CHP is at heart of new energy centre for Birmingham Heartlands Hospital

This 1165 kW CHP unit is at the heart of a new energy centre installed by Ener-g Combined Power that will save a Birmingham Hospital £688 000 a year.

The £5 million energy programme that has now been switched on at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital is expected to save £688 000 a year and reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 1627 t a year — as well as reducing emissions of other harmful gases such as sulphur dioxide.

This combined-heat-and-power system enables the hospital to generate its own electricity in a purpose-designed energy centre.

The new energy centre was installed by Ener-g Combined Power to replace ageing coal-fired boilers. It comprises a gas-fired trigeneration system to generate electricity, steam and hot water for winter heating and chilled water for the air-conditioning systems during the summer.

Improving the chilled-water system has enabled air conditioning to reach parts of the hospital that were not previously serviced.

Geoff Fox, facilities manager of estates at Heartlands, explains, ‘We were attracted to this new system as not only will it save money and conserve resources, but it also complies with Government targets to cut down carbon emissions and damaging greenhouse gas.’

The £5 million programme was financed by Ener-g Combined Power and structured around the principles of a Public Private Partnership contract. It included a £403 000 grant from the Carbon Trust under the Government’s Community Energy Programme. Ener-g provides the Heart of England NHS Foundation trust with a guaranteed level of performance for 15 years.

Ener-g installed and maintains the purpose-built energy centre. It houses the 1165 kW CHP plant, steam-raising boilers and a 300 kW absorption chiller.

The lighting system has also been upgraded with 1800 high-efficiency low-energy fittings.

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