Energy efficiency at HSC Winnipeg

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Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg, Manitoba’s hospital, is the province’s largest health care facility and serves populations from Manitoba, northwestern Ontario and parts of Nunavut. Harsh winters and summer temperature swings make it very important for Facility Management staff to ensure all systems are working properly and efficiently. Energy efficiency has been of the utmost importance to the hospital and the Divisional Director of Facility Management, Craig Doerksen. “Since the mid 1980’s we have measured energy consumption, and with the ongoing pressures of utility rates, increasing energy consuming technology and environmental sustainability concerns, we have renewed those efforts as we approach ongoing maintenance, operations and new construction,” says Doerksen.

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It has been under Mr. Doerksen’s direction that HSC Winnipeg collaborated with design firm SMS Engineering to build and commission one of the most efficient chilled water plants in Canada. The 35,000 square foot second energy plant at HSC Winnipeg has 4,500 tons of cooling capacity and 6 Mega Watts of emergency electrical power generation which compliments and connects with the existing central plant. The new plant has three high efficiency variable speed chillers, variable speed cooling towers and an all-variable primary and secondary pumping system. All these are integrated into a new leading edge campus chilled water energy performance optimization system. The optimization system provides real-time signals to improve the overall generation of chilled water for the entire campus, connecting with the existing 7500 tons of cooling which serves the over 4.5 million sq.ft. on the campus. In addition, an acoustic wall was put up on the roof of the building to hide the unsightly cooling towers from the surrounding residential neighbourhood. The acoustic screening also helps reduce the noise of the plant.

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The new optimization system is estimated to save HSC Winnipeg $185,000 per year which will grow as the existing plant is brought into full optimization. “Our environmental sustainability pursuits have been greatly enhanced by this project, but we now have further opportunities which we can and will build on with future projects and operational upgrades,” says Doerksen.

The state of the art energy plant supports not only the campus growth, but also makes the site produced utilities more reliable. This reliability is kep to HSC Winnipeg’s ‘Patients First’ vision while making the health care facility an industry leader in environmental sustainability and energy management.