Case Study: Leading The Way In Hospital Energy Management

To This Nationally Recognized Hospital - Energy Efficiency Is Critical To Public Health

One of the nation's top hospitals, serving the greater New York metropolitan area with multiple campuses, takes a holistic approach to public health. 

"Clean air is important to public health, so reducing emissions helps clean up the air for a healthier population." - Hospital representative

As a member of The Carbon Challenge in New York City, the hospital is committed to the role they play to help mitigate climate change by reducing carbon emissions.

"The Carbon Challenge is a voluntary leadership initiative and public-private partnership between the Mayor's Office of Sustainability and leaders in the private, institutional, and non-profit sectors who have committed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 30% or more over ten years."

Unique Challenges - and Opportunities - When You Generate Your Own Energy

As a member of The Carbon Challenge, the hospital recognized the need to partner with utility and energy plant experts. The unique infrastructure required a partner with specialized knowledge and experience according to Erich Hesse, Senior Systems Engineer at utiliVisor:

"The hospital generates its own electricity. They also generate their chilled water to distribute to the campus. And they're distributing it to the universities they're associated with.

They are their own utilities, which is smart from a resiliency standpoint - they're not dependent on any utility for generating. 

And while being a utility gives a lot more flexibility and self-sufficiency, standardizing operations can be a real challenge." 

With an understanding of the hospital’s unique challenges - as well as their unique energy opportunities - utiliVisor was awarded the contract in 2010. 

utiliVisor created a customized approach to energy management and has continued to provide oversight and training to the on-site team for over ten years. 

“utiliVisor has done a really great job reducing our energy consumption. utiliVisor has saved us $1 million per year for each campus - so, total $20 million for the hospital since 2010.” - Hospital representative

When You Have Years of Energy Visualization and Monitoring of Equipment Performance

At just one of the hospital’s campuses, utiliVisor monitors over 2,000 different points, including temperatures, steam pressures, flows, amperage, and kilowatts of various pieces of equipment. The collection of data is set at five-minute intervals.

So, every five minutes, utiliVisor takes readings from different points throughout the campus’ boiler rooms, chillers, and air handlers. 

utiliVisor's holistic approach not only gives plant operators an accurate visualization of all energy consumption, but the real-time data combined with on-going oversight allows the on-site team and the utiliVisor team to optimize the entire energy plant continually. 

"We can take that data and then see how different pieces of equipment are performing. utiliVisor provides recommendations to our plant operators to say: run chiller three and not chiller four, or don't run this boiler at certain times because it's short cycling, or it's oversized there, or whatever.

They can give recommendations to our plant operators, and if we didn't have all these data points, we'd never have this amount of visibility." - Hospital representative

The consistent monitoring of systems and data over ten years creates opportunities to identify issues quickly, while also making the optimization of equipment and qualification for energy efficiency incentives easier.

Why Accurate and Visible Data Is Critical When Equipment Isn't Performing

The hospital was having a lot of tube failures with the boilers. The feed water was causing the boiler tubes to degrade. Scale would accumulate on the boiler tubes, and then the boiler tubes would overheat, deform, and then fail.

Replacing the tubes was a costly endeavor, so an evaluation by the boiler manufacturer and an engineering firm determined there was a water treatment issue, and a condensate polisher would be the best way to improve the boiler water quality. 

"We were looking to install a condensate polisher on the boilers, which would remove the impurities from the boiler feedwater, while it's still hot. So there'll be less scaling on the boilers and less blowdown, which will improve the efficiency of the boilers." - Hospital representative

The condensate polisher was a unique energy-saving measure that the hospital needed to justify with an accurate calculation of future energy cost savings along with qualifying for a Con Edison incentive.

The Secret That Makes Obtaining Incentives for Energy Optimization Projects Easier

With ten years of historical data, utiliVisor helped the hospital develop calculations to project the energy savings of the condensate polisher. The team discovered that the condensate polisher would generate between two and three percent of the annual fuel consumed by the boilers in savings.

Those calculations were submitted to Con Edison for their utility incentive. 

"We can go as deep in the weeds as Con Edison wants to go. We can provide them with ten years worth of historical data. That helps us in obtaining these incentives. 

These aren't made up numbers. utiliVisor has the hard data that we've recorded all the way back to 2010. We have five minutes of all this trend, showing how the efficiencies of the boilers have changed over the years. How our steam consumption has changed. How water has changed... It's what ConEd likes to see." - Hospital representative

The condensate polisher will save the hospital two to three percent in energy costs annually. In obtaining the Con Edison incentive, even more savings are achieved, and the money reallocated back to the hospital.  

“Condensate polishers are about a $3 million project. When we got $715,000 back, we almost paid for 25% of the project with money that's not ours. So that $750,000 comes back to the hospital, and we can use that on another project that's going to get us even more additional energy efficiency.”
Conclusion

Over ten years of energy management provides the hospital with accurate, raw data that leads to long-term optimization and energy savings opportunities. 

Additionally, the fully integrated energy management system bridges the communication gap between team members - giving everyone from operations and engineers to the executive management team access to clear, concise, and actionable insights about the hospital’s overall energy usage.

Need a partner with a proven track record of optimizing energy management in hospitals?

utiliVisor can help you take control of energy expenditures and create a plan to increase efficiencies, train your staff, and save money—all with minimal capital expenditure.

Contact us here to talk to one of our energy experts.

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