New steam traps achieve big savings for hospital
A hospital in Wigan expected to save over £48 000 a year in fuel and maintenance costs following the installation of Thermal Energy’s GEM venturi-orifice steam traps to replace the previous steam traps. A total of 157 Gem steam traps have been installed across the site of Wigan Infirmary, with a projected payback of just under two years from steam savings, increased efficiency, maintenance of failed traps and carbon offset value costs.
Steam is used by the hospital for a range of services — including heating and hot-water heat exchangers in various plant rooms, space heating, AHU batteries and humidification.
A survey by Thermal Energy International found that 2% of the traps had failed to open, wasting large amounts of steam. 1% had failed partially open, allowing smaller amounts of steam to pass. A further 2% had failed and closed, causing condensate to back up and create wet steam, corrosion problems and water hammer.
It was calculated that steam losses accounted for over 200 MWh a year.
Research by Queen’s University, Belfast, has shown that GEM steam traps achieve an average reduction of 11.5% in the portion of the boiler fuel bill that is used to generate trapped steam. These steam traps have no moving parts, so they require minimal maintenance and no spares, testing or monitoring equipment.
Mark Hogan, energy environmental manager in the hospital’s estates and facilities department, says, ‘Our first-quarter calculations show a 16% decrease in fuel costs following the conversion to GEM. Calculating the load using degree-day analysis, we are enjoying a 10% overall reduction of fuel usage.’