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A Healthy Way to Handle Power Outages

Pro Health Care Inc. developed the concept of a health and fitness center designed to meet the needs of the community in and around suburban Waukesha, Wisconsin. Out of this vision, West Wood Health & Fitness Center was built on a highly visible site along the Interstate 94 highway corridor, to provide easy access to 
commuters and residents of this Milwaukee-area suburb.

Currently, the majority of “health clubs” focus on a younger clientele, because that’s where they believe the business is. Today’s young adults join a spa or health club to stay healthy and fit, wanting to look like the people they see in magazines, on TV, or in the movies. West Wood, on the other hand, has chosen to concentrate on the baby boom generation. Since forty-one percent of retirees in the state live in the Waukesha / Milwaukee metro area, this has proven to be a wise and successful marketing strategy.

Even though it caters to the older adult population, the center provides a variety of services for people of all ages. West Wood offers a wide range of medically directed fitness activities for improving and maintaining the health and well-being of its members.

Inside the spacious 86,000-square-foot building is a full array of modern facilities. The first floor includes a full-court basketball gymnasium (which can also convert into two volleyball courts) and two racquetball courts. There are also five pools — a 110,000-gallon recreational pool, a 35,000-gallon therapy pool, and three whirlpools, including one in each locker room.

The second floor offers a vast selection of weightlifting and cardiovascular exercise equipment, such as treadmills, stair steppers, exercise bikes, and much more. Nearby, there is an area with three types of resistance training equipment, plus free weights. A rubberized running track surrounds almost the entire second level.

West Wood’s experience has shown that severe weather and ongoing utility work around the fitness center are common causes of power outages. Since a power interruption inconveniences people at the center, West Wood needed a way to ensure it would have electricity regardless of an outage, which is why a backup power generator was essential to safeguard its members.

Before the installation of the generator, West Wood had only a battery-powered emergency lighting system. “The system was very inadequate because the batteries would drain and would need constant replacing,” says building manager Jason Moll. “We were looking for a better, more reliable system.”

The solution was a 180-kilowatt diesel-fueled Generac Genset and  Generac automatic transfer switch. After consulting with Wolter’s Power Systems group, West Wood’s management found this system to be cost-effective and met its needs for backup power.

The standby generator allows West Wood members to finish their workout, change clothes, and exit safely during a power outage. When running, the generator supplies power to the first and second floors, the hot water pump, elevators, and 104 emergency lights. The Genset is equipped with a 300-gallon tank and can run anywhere from six to seventeen hours depending on the electrical load it supports and the fuel available.

Five months after the system was installed, West Wood encountered its first power interruption. The outage lasted about two and one-half hours. The generator started within seconds after the utility power went down, and provided electricity to the first and second floors until the power company service returned.

“We’re very happy with the generator because now we can provide better services and a safer environment during a power interruption,” said Jason Moll. “If an outage persists, our guests can finish their routine, shower as they  normally would, and go home without being inconvenienced by a blackout.”

“It was great working with West Wood,” said Wolter’s Power Systems group. “They let us know what their requirements were, and we proposed a couple of systems with different kilowatt outputs for their consideration. They selected the enclosed 180 kW diesel unit to support their most important electrical circuits, giving them the backup coverage they need.”

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ProHealth West Wood Generac Generator

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