Salisbury District Hospital gains green rewards from combined heat and power

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Salisbury District Hospital is using an innovative low carbon energy generation system to save money, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and ensure patient comfort.

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust partnered with cogeneration specialists ENER-G to supply a combined heat and power (CHP) and district heating system.

This is generating the majority of the hospital’s heating and low temperature hot water requirements and a third of its electricity needs. In addition, the district heating scheme is feeding hot water and heating to its spinal treatment centre and day surgery unit, located in separate buildings.

The 850kWe ENER-G CHP system is reducing carbon dioxide emissions while releasing cash savings to the Trust of more than £240,000 per year.

Tony McDermott, Business Development Manager (Healthcare) for ENER-G Combined Power Ltd, said: “Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust is demonstrating leadership in reducing carbon and proving that utilising energy efficient CHP makes financial sense too. By generating low cost energy, the CHP system will pay for itself within five years. The electricity produced is also exempt from Climate Change Levy carbon taxes, which increases the return on investment.

“The district heating system provides the perfect constant warm temperature required by people recovering from spinal injuries at the specialist treatment centre. The CHP system satisfies normal heat requirements, with the back up boilers used if there is peak demand.”

ENER-G’s engineering team created a 520 metre network of pipes to deliver the heat and low temperature hot water from the CHP unit to the spinal treatment centre and neighbouring day surgery unit.

Because the CHP system is housed in an energy centre within the main hospital site, ENER-G designed and manufactured a low noise unit (65dba at 1m). Other challenges faced were space restraints within the existing boiler house, combined with a need to carry out speedy installation and commissioning to avoid disruption to hospital patients, staff or visitors.

The system uses an MTU engine and achieved over 95% utilisation in its first 12 months, with availability averaging 97%.

ENER-G is responsible for maintaining and servicing the CHP and district heating system. The company offers the broadest combined heat and power product range (4kW to 10MW) in the UK market and has accumulated more than 30 million hours of operating experience across 1,400 installed cogeneration systems – powered by natural gas, biogas, diesel, propane or biodiesel.

ENER-G has delivered 65 low and zero carbon projects in the healthcare sector, including major projects for The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and at Royal Shrewsbury, Royal Sunderland, Chelsea and Westminster and Darlington hospitals.

Combined heat and power (CHP) is a well-proven technology, recognised worldwide as a cleaner and cheaper alternative to traditional centralised generation. It provides the simultaneous generation of electricity and useful heat and is around twice as efficient as conventional power generation where the generated heat is wasted and further losses of approximately 7% occur in transporting the electricity from remote power stations to end users.

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