Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) is an award-winning acute care facility serving Thunder Bay and northwestern Ontario, Canada. The 375-bed hospital offers a variety of specialist services and is designated as an academic health sciences center.
As TBRHSC continues to grow, it requires continuous power 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Because hospitals operate on fixed budgets, rapid increases in the price of energy have led to challenges with finding reliable power at reasonable costs. With 420 patients and 2,500 staff each day on average, there is constant demand for electricity and hot water at TBRHSC. In 2015, TBRHSC worked with Cat® dealer Toromont Power Systems as well as Thunder Bay Hydro and Johnson Controls to install a cogeneration plant powered by a Cat G3516H gas generator set.
Cogeneration helps improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions through the simultaneous production of two forms of energy, heat and electricity, from a single input energy.
“Cogeneration is a good fit for a big building such as ours. This facility is full of patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. So, the need for energy is continuous.”
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre’s award-winning facility has earned a worldwide reputation for its innovative design.
To meet an increasing demand for power at TBRHSC, the hospital installed a CHP plant powered by a Cat® G3516H gas generator set.
Using combined heat and power (CHP) in a hospital is an ideal way to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. CHP can save hospitals between 30 and 40 percent on energy costs by recovering waste heat from the plant’s internal combustion engine to produce hot water for heating and cooling. TBRHSC’s cogeneration plant also reduces its reliance on grid power and provides supplemental power in the event of an extended power outage.
Each year, its CHP plant produces more than 16 million kWh of power and around 50 billion BTUs of heat, supplying approximately 75 percent of the hospital’s power needs. When combined with other energy-saving initiatives, the cogeneration plant has led to an annual savings of more than CA $500,000.
“Toromont’s presence has proven to be dependable,” says Allan Korol, physical plant manager for TBRHSC. “We call them anytime, day or night, and there’s always somebody here within an hour. So, we have a good on-call support system to help us resolve any operating issues.”
TBRHSC continues to work with Toromont for maintenance and repairs. The plant runs reliably with 95 percent uptime, apart from periodic shutdowns for planned maintenance.