Southampton hospital doubles CHP capacity


Dalkia installs second combined heat and power plant to service University Hospital Southampton

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) has upgraded its energy centre with the introduction of a second on-site combined heat and power plant (CHP).

Dalkia was contracted to enhance hot water and electricity systems as part of the trust’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions in line with the NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy, which supports the Climate Change Act 2008.

One of the largest hospitals in the UK, University Hospital Southampton provides services for 1.3 million people in Southampton and south Hampshire as well as specialist services to more than 3 million people in central southern England and the Channel Islands, including neurosciences, cardiac services and children’s intensive care.

Dalkia won a 20-year contract with the trust in 2003 and recenty commissioned its specialist arm, Cogenco, to install a 2MWe CHP engine alongside the existing 2MWe unit, which had been installed in 2003, to double the CHP capacity of UHS’s energy centre.

As opposed to traditional electrical generation processes, the heat released as a by-product of the generation process is not rejected. In addition to high-grade heat used for local steam generation, CHP-generated low-grade heat is distributed out for hot water services. The recovery of heat thus allows the hospital to utilise its primary fuel source more efficiently while lowering carbon emissions.

Ian Truckle, principle engineer for projects at UHS, said: “The installation of a second CHP engine has helped us to improve our power plant’s performance substantially. The efficiency of the plant has risen from some 60% to a remarkable 80%. The effective usage of low-grade heat, in particular, does not only enable us to avoid the waste of energy, but also to reinvest savings made from the CHP plant in frontline services to improve patient care.”

“We have calculated that since November 2012 we have saved approximately 4,650 tonnes of CO2 by generating onsite electricity via our two CHP engines and producing low-grade heat to offset our steam consumption. This equates to approximately £315,000 exclusive of VAT in cost savings since the scheme was installed and commissioned.”

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