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Hospital invests in ‘green’ technology with new boiler burners

Hinsdale – Recent upgrades to Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s steam generation system will conserve money and energy at the 105-year-old institution. Two new adjustable-flame high efficiency burners give the hospital better control of its natural gas and electricity consumption; upgrades to a third boiler are in the works.

Depending upon the time of the day and the season of the year, the hospital uses 8,000 to 24,000 pounds of steam per hour for heating and cooling, cooking and sterilizing surgical instruments. The new burners’ advanced technology allows it to modulate fully with the hospital’s variable steam demand. The result is the most efficient and clean combustion brought about by the optimal fuel and air mixture that the new burners are capable to deliver.

The installation of variable frequency drives on the motors let them run at reduced speeds, producing a much-anticipated electrical energy savings. While the old burners were adjusted manually for efficiency every season, the new burners are self-adjusting, which allows for maximum efficiency throughout the year.

Acquisition and installation of the new boiler burner system took about six months. The project entailed completely removing the old inefficient fuel burner, a huge fan motor, gas and fuel oil piping and a large burner windbox.

“Like any responsible community member these days, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital is committed to reducing its carbon footprint,” said Jim Today, administrative director of patient experience and facilities. “The hospital is also reducing its electricity demand for lighting by installing higher efficiency light bulbs.” 

About $260,000 was spent on the burner improvements, projected to cut energy costs by about $90,000 a year, according to Reynaldo Tuazon, the hospital’s manager of plant operations. 

In February, the project was featured in a cover story in Chief Engineer magazine, an international engineering publication by the Chief Engineers Association of Chicagoland.

In addition to the boiler project, the facilities department recently completed other projects that will benefit the community, including:

Upgrading five elevators with new controls and replacing old motor generators with new energy efficient variable speed motors to reduce wait times, improve service and increase efficiency for patients, visitors and employees;

Acquiring a mobile disaster trailer with a portable shower to treat patients affected by a contaminant; Installing a new medical air and vacuum system.