Hospital sets a lighthouse example in energy efficiency

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Thanks to new state-of-the-art technology from Danfoss Climate Solutions, the hospital “Sygehus Sønderjylland, Sønderborg” has found a way to address the energy crisis. Apart from saving energy costs and increasing comfort, the hospital also becomes an energy provider.

As hospitals across Europe grapple with inflation and staffing shortages, healthcare leaders warn that the energy crisis could also spell trouble for patient care. Fortunately, this is not the case in the Southern part of Denmark: Here, Sygehus Sønderjylland, Sønderborg is at the forefront of the energy crisis. They are getting ready to wave goodbye to fossil fuels and their outdated old gas boilers. Instead, they welcome two new heat pumps, including multiple Danfoss Climate Solutions components that will balance their heating and cooling systems the perfect way.

In Europe, leading health professionals are concerned about patient care and record-high energy bills:

For example, in the U.K., some National Health Service trusts could see their winter energy bills double or triple compared with last year’s, according to an investigation by the British Medical Journal*. That amounts to an additional £2 million per month for those worst affected.

Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach recently appealed for government help on hospital energy costs. The minister tweeted: “Inflation and high energy costs are threatening the very existence of hospitals. We are working on a solution.”

“When you have a restaurant and your energy prices increase, you can increase the price of your products. You can handle it, perhaps. But we can’t,” said Gerald Gaß to POLITICO. He is the chief executive officer of the German Hospital Federation, which represents all hospitals in the country.

Sønderborg and Danfoss have a solution for future hospitals

In addition to producing direct cooling for the technical installations, scanners, ambulatory clinics, and wards, Sygehus Sønderjylland, Sønderborg will utilize the heat recovered from cooling to meet the hospital process and comfort heat loads while also utilizing surplus heat to keep staff and patients comfortable. And when they generate too much surplus heat, the local heating utility in Sønderborg will transfer the heat to the district energy grid and utilize it to heat private homes. The benefits are a long-term and cost-effective energy solution that supports sustainable development.

The strength of this project is the well-organized approach and great collaboration between many different stakeholders. The project is headed by a SteerCo with representatives from the Municipality, the utility, the engineering company, and representatives from the hospitals in the region including Danfoss.

Jesper Møller Iversen, Head of Finance and Planning, Sygehus Sønderjylland, commented:

"With great pleasure, we wave goodbye to fossil fuels at the hospital in Sønderborg and welcome the green transition. As a large organization, we are pleased to be able to make our contribution to this important transition. We expect to gain a lot of good experiences, which can also serve the hospital in Aabenraa, other hospitals in the region, and throughout the country.”

*Exclusive: Hospitals will be hit with “eye watering” energy bills this winter | The BMJ

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