City of Ghent St Luke Hospital : master plan for sustainable energy park

 The sector of healthcare has recently seen major investments in building renovation and new construction. An excellent example of the trend is St Luke Hospital in Ghent’s City centre. St Luke is a big hospital representing 800 beds and 125000 m². The merger of two adjacent campuses at the end of the nineties gave rise to a major Master Plan, which was the first of this kind in Flanders. Since then, some 100 000m² of the hospital’s surface have been thoroughly renovated and extended while the hospital continuously remained operational.

What was the purpose of the master plan? The main goal was to reduce the energy cost (2.5m€/year). At the same time the challenge was to safeguard continuity of the utilities. This required an investment in 4MVA emergency power capable of powering the entire hospital without interruption. Should a blackout occur the hospital will be ready to back up the public mains with some 4MVA. Finally, sustainability was key in the operation and the reason for integrating a CHP unit to supply both heat and electric power.

St Luke Hospital is a pioneer in introducing innovative technologies in a health care environment. The continuity of the utilities is being guaranteed in an ongoing process of renewal and improvement on the site. All along the implementation of the master plan, E. VAN WINGEN NV (EVW) from Evergem, Belgium, has been supplying in house built installations to this impressive energy park and will from here on be taking care of their service and maintenance.

The cogeneration unit, engineered, built and installed by E. VAN WINGEN NV, using their  experience with large CHP since 1992, will now be the source of heat and electric power.  Together with the geothermal heat pump and the connexion to the district heating network of the city of Ghent the EVW CHP unit constitutes a sustainable source of energy featuring high energy efficiency and integration of renewables. The hospital’s CHP generates 500 kW electric power and 550 kW thermal power. The heat recovered from the engine exhaust is used for feeding the water heating system and supporting space heating. The residual low temperature heat from the intercooler is an excellent supplement to the heat from the geothermal heat pump. To achieve maximum continuity a buffer tank was placed next to the CHP.

The cogenertion system is a reliable, profitable and sustainable investment which, together with other systems, brings about a considerable reduction of the hospital’s energy cost as well as its CO2 emissions. The choice of the right level of installed power and a related number of running hours of the CHP unit results in high profitability and a less than 5 year ROI.

Moreover, the CHP, together with the emergency diesel generators and battery back up systems, represents a reliable source of electric power. The supply of electric peak power runs via the public mains. The cogen unit is synchronized with the mains and offers increased mains stability.

There’s no doubt that reliability in terms of energy supply is fundamental in a hospital setting. Apart from the recent extension of the emergency power capacity to 4MVA, integrated at the incoming feeder level of the medium voltage installation, the hospital furthermore has two 1000 kVA and one 650 kVA mains failure set downstream and at low voltage side.

Throughout the implementation of the energy part of Sint Luke Hospital’s master plan EVW has been closely involved as a manufacturer and supplier of decentralized power generation systems and will remain the hospital’s partner as it takes care of service and maintenance of the installation. Exactly this type of commitment is what EVW has been offering since many decades. It gives customers the confidence that their installations will not only be eye catchers when brand new, but will remain faithful allies for many years to come as they will be supported by a stable, experienced and innovative partner as EVW. 

The video above was broadcasted on Belgian television (Kanaal Z). It explains how the business continuity is ensured in a continuous process of innovation and improvement on the campus E. Van Wingen nv (EVW).