Hospital Reduces Annual Operating Costs by Over $200,000
The central utility plant at a large Midwestern hospital was experiencing serious issues with providing comfort cooling for their patients. A cooling capacity of 8,400 tons had been reduced by 25% and reliability was uncertain. Investigation quickly determined that heat transfer had been compromised due to severe scaling on the condensers tubes. An original investment of $400,000 in water treatment equipment and several attempts at adjustments in the treatment program did not improve results. In addition to excessive manpower demands and concern for patient comfort, energy costs were far outside the normal operating budget.
The Fremont team thoroughly surveyed the operating systems, inspected failures and carefully analyzed water quality. A program was designed that provided pre-treatment of the make-up water quality to reduce scaling tendencies without utilizing acids or increased system blowdowns. Treatment products were selected based on proven performance in systems with similar demands and a feed and control system was implemented to verify and maintain proper water management. The technical program was supplemented with a weekly on-site support service to provide overall water management consultation and guidance.
Since the implementation of Fremont’s water management program, the chillers have remained efficient with extremely low approach temperatures. Visual inspection of the condensers show no deposition or fouling and there has been no downtime related to water treatment issues. Labor to clean fouled systems and replace failed parts has been eliminated, and most importantly, the utility team is no longer concerned about meeting comfort cooling demands in peak times. Other benefits include improvements in sustainability by reducing blowdown and conserving energy. Electrical costs alone have been reduced by more than $200,000 per year.