13 April 2022
What keeps our hospitals running? We journeyed into Chase Farm Hospital's state-of-the-art energy centre to find out more.
Lee Eastment, technical supervisor, has worked at the centre since the redevelopment of Chase Farm Hospital (CFH) finished in 2018: “I’ve been here since day one. It has been like seeing the birth of a child watching it grow. I’m really passionate about the centre.”
Previously a maternity building, the energy centre supplies heat, cooling water and power across the site and is a lifeline for the hospital.
It’s also extremely energy efficient. A gas-fired combined heat and power unit provides heating and power with thermal stores to maximise efficiency. The centre generates enough energy for the entire hospital, the nearby Highlands carpark, and has the capacity to support future expansion.
Any unused power is redirected to the national grid. This export of electricity generates a saving benefit to the savings benefit to the trust and the Carbon Energy Fund. The energy centre also reduces the trust’s greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in a carbon saving of 116 tonnes per year.
The energy centre on a sunny Spring day in 2022. The centre houses a 1.2 MW gas combined heat and power engine
Sunrise over the centre on the first day of lockdown in March 2020
“All the oil is recycled. A company comes in and takes this away to be re-used,” Lee explains. The centre was set up with the support of the Carbon Energy Fund and is recognised for its efficiency and low carbon status. Last year, the centre won an environmental protection agency award for minimising the impact of a local oil spill.
Graham Bland, RFL Property Services estates manager, added: “We take sustainable development very seriously, and this energy centre is an exceptional example of our long-term vision. It actively contributes to reducing costs and improving our healthcare facilities.”
Inside the energy centre control room
Lee checks the thermal stores