HydroChem was proud to once again sponsor the recent IHEA national conference held in Perth, Western Australia, in September 2015.

This was a fantastic 3-day event, which showcased cutting edge developments in health infrastructure and innovative solutions to the challenges that hospital engineers encounter in older facilities. The Fiona Stanley Hospital & the Perth Children’s Hospital were the stars of the show.

In this 3 part series we highlight the key takeaways.

Technology is transforming building management system contracts in the healthcare industry

Technology is transforming building management system contracts, as explained by Vince Simpson from IBMS. Vince pointed out that the challenge is for maintenance contracts to shift away from labour intensive tasks associated with checking and calibration of field points. Instead, current day analytics should capture the data and graph trends and enable operational performance of the overall systems to be monitored. An algorithm can help detect errors and a desktop review efficiently enables building managers to focus on what is important and respond appropriately.

At the other end of the spectrum Roderick Woodford from Castlemaine Health shared how through a series of innovations, he was able to reduce the costs of electricity, gas and water. This was achieved using the same principals of data collection and analysis, to understand where savings could be made. The two natural gas burners were found to be a problem and a new burner was introduced with a variable speed drive supply fan to match the boiler to increase in load. This included reducing consumption with more cost effective appliances such as new clothes and dish washers, LED lights, a VSD fan in the kitchen and reclaimed water to supply toilets. Over seven years these changes effectively neutralised the cost of his position, delivering on a promise he had made to his CEO when originally appointed.

Kieran McLean from Siemens described how the implementation of their Demand Flow process at Robina Hospital, Queensland, optimised the chiller plant and achieved a 25% reduction in plant consumption. Robina Hospital has expanded to become the 6th largest hospital in Queensland and in this process multiple chiller plants were added, creating a complex system that had a number of energy inefficiencies. Typically, the five major energy consumers sub-system of the Chilled Water network are chillers, chilled water pumps, condenser water pumps, cooling tower fans and air handling units. Demand Flow optimises the performance of all energy consuming sub-systems holistically. Kieran pointed out that a quality water treatment and maintenance program, combined with filtration, is one of the first steps to optimise efficiency of the cooling system. If this is in order, Demand Flow can achieve significant savings through Chiller Plant Optimisation.

After a 12-month analysis of the chilled water network at Robina Hospital, a variable speed control strategy on chilled water and condenser water pumps was implemented and system bypasses were removed. Cooling tower flow was optimised and the Chillers’ pressure and temperature set points were set to maximise operating times at the ‘sweet-spot’.

The efficiency improvements meant the facility was able to operate solely on their most efficient Chiller plant, three centrifugal Water Cooled Chillers that are able to cope with variable flow. This enabled their two older plants to be decommissioned and secondary benefits of reduction in water consumption. Dehumidification control was also targeted through the hospital. All these improvements equated to 676,216 kWh per annum in energy savings and 554 tonnes of CO2 emissions with an anticipated 3-year payback.