technical question for you

Hi, I recently started doing a different function at work in Controlled Environmental Vaults. They contain banks of batteries (like 48 marine batteries on a big rack), invertor, rectifier, equipment usually against one wall. The CEV is basically a room with all types of telecommunications equipment.
Since I'm only paced 9% of the time, I thought it wouldn't bother my PM to be by this stuff part of the day; do you think I'm right? When I'm troubleshooting a circuit, I try to stay away from the "big power-looking equipment" as much as I can, but the work area is not very big. Last week I had to spend about 1/2 hour working right in front of the big bank of batteries. In my work til now I've only had to pass by invertors, rectifiers, battery banks briefly.
Does working by these things cause any permanent damage? Or present any extreme danger to the heart itself?
I haven't felt any effects yet. I have relaxed a lot about my PM since I got it 2 years ago. I do everything I want to do so far.
I really appreciate your input.


Tech issues

by ElectricFrank - 2009-07-12 01:07:07

Here is my take on it as an electronic engineer.

First off the 9% paced isn't necessarily much help. Interference can cause it to fire paces inappropriately as well as causing it to fail to fire. Also, the 9% can be due to longer periods of pacing but only occurring occasionally. You can only go about 10-15 seconds max between heart beats without passing out.

The equipment you describe is likely battery backup where most of the time batteries are on float at low current to keep them topped off. In case of a failure of commercial power the batteries operate the inverters to provide line power. Under this circumstance the battery current is very high (likely in the hundreds of amps). When the commercial power comes back on the the rectifiers provide high charging current to restore the charge. You probably already know most of this. The problem is that high charge/discharge current will produce a large magnetic field, which can affect your pacer.

I would at the very least stay a good distance away from the batteries and any large cables connecting them to each other and to the inverters. If the main power goes off be particularly careful about staying away from them.

None of this will do any permanent damage to the pacer or your heart. It is possible that the large magnetic field could switch the pacer into its fail safe mode and need to be reset by the programmer. Also keep in mind that interference may only cause a short interuption in pacing, but if it caused you to momentarily experience being light headed you could fall into a high voltage circuit or off a ladder.

Having said all this I have been around power equipment, radio transmitters, etc. without any problem.

If you have any more questions let me know.




by jimmy412 - 2009-07-12 05:07:37

I have been in CEV's & HUT's, and you do not have much space to move from the equipment. You should see if your pacemaker company has someone who can come and test it for you. I just got my pacemaker, and I work electronics as well, and use to work inventory for a telephone company as well, so that is why I have been in those areas. They are going to have to check my work areas that I work in now before I can go back to work to see if there is any interference, before I can go back. My doctor told me they could send someone to test it, since I work with alot of older equipment back to the 1960's and 1970's and up. Better to be safe if you can.

thanks forthe info Frank

by mandogrl - 2009-07-12 11:07:19

I sent you a private message with more questions since this stuff is technical and job specific. I really appreciate your input.

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