offline or standby UPS aids in preventing damage to your equipment and your office's schedule .


Why Medical Imaging Equipment Needs Clean Power


Dirty Power Vs Clean Power

An excellent UPS will provide a reliable source of clean power for your medical imaging systems. The term "clean power" refers to the power that is free of sudden spikes or dips in its sine wave—the signal wave in which electricity travels.


Sine waves tend to degrade over long distances due to signal interference. Degradation is caused by many factors. Most commonly, the culprit is old or damaged power infrastructure. This can cause rural facilities or those with locations far from their power to receive "dirty" power.


By contrast, It also common in densely populated areas. Here, the large amount of electrical equipment used results in a "noisy" current. A "noisy" current results in "dirty" power, as they are one in the same. A machine that receives "unclean power" can experience accelerated component degradation, total component burnout, or reduction in its image quality. This is especially the case with MRI or other imaging machines.

Online vs Offline UPS Systems

To combat this, most online UPS units have "clean power capabilities"—also known as power conditioning. An online UPS takes a more active role in power delivery by using a voltage regulator. Putting it simply, an online UPS is always using its inverter to deliver power to an appliance.

By contrast, offline UPS mearly allow power to pass through them to the appliance. An offline UPS will skim some power off the top to charge, but only begin inverting once the power goes out. Though, while not always, offline UPS generally begin providing battery power a bit faster during an outage.


While an online UPS ma also cost more than an offline UPS, its power conditioning capabilities are worth considering. Especially, if you are in an area prone to inconsistent or dirty power.


For a system like an MRI, which may need to be used to quickly diagnose patients in critical care, connecting its UPS to a battery backup system could be a lifesaver.


How does a UPS protect an MRI machine and Mobile C-Arms?


  • It provides under-voltage and over-voltage protection: a standard UPS has components that monitor the incoming voltage and the voltage fed to the machine.


  • Neutral drift and neutral failure: the "neutral" is a critical component for proper functioning in electrical equipment and communication software. If the neutral fails or has some drift, it will cause instant damage to the machine. Thus, an isolator transformer must be provided to protect the MRI machine from neutral drift or failure. A standard UPS will give this.


  • Protection from electromagnetic interference (EMI) and harmonics: EMIs and harmonics can cause instant machine failure. However, the UPS’ isolator transformer will isolate them from the incoming power supply and provide galvanic protection to the MRI machine.


  • Protection from high voltage transients and electrostatic discharge: the rules and regulations of IEC 62040-2 provide the standard for this protection. Any UPS worth buying should have this capability.


  • Protection from output short-circuit using pulse-by-pulse current limit protection: a standard UPS will protect your machine from any short-circuit or drawn surge power. It will also prevent your equipment from having false tripping or a complete shutdown. The pulse-by-pulse current limit protections are typically per the latest guidelines and standards.


Find Out How to Provide Backup Power for Your Medical Imaging Suite


Our battery backup systems will help to improve your UPS' performance and provide more comprehensive protection for your MRI and C-Arms. MRI backup power provides tremendous value by ensuring the safety and performance of both your book of business and some of the most expensive equipment your facility may have. 


Each of our battery backup power generators is custom-built so that your entire battery backup for medical equipment needs can be met. In addition, our staff is highly trained to help you pick the right size and type of unit.

We also have a Technical Data page that houses helpful information such as spec sheets, installation guides, testing guides, and printable logs that you can use in your business to see if a battery generator is right for you.

Please click here to schedule a consultation to determine which of our battery backup systems will be an excellent fit for you.


Battery Backup for Vaccine Refrigerators and Freezers.

Our powerful battery backup systems will instantly power multiple appliances during a power outage. These custom sized systems can provide power for up to 72 hours of runtime!