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  • PublisherCIBSE
  • Product Code
  • Number of pages28
  • Publication DateApr 2013
  • ISBN

Is Steam a Modern Heating Medium or a Victorian Hangover?

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Is Steam a Modern Heating Medium or a Victorian Hangover?

Session 14, Paper 3, CIBSE Technical Symposium, John Moores University, Liverpool
11-12 April 2013

 

In the UK many hospitals use steam as a heating medium. It is an accepted fact that steam can carry considerable amounts of heat energy, but is heating by steam really a cost effective and energy efficient method for hospital engineering services?

This paper examines some steam and MTHW case studies in terms of energy and operation, and some quantifiable parameters for comparison of the two have been obtained. An important feature revealed by the study is that optimum energy and operational performance for both steam and MTHW systems is directly related to management and maintenance.

Other factors affecting the choice of steam are also examined. For example, when choosing between steam and MTHW, how important a factor are those unique hospital applications such as laundries and sterilization equipment, that are traditionally provided for by steam? Interviews were conducted with engineering professionals at a large North-West hospital in order to consider the specialist health service applications for steam.

The investigation concludes that although steam retains a Victorian image, in hospital applications its energy and financial performance costs are comparable, and sometimes better than hot water alternatives.