Blackpool Victoria Hospital made a priority of cutting their carbon emissions and invested £1.5 million in a CHP energy scheme installed by Vital Energi, who also act as Energy Service Company.
“The end result of the CHP scheme when it is fully installed later this year, should be a much better level of overall energy efficiency with the side benefit of increased levels of staff and patient comfort. The increased efficiency will also make a significant difference to our utility costs allowing us to spend more of our budget on the key area of providing best care for patients.”
Barry McEwan Director of Facilities, Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals NHS Trust
Blackpool Victoria Hospital (BVH), a large acute hospital treating patients across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre has made a strong commitment to reducing their carbon footprint, appointing Vital Energi to deliver an ambitious £1.5m scheme to upgrade and improve their existing energy facilities.
Aimed at cutting the NHS’s environmental impact, the NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy for England sets ambition, focus and direction for the NHS sector to drive change towards a more sustainable, low carbon healthcare system. Consequently BVH have developed their own carbon reduction strategy in a bid to improve the energy efficiency of all areas on the hospital’s estate.
The hospital has relied upon an aging steam system to provide heating and hot water across the site which over the years has become inefficient and more up-to-date, sustainable technologies promised to deliver significant financial savings in addition to reduced CO2 emissions.
Vital Energi was awarded this important contract through a competitive bidding process on the basis of the company's reputation in the marketplace and value for money, as well as its specific in-house skills and experience of delivering turnkey energy efficient projects combined with finance, design and build and long term operation and maintenance of the entire energy infrastructure. This complex project involves many technical challenges in integrating the new plant without crucially affecting the day to day running of the hospital.
Working closely with the client, Vital Energi produced a detailed design and construction solution involving replacement of part of the aged steam plant and financing, re-design, supply, installation and commissioning of new energy efficient plant and equipment providing heating, electrical power and cooling services in a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly way.
This environmentally friendly solution includes the design and installation of 1.2MWe gas fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant housed with the existing energy centre to generate electricity for use in the hospital reducing the site’s electricity demand from the national grid, with the waste heat utilised for heating and hot water. In order to maximize efficiency, two old boilers have been removed and replaced with a 6 tonne per hour combination dual fuel steam boiler, carefully designed to re-use the waste heat from the CHP engine to produce steam.
A 350kW absorption chiller and adiabatic cooler system situated at roof level, designed supplied and installed by Vital Energi will take advantage of the waste heat from the CHP to provide cooling to the hospital when heating requirements in the summer months are reduced.
Vital Energi are also responsible for the design, supply, installation and commissioning of a new local HV electrical substation. This new 1,250KVA transformer includes a low voltage electrical distribution panel replacing the existing 500KVA arrangement. The work will facilitate the connection of the new CHP engine and re-enforce the local electrical infrastructure.
The works also includes the design and installation and routing of the interconnecting LTHW distribution pipe network from the energy centre to the absorption chiller, a challenging task due to the limited space available and positioning restrictions around existing pipework, plant and equipment.
Vital Energi has entered into a long term energy service agreement with BVH with responsibility for the financing the capital cost of the complete CHP system combined with operation, maintenance and management performance for a minimum of 16 years. The benefits of this arrangement to the hospital are that they pay for their electricity at a pre-arranged price per kW, with risk and responsibility transferred back to Vital Energi, allowing them greater certainty about future costs, as well as simplified budget and cash management; dispensing with significant overheads associated with managing their existing energy systems.
According to the Carbon Energy Trust, the installation met the Department of Health (DoH) targets of reducing CO2 emissions by 15% and also achieved substantial financial savings.
Through improved efficiency of the energy systems infrastructure and in line with the Trust’s carbon reduction strategy, these measures will achieve primary energy reduction savings of around 15% equating to 1,700 tonnes of carbon each year bringing both environmental and economic benefits to the hospital.