Orthopaedic hospital bones up on energy-saving steam traps

Energy costs at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital have been reduced by £53 000 a year following the replacement of 147 steam traps with GEM venturi orifice steam traps. Pictured are Matt Hardy, energy manager at RNOH (left), and Grant Bailey of Gardner Energy Management.
When the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore found that an average of 31% of its steam traps were failing each year, they were replaced with GEM venturi orifice steam traps from Gardener Energy Management. Each of the 147 GEM steam traps is reducing energy consumption by £360 a year — a total of £53 000 a year and representing just seven months in gas cost alone. The consequence of steam traps failing open is the loss of expensive steam. If they fail shut, there is the risk of water hammer or system failure. Steam is used by RNOH for a wide range of services, including feeding heat exchangers for heating and hot water in the various plant rooms. It was on a visit to an exhibition that Matt Hardy, energy manager at the hospital, was briefed on how GEM steam traps could help save energy. That visit led to a full site survey by Gardener Energy Management’s regional engineer. The new steam traps were installed during the summer without disrupting the site’s steam services. In addition to the energy savings, the costs of replacing steam traps and maintenance have both been reduced. The new traps require cleaning once a year. The RNOH also felt that water treatment was an important part of the overall efficiency of the steam system and took out an ongoing maintenance agreement for water treatment with GEMChem, a subsidiary of Gardner Energy Management. Instead of using a valve to close off steam, GEM steam traps have a patented venturi orifice to drain condensate from the steam systems. There are no moving parts to wedge open or fail. The are made of stainless steel and guaranteed for 10 years.
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