Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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About the project

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Video introduction

The video below explains why the Hospital Energy Project is needed, the technology and the environmental and financial benefits for OUH.

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Why is it needed?

The boilers at the John Radcliffe date back to 1973. Those at the Churchill date back to the early 1960s and the Churchill generator equipment was installed by the US Army in the 1940s. This is all being replaced with a new infrastructure that will deliver help OUH's commitment to providing world-class patient and research facilities, now and into the future.

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What is happening?

The project will:

  • remove all the old boilers and generators and replace them with a gas fired Combined Heat and Power Generator (CHP) at the John Radcliffe
  • install new boilers at both the John Radcliffe and Churchill
  • link the John Radcliffe and Churchill with a district heating line, high voltage cable and communications cabling (this is known as the Energy Link)
  • replace 7,000 of old light fittings.

Over 2015/16 much of the work on the John Radcliffe and Churchill sites was completed and the OUH is already saving around £9,000 each month on the upgrades.

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What is a CHP?

A CHP - Combined Heat and Power generator uses gas to make electricity. Heat is a by-product of generating power. If this heat is not captured it escapes into the atmosphere. In contrast, the CHP captures the heat in hot water and this hot water is then piped around the site for domestic hot water and the heating/cooling systems. The loss of temperature in the water in the pipes will be less than 3°C.

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Why do we need the Energy Link?

The Energy Link transports the hot water along the 2.2 kilometre length of pipe from the John Radcliffe to the Churchill. The hot water is then sent back to the John Radcliffe to be reheated and will be used at both the John Radcliffe and Churchill for hot water, heating, chillers and air conditioning.

The Energy Link also includes high voltage power cables and high speed fibre optic cable to enable large data files to be shared more quickly between the two sites. The Energy Link enables the OUH to reduce its CO2 emissions, heating and energy bills.

Without the Energy Link, the excess heat generated by the CHP would be lost into the atmosphere (in much the same way as evaporation escapes from a cooling tower).

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Download our leaflet (pdf; 4.27 MB)