Established in 1969, HHC is a public benefit corporation that owns and operates public hospitals and clinics in New York City. It serves 1.4 million patients per year across different areas and healthcare departments. It is responsible for one third of all emergency department visits in New York City. Through one of its branches it is also the largest provider of government sponsored health insurance, a choice for nearly half a million New Yorkers. The organization is headquartered in Manhattan and it is operates 11 different acute care facilities across the city, including the oldest public hospital in the United States, the Bellevue Hospital. HHC also counts with seven different diagnostic and treatment centers, and 70 community based primary care sites and has been awarded several grants in recognition to the public benefit they provide to all New Yorkers
Their facilities provide around 225,000 inpatient hospital admissions, requiring them to ensure all facilities, heating systems, and steam use are in the best condition possible. APM Steam is currently serving 15 of the 18 different hospital, clinics and rehabilitation centers including the Bellevue Hospital.
The Steam System
With over 3,000 steam traps to be tested, and over a dozen heat exchangers to be cleaned, across 15 distinct facilities, servicing the vast HHC steam system requires careful planning and coordination between teams at the corporate level, the individual hospital staff, and APM. In addition, the steamfitting work was done as required in collaboration with the Local 638 staff. The goal for everyone involved was to improve the efficiency of the steam system, with minimal disruption to operations, as the steam system is critical for many applications in the hospital, including humidification, sterilization and heating.
Well integrated projects deliver impressive results
In 2016, HHC decided to survey and repair their steam traps and awarded the project to APM. On the first round of surveys across 15 facilities, we identified baseline savings of about 2 million dollars on steam trap repairs, not including insulation or the savings from recommendations we made regarding improvements to the condensate return system, valves and other items. On average, the repair projects had a simple payback period of about 4 months, with some of them as low as 78 days.
On the first round of surveys we identified over 2 million dollars in savings. Projects’ payback period were 4 months on average.
As our team canvassed the HHC complex, we not only identified significant opportunities for savings by repairing steam traps, but also, we knew that HHC could benefit from adding insulation to many of the traps in the system. Insulation improves the the energy efficiency of the system as a whole and has the added safety benefit of reducing the number on surfaces that could burn maintenance staff.
Lastly, APM performed cleaning in-place for a number of heat exchangers and replaced a tube bundle. Cleaning heat exchangers in-place minimized the downtime of the system to only a few hours per unit instead of days, while still providing noticeable improvements in the efficiency of heat transfer between the steam and water sides of the exchanger. The improvement on heat transfer is achieved by removing the scale accumulated over the years with a biodegradable, safe-to-drain, wash. The result for HHC was a reduction in energy consumed – as less steam is needed to heat up the water side – and minimal disruption to the system.
The collection of individual projects completed for HHC required the diligent planning and engagement of every department at APM. From the sales team, to logistics, engineering and accounting, everyone at APM had a hand on ensuring the successful completion and documentation of every project. Our team thrives on challenging projects, so if your facility needs best-in-class execution from a team that is experienced on a diverse array of services and staffing environments, please do not hesitate to contact us for a quick consultation.