The CHP unit forms part of a new gas hot water system that will replace the hospital's ageing coal-fired steam boiler plant. The scheme will reduce emissions from the Fairfield site by 53% and release savings in the order of £600,000 per year for reinvestment in patient services.
Fairfield General Hospital is run by The Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust, which serves the communities of North Manchester, Bury, Rochdale and Oldham, along with the surrounding towns and villages. The Trust provides a range of elective emergency, district general services, some specialist services and operates from four sites: Fairfield General Hospital; North Manchester General Hospital; The Royal Oldham Hospital and Rochdale Infirmary.
Cogenco, Veolia's* specialist packaged CHP team, will supply and commission the 520 kWe CHP unit under a £250,000 contract for Ellesmere Engineering, the design and build contractor overseeing the replacement of the coal-fired steam system. "We've opted to replace the old system with gas-fired plant, including the CHP unit from Cogenco. A low pressure hot water ring main will supply 13 remote plant rooms, doing away with the steam-fed calorifiers Fairfield has at the moment," explained Paul Garnett, director at Ellesmere Engineering.
To ensure that there is no downtime in services to patients, the coal-fired steam plant will be kept running while the new system is installed, with the steam systems progressively reduced over time. Engineering work is expected to be completed by the end of July 2014. "This latest success highlights the effectiveness of CHP units in hospitals - Cogenco has now supplied over 70 units to healthcare facilities," said Stuart Metcalfe, business development manager at Cogenco. "We are seeing many Trusts move away from coal and steam in hospitals as the carbon reduction and running cost savings can be significant."
The desteaming and CHP scheme has been made possible by a grant of £2.4 million from the Government's Energy Fund, a £50 million capital fund for 2013-14 to drive new and innovative projects to improve energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of the NHS. The environmental challenge placed on NHS Trusts by the Government's Carbon Reduction Strategy means that the Trust must reduce its carbon emissions by 10% by 2015.
John Wilkes, director of facilities at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "This is excellent news not only for the staff and the patients who we treat here at Fairfield General Hospital, but to the local population and communities surrounding the hospital site. As you would imagine, the running of hospitals is very expensive, not only in maintenance but in power. Not only will the new gas boiler plant be much more efficient, it will bring other benefits by helping to provide a cleaner site by removing the soot and coal dust emissions from the existing boiler plant."
*On 25th July 2104 Dalkia adopted the Veolia group name.