Because hospitals have significant electric power, heating, and cooling needs, there’s constant demand for high-quality, highly reliable power. As the largest safety net hospital and busiest trauma and emergency services center in New England, Boston Medical Center (BMC) relies on continuous power to support patient care, train future generations of healthcare professionals, and perform groundbreaking medical research.
In a hospital, every dollar spent on heating and cooling as a dollar less spent on caring for patients. Properly designed combined heat and power (CHP) systems can provide power, hot water, and space heating and cooling more reliably, more efficiently, and at lower costs than traditional systems.
Boston Medical Center, a not-for-profit 514-bed academic medical center, is the largest safety net hospital and busiest trauma and emergency services center in New England.
Hospitals are one of the most energy-intensive businesses in the commercial sector, consuming more than twice as much energy per square foot as average commercial buildings.
BMC expects to save $1.5 million in energy costs per year while making their facility safer and more efficient with a Cat® cogeneration system.
Placed inside an enclosure atop the Yawkey Building, the Cat CHP system uses waste heat from a Cat G3520C generator set to provide hot water and ambient heating.
In 2017, Boston Medical Center worked with local Cat® dealer Milton Cat to install a CHP system, which uses waste heat from a Cat G3520C generator set to provide hot water and ambient heating to its facility.
“This is exciting for BMC because cogeneration is going to reduce the cost of energy at the hospital,” said Jack Nelson of CMTA, which consulted with BMC and designed the CHP system. “And that allows the hospital to direct money towards clinical programs and patient care rather than utility bills.”
Another benefit of the cogeneration system is its ability to operate independent of the grid during periods of electric power blackouts. During a grid power outage, the facility operates in island mode, and the cogeneration system produces electricity to protect patients through the duration of the power outage.
Boston Medical Center’s CHP system operates at 70 percent efficiency, a boost derived from using waste heat from the generators to supplement the heat loops and hot water systems in the hospital’s energy plant. Ultimately, the installation of the cogeneration facility provides about $1.5 million in annual energy savings.