NEW BRITAIN -When you think of hospitals, you donâ€™t typically associate them with energy conservation, since they operate 24/7 to make sure patients are receiving the right kinds of care.
The Hospital for Special Care, however, has saved an estimated $12,600 a year through upgrading to energy-efficient solutions.
High energy expenses prompted an energy audit at the hospital, and it was found that 10 of the facilityâ€™s 100 steam traps were malfunctioning,causing an annual energy loss of $13,000, said Facilities Supervisor Stefan Pazdzior.
Steam traps are automatic valves designed to discharge condensation and vent air. Steam is converted to heat and fed throughout the building.
The work done replaced the malfunctioning steam traps and wrapped the piping with thermal insulation to prevent any further steam loss through pipe joints.
â€śEach steam trap was tested to see if they were operating properly and to gauge any loss of heat, said Pazdzior. â€śIf one steam trap is failing, the boilers have to run more and use more natural gasâ€¦These projects show savings in the operating budget and helps with equipment maintenance.â€ť
Connecticut Natural Gas provided guidance and a cost analysis for HSC to complete the upgrades at the hospitalâ€™s main building. It also identified funding assistance available through the Energize Connecticut program to help reduce the costs.
â€śAnywhere that we can conserve energy, we can see serious monetary savings, which brought us this opportunity to do the project,â€ť said Vice President of Facilities Donald Cyr. â€śCompanies are always presenting ways for us to save money and make upgrades to our facilities, and Energize CT and the CNG made the process much more affordable.â€ť
The original hospital building was built in the 1940s, with an addition and complete renovation from 1989 to 1993.
â€śDue to their size and round-the-clock hours, hospitals can realize major savings with even minor energy upgrades like the steam trap work done at HSC,â€ť said Will Riddle, manager of Commercial & Industrial Energy Services at CNG.
â€śInitiatives from Energize CT and CNG help make energy upgrades manageable, projects donâ€™t have to be big budget to be effective.â€ť