Energy optimisation systems promise to dramatically reduce the power consumption and maintenance requirements of modern hospitals.

The adoption of an energy optimisation program devised by engineering giant Siemens has enabled Robina Hospital on Queensland’s Gold Coast to achieve dramatic reductions in power usage that are already well ahead of projections.

Towards the end of 2015 Robina Hospital became the first health facility in Australia to install the Siemens Demand Flow energy optimisation system, with a view to cutting down the power consumption of its chiller plant.

The Demand Flow system is an intelligent infrastructure solution that is designed to reduce total plant energy consumption by anywhere between 20 and 50 per cent. This reduction is achieved means of variable pressure curve technology that can optimise the performance of chiller plant control systems.

Robina Hospital has conducted a review of the system’s performance following its first four months of operation, and concluded that it has achieved impressive reductions in the total energy consumption of the Gold Coast facility’s chiller plant.

Total energy consumption fell by 24 per cent on average, enabling the hospital to save as much as 364,154 kilowatt hours in four months.

According to Stefan Schwab, Siemens Executive General Manager Building Technologies, this impressive performance is well ahead of expectations, and puts the system on a trajectory to save nearly $100,000 in its first year of implementation.

“We are well on track to achieve the annual target of reducing to achieve the annual target of reducing energy usage by 792,091 kWh, and the resultant $95,051 cost saving,” said Schwab.

“Given that we have already achieved 367,154 (46.35 per cent) of the annual guarantee figure of 792,091 kWh in just four months, we are confident of hitting the guaranteed payback period of 3.3 years in an even shorter period.”

Nigel Hoy, Gold Coast Health Senior Director Operation Support Services, said that the health service had initially been drawn to the system because of its proven track record in hospitals around the world.

“We were looking for ways to reduce the hospital’s energy consumption and were impressed by the results Demand Flow had achieved in hospitals around the world,” he said.

Hoy notes that the energy optimisation system has had other benefits aside from energy savings, enabling them to streamline their water infrastructure and associated maintenance requirements.

“In addition to significant energy savings, the work Siemens carried out at Robina provided the opportunity for us to consolidated chilled water infrastructure from three separate chilled water plants into one,” he said.

“This has resulted in a reduction to the ongoing maintenance requirements and costs for the facility.”