The use of a combined heat and power production (CHP) plant in a hospital is an excellent application of cogeneration systems, contributing to advanced energy efficiency and environmental protection. CHP and trigeneration systems achieve significant savings on the limited financial resources of hospitals, combining electric, heating and cooling load coverage with the benefits of clean-burning low carbon emission natural gas.
Hospitals by their nature consume a lot of energy in a number of forms including:
Electricity – required to power the lighting and equipment of the facility
Hot water – For cleaning & general use
Steam – For sterilization, cleaning
Cooling – For refrigeration, freezing and air conditioning systems.
Each of these energy forms of energy can be produced at high efficiency with the utilization of a CHP facility.
The trend of modern practice is the improvement of efficiency, not only for environmental but also for economic reasons. This can be achieved by improving the efficiency of fuel combustion in the engines and reducing the carbon emissions.
Separate electric supply from the city grid and heat production in oil burning boilers to cover the high demands of a hospital can lead to low energy efficiency, depletion of financial resources and environmental disturbance. Using CHP plants that utilize gas-burning internal combustion engines means that only one fuel source is purchased to achieve both the production of electric power and heat. That leads to high efficiency, fuel economy and thus minimum expenses.
The next step is a trigeneration system. This utilizes surplus heat to generate cold water in an absorption chiller. The conversion efficiency of a gas engine is very high (>90%) and therefore can result in long-term operational cost savings for the hospital.
The benefits of CHP in Hospitals
Energy savings compared to the separate purchase or production of electricity and heat.
Financial benefits that can be diverted to fund the infrastructure of the hospital.
Environmental benefits related to reduced carbon emissions.
Flexible technology that can be used to provide electricity, heating and cooling if required.