Tallaght University Hospital Dublin Energy Audit

With 562 beds, 12 theatres and 14 Critical Care beds in operation, the Tallaght University hospital treats over 410,000 patients per year and employs almost 3,000 staff. It is one of the largest hospitals in Ireland. When the hospital decided to improve its energy efficiency it was decided to commission Maximpact Energy Expert Gerard to undertake an energy audit at the hospital.

The Project

Due to the diverse nature of the activities in the hospital, there is a need for heating and cooling via ventilation in the hospital all year round. There is a large range of mechanical and electrical plant installed in the Hospital to satisfy the needs of the patients and staff, all of which use electricity and/or natural gas as their primary energy source.

The Tallaght Hospital was not initially designed with energy efficiency as a priority, but there are some notable energy-related features incorporated in the building. These include the provisions of an extensive Building Management System or BMS to monitor and control the large heating and ventilation and air conditioning plant and associated boilers and chillers. The hospital also operated a sizable vacuum plant and air compressors for medical reasons. The hospital lighting systems accounted for over 20% of the energy usage. There is also six waste anaesthetic gas extraction location around the hospital.

The audit examined the operation of all the systems above with a view to improving each system’s energy efficiency and the provision of better controls to avoid energy wastage. Considerable savings were found in the operation of hot water boilers through improvements to control of the combustion efficiency and temperature levels associated with space heating and hot water. Improvements to the controls of the HVAC system and chiller plant was also identified that required minimum investment. Improvements to the lighting systems were also identified that required retrofits and better control in some areas.

The potential for installing a combined heat and power system was investigated and proved potentially possible. Also a feasibility study for a solar thermal hot water generation was also conducted.

Project outcome

The analysis uncovers energy of over 35% were possible with an overall payback period of fewer than 3.3 years.

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