The University of Vermont Medical Center is comprised of three historical hospitals: The Mary Fletcher Hospital, Vermont’s first hospital, which was built in 1876; the UVM Fanny Allen campus which stands on the former site of the Fanny Allen Hospital, built in 1984; and the University Health Center, which was built in 1924 and now makes up the UVM Medical Center UHC Campus. Over half of practicing physicians in Vermont have received their residency from the UVM Medical Center as it is one of 138 academic medical centers in the country.
APM has been providing quality service to the 562-bed facility since 2011, helping the UVM Medical Center run their steam system as efficiently as possible as they focus on continuing to provide quality care to their patients and further their academic research.
The Steam System
APM was contracted by UVMC to survey several buildings across their campus, containing over 500 steam traps, and over 20 different heat exchangers. As it is common on healthcare facilities, the steam traps to be surveyed were located in a wide range of environments, including machine rooms, kitchens, basements, boiler rooms, and nearby patient areas. Our field staff at APM has extensive experience on how to perform our services efficiently, safely and without disturbing patient care.
The power of compounding energy savings
The facilities management staff at UVM Medical Center understands that taking a comprehensive approach to energy savings yields the best results. When they approach APM, they asked our team to build a comprehensive program for them; consequently, we recommended starting with a steam trap survey to let our staff become familiar with the facility and assess the most cost-effective opportunities for energy savings.
After surveying the campus for the first time, APM identified over $50,000 in yearly savings from repairing defective traps, and in addition, we proposed insulation for selected traps, and cleaning in-place of several of their heat exchangers.
On the first year survey, APM identified over $50,000 in steam losses.
While savings for steam traps are widely documented, estimating energy savings from cleaning in-place heat exchangers is still a bit more of an art than science; however, when heat exchangers have been in operations for many years without servicing, they accumulate scale which reduces the actual heat transfer coefficient of the unit. By the same logic facility managers use to clean their chillers, cleaning in-place heat exchangers reduces the amount of energy required to heat up the water side of the exchanger. Using a conservative 1% improvement in energy consumption from Heat Exchangers, APM estimated that another $50,000 per year could be saved by cleaning heat exchangers.
It is always rewarding for us at APM, to know that our work helps our customers reduce their energy consumption, but it is even more exciting when we get tangible evidence as in the case of the University of Vermont Medical Center: their boiler plant used two boilers to feed their entire campus, and after our comprehensive steam project they were able to shut down one of their boilers.
After a comprehensive steam system project, UVM Medical Center was able to shut down one of its two boilers.
The savings of a comprehensive steam system can be calculated in terms of steam losses prevented and lower energy consumption, but in addition, there are real savings in terms of staff hours allocated to issues other than a leaky steam system. APM can help your facility run an efficient steam system that requires minimal attention from your maintenance staff. To find out how we can help, or to request a quote, please contact us.