Low emissions, footprint help hospital make strides

One of the largest natural disasters in U.S. history, the Iowa flood of 2008 inundated the city of Cedar Rapids with waters rising to a record 31 feet. For Mercy Medical Center, this necessitated finding a new source of steam for its heating, sterilization, and humidification needs.

“We had been purchasing our steam from the local utility, which was flooded out and then not rebuilt by its owner,” states Bob Olberding, Director of Facilities at Mercy Medical Center. “Our temporary solution was to rent boilers on trucks, but we knew we had to come up with a long-term answer.”

Mercy Medical Center’s six Miura EX-300 gas/oil series steam boilers use natural gas as the primary fuel, with oil providing backup, as required for medical facilities.

For the EX-300, Miura devised a unique “once-through” fin-tube design that requires less fuel  and saves - on average - 20 percent in energy costs over other options (based on today’s fuel costs).

Olberding explains that Miura’s green technology (as low as 30 ppm, depending on the model), possible in part via an ability to reduce the temperature of the boiler’s flame, is essential for complying with state emissions standards. “Our boiler also have exhaust-gas recirculation to reduce emissions even further, so it’s a plus for us when surveys are done,” he notes. 

“Our Miura boilers kick on and off depending on load and hours of use; it’s all computerized,” Olberding explains, referring to Miura’s MI Controller system.  This achieves the highest possible in-service efficiencies, which is a measure of overall boiler performance (regardless of load profile) that takes into account all factors of boiler operation, including combustion efficiency, thermal efficiency, fuel-to-steam efficiency, etc.

Another design advantage Olberding cites is their comparatively smaller size. “We didn’t need as much space as other boiler designs would have required, which is good because we’re right up against our property line. Thanks to the Miura boilers, we have a very nice facility that’s not cramped.”  TB