UK health sector posied to reap benefits of flexible CHP solutions

Aggreko report predicts savings of up to 20% through implementation of CHP technology

Health trusts could save 20% on their energy bills and improve the security of their energy supply with greater uptake of flexible combined heat and power (CHP) generation. </p> 

That is the key takeaway from Aggreko’s latest guide on the technology and its use in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Launched this week, the guide discusses the UK’s energy shortfall and growing concerns for energy security in the healthcare sector. 

And it goes on to examine CHP or ‘cogeneration’ as an innovative possible solution for alleviating these issues. 

Cogeneration is a highly-efficient process that captures and uses the heat by-product created when generating electricity. 

Reducing downtime

This simultaneous process can reduce carbon emissions by up to 30% when compared to conventional generation that takes electricity from the grid to power separate on-site furnaces or boilers.

Unlike remote power stations, CHP systems are usually situated on-site or nearby, allowing users to make optimum use of ‘waste’ heat. 

This heat can then be directed for use in a wide range of industrial processes, and can even be converted to support refrigeration.

CHP improves sustainability and lowers energy bills, making it a champion technology for both public and private organisations.

Its ‘decentralised’ aspect also makes it an attractive option for those looking to stave off downtime as a result of domestic energy shortfalls – a problem that engineers predict will get progressively worse over the next decade. 

However, despite its considerable benefits, CHP has seen much-slower uptake in the UK compared to mainland Europe, where the technology is far more common. 

Previous research from Aggreko has found this can be partly explained by the belief that CHP is difficult to fund as a permanent solution, necessitating the development of flexible rental options that improve accessibility of the technology. 

Within reach

With the publication of the guide, Aggreko is looking to break down financial barriers and increase rate of uptake in the UK healthcare sector, helping organisations to save money and accelerate efforts towards the NHS’s ambitious ‘net zero’ target of 2040.

Matt Parker, head of temperature control at Aggreko, said: “These guides show virtually every healthcare facility can benefit from the introduction of a CHP system and, in the right environment, the results are transformative. 

“Our research has shown capex restrictions often deter organisations in this sector from exploring better energy infrastructure, yet this need not be the case. 

“With strategic hire options, this barrier is eliminated and helps put technology like CHP within reach.”

 

Related Stories
A long road ahead
We ask whether the NHS is doing enough to meet the Government’s target of ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050
The unexpected cost of PPE
New research reveals increased use of personal protective equipment increased the NHS's carbon footprint by 1% at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic
Portakabin to deliver UK’s first Passivhaus-certified health centre
Modular specialist uses offsite construction techniques to create UK’s greenest medical facility
NHS Lothian publishes ground-breaking new biodiversity audit
Health board becomes first in Scotland to assess the quality of green spaces as part of carbon reduction and public health improvement drive
Vital Energi reduces Nottingham City Hospital’s energy costs by £1.8m a year
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust has received funding from the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) to embark on an energy reduction programme which will reduce the carbon footprint of Nottingham City Hospital by 14,000 tonnes a year, with energy savings of £1.8m. Vital Energi has secured a £25m contract to replace the hospital’s aged gas and coal-fired boilers with more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly technologies. The project received grant funding from the PS...