Salisbury district hospital saves 10% of its steam production with GEM steam traps


Courtesy of Thermal Energy International Inc.

Salisbury District Hospital is saving approximately 10% of its steam consumption following the installation of Thermal Energy International’s GEM venturi orifice steam traps, which is providing the hospital with significant energy savings.  Together with other energy saving incentives already introduced, the GEM traps have helped ensure that the hospital is working towards the Government’s mandatory performance targets for the NHS to reduce CO2 emissions by 10% from 2007 to 2015 in its new and existing buildings.

Salisbury District Hospital moved to its present site in 1993.  The centre for specialist services in the Wessex region, the hospital has renowned burns, maxillo-facial and spinal units in addition to the services normally associated with a district hospital.  Steam is used extensively throughout the hospital for its laundry and sterilisation processes.

In 2009, the hospital’s average steam consumption was around 295 tonnes per month with the lowest figure recorded at 282 tonnes per month.  Following the installation of the GEM traps in 2010, the average steam consumption was reduced to 265 tonnes per month with the lowest monthly-recorded figure dropping to 252 tonnes.  Savings in energy alone will enable the hospital to receive a payback on the installation in just 18 months.

A total of 70 GEM venturi orifice steam traps have been installed throughout the hospital replacing traditional thermodynamic steam traps, which on average were either failing open, shut or half-open at a rate of 10% per annum.   

Instead of utilising a valve mechanism to close off steam for maximum energy and water conservation, the highly efficient GEM steam traps use the patented venturi orifice design to effectively drain condensate from the steam system. As the GEM steam traps have no moving parts to wedge open or fail, it provides the ultimate in reliability necessitating only minimal maintenance and requiring no spares, testing or monitoring equipment.  

The GEM traps are helping the hospital reduce its carbon emissions.  Under the Government’s CRC Carbon Reduction Scheme, large energy users, such as hospitals, with effect from 2012, will have to buy allowances for each tonne of carbon dioxide at a rate of £12 per tonne per annum.  As a consequence, participants successful in reducing energy consumption will not only save money on energy bills, but will also need to purchase fewer allowances. 

Salisbury District Hospital’s base carbon output is 12.6 thousand tonnes per annum.  By 2015 the hospital anticipates reducing this to just 11 thousand tonnes due to a raft of energy efficiency measures including the installation of the GEM steam traps and a new CHP system.

“Obviously our initial carbon reduction targets were very much in line with those set out by the NHS as a whole, but we are now aiming to go somewhat further than we are actually required to do via a whole range of measures”, said George Atkinson from Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.  “I first saw GEMsteam traps during a demonstration at Poole hospital and was very impressed. We have found the savings they have made really significant, reducing our steam consumption by between 50 and 60 tonnes per month”.

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