Crosshouse Hospital is leading the Green Revolution within the NHS. As part of the drive to lower the carbon footprint of the NHS in Scotland, to improve staff working conditions and in order to reduce costs, the Crosshouse Hospital canteen has been equipped with The Ecocent® hot water production unit that is manufactured by Earth Save Products, a British company that makes some of the most advanced and effective “renewable” equipment on the market. Four Ecocent units have been installed to serve the Hospital canteen, which is a very high user of hot water that has, until now, been costly to produce. The canteen servery was an uncomfortable place to work as it was so hot and humid. Thanks to Ecocent technology, the excessive heat can be harvested and the hot water for the pot washers and kitchen sinks produced cheaply. Also, the working environment is a lot more pleasant because the excess heat is being harvested and used by the Ecocent units and cool air is being supplied by the units to the working areas. It was important to find something like this that would perform as designed and would be reliable. That’s why we went for a system that had been approved by the Government’s Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).
The Ecocent unit is an integrated air source heat pump and hot water cylinder that produces hot water using waste heat from the canteen kitchens (or any kitchen, bathroom or area of waste heat). Before we installed the Ecocents, the hot air from the kitchen had to be extracted via fans which were relatively expensive to run. Now, the Ecocents draw in air (containing heat) to the units where the heat is then stripped out of that air and transferred in to the integrated hot water cylinder of the unit. This process is 400% more efficient than the standard electric heating that it has replaced - meaning that hot water production costs for the canteen have been reduced by 75%. The hot water produced by the new Ecocent units is being fed to the pot washers and sinks in the kitchen – both very high consumers of hot water. The benefits of the Ecocent unit do not stop with producing low cost hot water - when the Ecocent has stripped the waste heat (and moisture) out of the air, the by-product is cool dry air. This cool air is being ducted back in to the canteen kitchen as a means of cooling the Kitchen to make it a more pleasant environment in which to work. This cooling is absolutely free and has made the kitchens a better place to work with the staff being happier.
So, Crosshouse hospital is not only saving money but it is also reducing the carbon foot print and making the working environment more pleasant. There is also a saving because the extractor fans are not being used nearly as much. Pretty soon these units will have paid for themselves and will continue to save money for years to come. A spokesperson for the hospital said “these are early days but we’re delighted with the system and so are the canteen employees. The Ecocents are saving more money than we were expecting and we are still discovering more benefits. We are also pleased to be leading the way and are looking for even more ways to use renewable technologies. You wouldn’t believe the amount of questions we are asked about the Ecocents”.