Copenhagen University Hospital saves energy

Copenhagen University Hospital's energy consumption has been reduced by 35%. A self-financing energy action plan including new or modified steam, cooling and ventilation systems saves approx. DKK 30 mill. per year.

Copenhagen University Hospital has worked determinedly with energy optimisation since the early 90s. Together with Balslev's consultants an energy action plan was developed, which included ventilation and air conditioning, heating, cooling, disinfection, control systems, systems for compressed air and lighting.

The plan identified a number of saving opportunities, which made it possible to implement the plan as it was self-financing and showed a positive cash-flow already within the first year.

Reduced energy consumption despite more power consuming equipment

Since 1990, Copenhagen University Hospital's heat consumption per m2 has decreased by about 35% to about 145 kWh/ m2, and the water consumption has been reduced by 38% to 800 l/m2. This is achieved mainly as a result of the installation of new equipment with lower energy consumption plus a generally increased awareness about processes and consumption. The hospital has even managed to keep their electricity consumption at the same level as in 1979 (around 120 kWh/ m2) – even though the use of power demanding electrical equipment has increased tremendeously since then.

The largest individual savings were achieved in these areas:

  • The central steam system, where huge conduction losses, independent of outdoor temperatures, were identified and eliminated through an alteration of the high pressure system
  • A new cooling system with reduced energy consumption, which phased out the use of CFC gasses.

Energy demanding installations are now operated according to their usage

According to Mogens Thrane, the hospital's technical manager, the operating times for energy demanding installations, like e.g. laminar air flow, also play a significant role in the total energy consumption. ”Therefore, wherever possible, we adjust the operation of these systems according to their usage. When e.g. an operating theatre is only used about 35% of the time, we make sure to turn off or reduce the air change in order to save energy e.g. by using movement sensors."

”Since our energy action plan was set in motion we have seen annual energy savings of approx. 30 mill. DKK (4 mill. EUR), calculated in 2009 energy prices,” says Copenhagen University Hospital's technical manager Mogens Thrane.

USA draws inspiration from Scandinavian hospitals

Copenhagen University Hospital is one of many hospitals in Scandinavia which in June 2009 was visited by American hospital experts. The purpose was to learn how Scandinavian hospitals have achieved remarkablly lower energy consumption. Compared with the USA , Norwegian hospitals use only half as much energy measured in KWh/m2, whilst consumption in Sweden and at the Copenhagen University Hospital is down to one quarter.

An article on the topic was published in the Danish magazine Hospital, Drift & Teknologi, September 2009



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