Solihull Hospital, managed by The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and based near to Solihull town centre, provides a range of outpatient, inpatient and emergency care services for its local community.
The £5.7 million trigeneration system creates low carbon electricity, together with steam or hot water for winter heating, and chilled water for use in the air conditioning systems during the warmer summer months.
The combined heat and power system will generate annual cost savings of £293,000, without any capital investment. The low carbon power generation system will also cut annual carbon dioxide emissions by 1,920 tonnes – the equivalent environmental benefit of a forest of 192,000 trees.
Solihull’s trigeneration project was the catalyst for an ambitious project by ENER-G to de-steam the site, involving a strategic refurbishment of the site’s electricity, heating and cooling infrastructure. The Solihull Hospital previously produced steam in a central boiler house that delivered the means to heat, ventilate and provide domestic hot water through the hospital buildings. However, the infrastructure was, inefficient, and the distribution pipework was expensive to maintain and prone to leaks. The central boiler house plant was also at the end of its useful life and unreliable. So the Trust took a bold decision to de-steam the site and cut back on energy costs, while improving interior climate comfort for patients, staff, and visitors.
The steam boiler system was replaced with distributed gas-fired boilers as well as new distribution circuits, heat exchangers to interface with the existing heating services, and replacement steam frost coils in the air handling units. The new system is designed with a central trigeneration natural gas Powered MTU CHP unit, providing 770kWe to the site HV ring, together with heat to new ring mains, or a 340kW absorption chiller. As part of the programme, three new mains gas supplies have been installed.