Sheet metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

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Hospitals realize resiliency benefits of combined heat and power

Feb 26, 2018

With its record number of storms last year, 2017 turned out to be the most expensive year in U.S. history for natural disasters, according to Bloomberg News. With such disruptions to the power grid, hospitals, which rely on a constant supply of power to keep their patients safe and alive, can be especially vulnerable.

“As we anticipate similar threats in the future,” said Jennifer Kefer, executive director of the Alliance for Industrial Efficiency. “It is clear that hospitals, along with other energy-dependent industries and services, must adapt.”

One promising form of energy independence lies in combined heat and power technology (CHP), which works by generating both heat and electricity on-site from the same fuel source. Hospitals offer a significant untapped potential for deployment of CHP technology.

Through this process, generating plants can sometimes double their efficiency, often reaching levels of over 80 percent efficiency—compared to only around 50 percent for separate electricity and thermal energy processes and an average of 36 percent for overall conventional power generation, noted the Alliance.

As a result, buildings that use CHP use less energy than their counterparts. These buildings can significantly reduce operating costs and achieve new levels of independence from the power grid, becoming markedly less at-risk to disruptive events like major storms, according to the Alliance.

Read the new blog about the potential for CHP in hospitals on the Alliance website.

SMACNA is a member of the Alliance for Industrial Efficiency, a coalition of business, labor, non-profits, and educational institutions, that educates and advocates for policies that increase U.S. competitiveness through industrial energy efficiency.