Steam district systems in The UK are dying and in 10-15 years will be extinct like dinosaurs. Companies like SpiraxSarco and Dalkia will have to innovate to maintain their revenues. There is no future in district steam. Maintaining the steam on site is a life blood for those companies. If steam is gone, there will be no need for them in their current capacity. It is sad but true.
If steam is gone, the cost of the energy centers will drop significantly and its design will be much simpler. The need for stringent complaints, complex operation and expensive maintenance will be gone. Steam energy centers market will shrink dramatically.
If the steam distribution system is gone, there will be no need to survey the steam systems, repair and replace the steam traps, and replace the shell and tube calorifiers with plate heat exchangers. All would be left is process steam.
In my opinion converting steam say to LTHW will save hundreds of thousands of pounds in annual operation and maintenance for the average hospital.
If you are considering replacing the energy center, convert steam to LTHW. By converting you will make 5-10% heating energy savings automatically on top of your operation and maintenance savings.
Get real, Britain! Steam is never used for humidification in AHUs. All the steam is used for is a few sterilizers, autoclaves, may be some labs and kitchens. In my assessment the steam load of this equipment is 3-10% of the total steam produced on site. The energy centers are run at excessive steam pressures unnecessary. Old steam systems have got intense problems with condense leaks, steam leaks, steam traps, condense receivers and very poor insulation of the pipes. Distributing the steam in the service ducts causes overheating of space in summer adding additional cooling load for the electric chillers.
Convert steam into LTHW. Install local tiny steam generators to serve the processes and forget about the majority of your problems, issues and complaints on site. You deserve a piece of mind! Convert my friend, convert. Do not just replace the energy center equipment. It is damn and short sighted.
Do not make the same mistakes some of the hospitals have done in the past. All of them regret it.
Convert steam to LTHW and replace the energy center. If you take maintenance into account, it will be cheaper with all the new pipework you will have to put in. But once done, it is done for ever.
See the future and take my advice – convert!