According to the EPA, “Health care organizations spend over $6.5 billion on energy each year to meet patient needs. Every dollar that a nonprofit health care organization saves on energy is equivalent to generating new revenues of $20 for hospitals or $10 for medical offices.”
A 500-bed academic medical center providing pediatrics, primary, and advanced medical care took this EPA statement as a challenge. The medical center is a large provider of trauma care and is affiliated with a local university. It also has almost 1 million outpatient visits per year, and the medical center campus includes over 2.5 million sq ft.
The center’s guiding principles include efficiency and sustainability through a 20% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2020. To this end, the center was interested in implementing targeted energy conservation measures and technologies, which help achieve the sustainability goals while taking into account the center’s specific needs.
Officials at the center also committed to the Healthier Hospitals Leaner Energy Challenge. The Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI) is “a national campaign to implement a completely new approach to improving environmental health and sustainability in the health care sector.”
Cimetrics was selected by the facility to provide its Analytika Pro solution for five buildings comprising over 800,000 sq ft including inpatient and outpatient care, medical offices, and the central plant. Cimetrics collaborated with MC, JCI, and Siemens, their BAS providers, to connect to and collect sensor and actuator data from over 9,400 physical points.
Data was collected every 15 minutes, 24 hrs/day, and 365 days a year, totaling more than 900,000 data samples per day. The following systems were monitored: 41 AHUs, 19 hot water pumps, 11 chillers, 35 chilled water/condenser water pumps, 10 heat exchangers, 125 exhaust fans, 1,000 terminal units, 116 fume hoods, and other miscellaneous equipment. In addition, two chilled water meters, one condensate return meter, 52 electric meters, 17 steam meters, and 24 water meters were monitored.
Over 1,000 Analytika software algorithms then analyzed the data to identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption, improve environmental conditions, and reduce operations and maintenance costs. Analytika also uncovered potential equipment problems, quantified improved patient comfort, improved operating room zone conditions, and provided opportunities for profitable retrofit projects.
Experienced Cimetrics engineers leveraged Analytika software to identify opportunities, determine root cause, and calculate annual savings impact. Actionable recommendations were documented and provided to the client both through online and offline channels. Cimetrics’ role did not end with providing recommendations; Cimetrics engineers engaged with the client team on a regular basis to help answer questions, coordinate implementation, and provide regular feedback on progress.
Some issues found from data collection included four large AHUs that serve an outpatient building. All were operating 24/7. However, there was no patient care at night and minimal building usage on weekends. The AHUs were left on 24/7 to serve MRI and other high heat gain loads in the building. This issue was not detected because there were no temperature complaints; however, it was identified with Analytika.
MRI machines and other hospital equipment can create substantial, unwarranted energy consumption if HVAC equipment is not specifically designed to exclusively serve that equipment.
Cimetrics worked with medical center staff and the controls vendor to change the AHU sequence of operation to limit the equipment run times to only occupied hours and allow for override of the AHUs to maintain zones within the required temperature and relative humidity range.
According to Cimetrics, the facility’s total energy savings equals $1.3 million dollars (annual) with a simple payback of 0.3 yrs. The facility also achieved 3,400+ metric tons in annual CO2 emissions reduction, which is the equivalent of taking 715 cars off the road.