Innovation Exchange challenge: approaches to electrical self-sufficiency within hospitals

The Innovation Exchange programme is working alongside Hull University Teaching Hospitals (HUTH) to make the hospital sites resilient for their energy needs.

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Support from KTN, support in developing a prototype/pilot and potentially trial or investment from HUTH, and other support including potential business collaboration and investor introductions.

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The Innovation Exchange programme is working alongside Hull University Teaching hospitals in looking at technologies to fulfil their ambitions of going net zero carbon by 2030. This ambition would also look to make the hospital sites as energy independent as possible, so as to safeguard the patients’ health and comfort, and cause as little disruption as possible in the event that energy is not easily available in the national grid.

The Trust aim to decarbonise the estate and infrastructure by 50% by 2028 and have asked Innovate UK KTN to work with them to help them identify potential innovative solutions to be able to deliver and deploy solutions to help them meet their targets. In the future of the estates, the Trust is working to reduce the energy demand of its buildings while considering power generation and efficient use of energy. The desire is to make the hospitals as independent as possible in the future, in order to have a robust health service that is secure and safe.

The Trust currently consumes 30GW of electricity per annum. The trust would like to expand on their own generation across their 4 sites and explore other energy options and storage solutions that are best suited to provide energy to the multitude of buildings they own and operate. Both sites currently have 1.5MW of gas fired Combined Heat and Power (CHP), and in addition the Castle Hill Hospital site has a 5MW solar farm. Both sites currently have an average peak demand of 2.6MW leaving the rest to be managed and at present, fed back into the grid.

As the Trust decarbonises the electrical demand will rise, increasing the amount of generation required to avoid increasing import from the grid. The board is looking for ideas on how to manage the energy generated, as well as to manage the buildings in the most energy efficient manner so that there is a safe level of energy versesversus demand. If HUTH had the ability to generate more energy than it needs on a daily basis, long duration storage for surplus energy would be hugely advantageous to allow them to tap into energy supply when they have peak demand requirements or when the grid is unstable.

There are several green areas on the hospital estates as well as roof areas that already have solar generation, with potential for more generation, for example from solar or other energy or renewable options (subject to planning restrictions). The grounds around some of the health centres may be suitable for generation and storage for the right technologies.

The HUTH team would be keen to hear from innovators working on the following;

  • Energy generation and storage options across the site and surrounding local area, where innovative solar, wind and other local generation options are welcome.
  • There are a number of high rise buildings particularly at HRI with a 13 storey tower block. CHH has several buildings that are 3 storeys high and a and may provide options for wind technologies.
  • There are over 2,000 car parking spaces which could be adapted for solar generation.
  • Long and short duration electrical storage systems that do not create a hazard. These could be based either on the main site or off site, either at the point of generation or consumption.
  • Manufacture and storage of alternative energy sources would be considered as an approach.
  • Micro grid with smart building controls – controls that can understand the buildings and their uses.
  • Peer-to-peer trading that could take into account their 4 sites or any wider industrial/domestic electricity surplus within the local area and balancing of systems.
  • Excess energy turned in to other usable fuels for other systems in medical care including ambulances and heating system.
  • Using electric vehicles to support an on site micro grid
  • Storing power as heat to enable use through the trust heating systems.
  • Providing power during the evening when Solar Photovoltaic (PV) generation is no longer available to support site load.

This list is not exhaustive, and the trust would welcome other ideas beyond those listed above.

No-cost and low -costs solutions are requested. The Trust is keen to support new technologies and serve as a demonstrator site to enable proof of concept and evidence to be collected for future development and marketing purposes.

The Trust would be willing to consider solutions that have potential pay backs of less than two years.

To find out more, and to see technical details and functional requirements, visit the Innovation Exchange site at the link below.


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