Laundry shrinks its energy and water costs

Thermal Energy International, steam trap
Substantial savings in energy and water costs are being achieved by this laundry following the replacement of existing steam traps with GEM venturi-orifice steam traps.

A 12% reduction in energy consumption and 30% reduction in water usage have been achieved by a hospital laundry following the installation of Thermal Energy International’s GEM venturi-orifice steam traps. MTW Linen Services is a subsidiary of Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS. It has been operating as a laundry for over 40 years and moved to its present purpose-built premises in Maidstone in 2003. Steam is used extensively throughout the laundry.

Before the GEM steam traps were installed, Mark Wildish, linen service manager with MTW, found that 10 of the 62 steam traps were failing each year, with a replacement cost of £3500. Additional costs for labour to main and replace the traps amounted to a further £5000 a year. He said, ‘When I heard about the GEM steam traps, I realised it was the way forward and asked Thermal Energy International to carry out a site survey.’

That survey indicated £26 617 saving in energy and maintenance each year, with a short-term payback.

The results were monitored by George Leedham, energy and contracts manager for Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust. He said, ‘At today’s gas prices we are saving around £24 000 a year based on a throughput of 80 000 pieces a week. I anticipate that energy savings will increase from 12 to 18% when everything settles down. Our savings are due to the removal of an inefficient condensate-return pump and that fact that we no longer have condensate losses from blown steam traps.’

Although the laundry primarily works for primary-care trusts and nursing homes, it has recently started undertaking work for commercial organisations. The throughput has increased to 120 000 items, which will help achieve an even faster payback on the cost of the GEM steam traps.

For more information on this story, click here: February 2012, 101
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