Medical & Industrial Air Plant Replacement – Resilient & Innovative
Within the Estates Department at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, a major trauma centre in the Northeast of England, the COVID-19 pandemic placed great pressure upon engineering services; exposing the need to maintain and improve the resilience and reliability of engineering services in the post-Covid era. This talk will present a case study, focusing on the Estate Department's initiative, the first in the UK, to improve medical air plant resilience and reliability using post-Covid innovation. At RVI, we conducted a risk-based backlog maintenance assessment on our medical and industrial air plant. The assessment revealed a need to replace the plant and identified key risks and areas of improvement when installing a new plant: reliability, critical spares availability, air quality and plant downtime. In line with Newcastle Hospitals' target of delivering a net zero NHS by 2030, we also looked for a plant that would address issues of energy inefficiency and carbon emission reduction. Following a tendering process, the RVI partnered with SHJ Medical Gas Specialists due to our shared vision on post-COVID resilience and innovation. The new system is built combining medical and industrial air plants as a whole to achieve maximum efficiency, where variable speed technology is employed to maintain a system base load with the option to call on selected fixed-speed compressors that adapt to different outputs and site demands. Further, the use of dewpoint temperature control, in the process of drying air, reduces energy wastage. The new plant uses a controllable global valve on the wet side of the system to give optimised control and resilience. In addition, an AI-based SHJ remote monitoring system will be implemented to collect data to further optimise the performance of the system, conduct predictive maintenance, and to estimate and quantity the net impact of the system. RVI's Sustainability Team is also collecting data from the system to quantify its impact. All the data will be collected and presented.
- Ian Clayton Senior Specialist Engineering Officer - The Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust