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Hospital laundry saving £14,000 a year

Published 20th April, 2012 by Neil Nixon

Hospital laundry saving £14,000 a year

St Richard’s Hospital, part of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, is making significant energy savings in its laundry department following the installation of Thermal Energy International’s GEM venturi orifice steam traps. The GEM traps are expected to save the hospital over £14,000 per annum in energy savings alone, as well as additional reductions in replacement traps and maintenance costs.

Conscious that the laundry’s mechanical steam traps were causing water vapour losses through evaporation from the hot well as well as poor condensate return, Richard Harris, head of engineering and estates standards, decided to investigate the GEM venturi designed steam traps. “We considered chemical treatment, but decided to also explore the GEM traps as we were also finding that a significant proportion of the laundry’s steam traps were failing,” he said. “As the GEM traps come with a 10 year guarantee we thought this might prove the solution.”

Thermal Energy International carried out a survey of the laundry’s steam traps using an infrared thermometer. This found that over 26% of the mechanical traps had failed partially open which was causing problems within the system. From these findings, Thermal Energy International was able to calculate that by replacing the mechanical traps with the GEM venturi design, St Richard’s Hospital would be able to save over £14,000 in energy and maintenance per annum alone, providing a short-term payback of less than two years.

“Over a 10 year period the hospital has the potential to save £155,000 on gas alone based on present costs,” said Richard Harris. “In addition, as the GEM traps do not fail, we will save money on downtime and replacement costs. A further added bonus is that the traps only have to be cleaned once a year.”

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