LancasterThriving_WinterSpring2017 - 12

BUSINESS: BUSINESS PRIORITIES

LGH ENERGY
CENTER
of the Future

Ensures Reliability for Patients and Caregivers
When Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012, two major
hospitals within the path of the storm lost electricity,
resulting in the emergency evacuation of more than
200 patients. But it doesn't take a Category 5 storm
to disrupt a hospital's power. A blown transformer
led to a 15-hour power interruption at the Bon
Secours Medical Center in Virginia in 2015, and
similar disruptions have occurred at other facilities
in recent years.
While a loss of electricity can be an inconvenience
for some, in a hospital environment it can easily
be the difference between life and death. A typical
day at Lancaster General Hospital (LGH) on Duke
Street in Lancaster City includes 85 surgeries and
hundreds of tests and procedures, each with a
reliance on related technology. Being in the dark,
literally or figuratively, is not an option, which is
why LGH is investing in enhancing the safety of its
patients and employees.
Soon, the $28 million LGH Energy Center of the
Future will go live, increasing system reliability and
lowering costs. The project has been helped along
the way by a grant from the PA Department of
Community and Economic Development and teams
of talented contractors from central Pennsylvania
and beyond.

12 | LANCASTERTHRIVING! | Winter/Spring2017

HOW IT WORKS

The heart of the Energy Center of the Future is a nearly
$8 million Combined Heat and Power Plant (or CHP),
comprised of a Combustion Turbine and Heat Recovery
Boiler. Additionally, a Steam Driven Turbine Chiller
was added. By itself, the CHP is often referred to as a
cogeneration plant (providing electricity and heating). The
addition of the chiller (and its cooling capabilities) means
that LGH will have a trigeneration system, creating electricity,
heating and cooling from a single source.
Not intended as an "off-the-grid" system, the CHP is
powered by a high-pressure natural gas line, buried deep
beneath the surface of the road. Simply put, LGH is shifting
connectivity from the electric grid to the natural gas grid.
Troy Hafer, Benchmark Construction's project manager for
the Energy Center, explains.
"While electricity reliability is at an all-time high, LGH's
tolerance for failure is literally zero. During surgery or at other
critical moments in patient care, even a flicker of power has
the potential to impact outcomes. In our homes and offices,
we've all experienced periodic electricity failures. In contrast,
few of us have ever dealt with the inconvenience of a gas
leak. LGH values the proven reliability of natural gas."
The gas from UGI will be delivered along Frederick Street
via an eight-inch main at 55-60psi. Inside the building, the
pressure will be upcycled to 200 psi and used to power
a 3.5 megawatt gas turbine with a similar appearance to
a passenger-jet engine. Upon combustion from the gas
line, the turbine will spin, producing up to 75-85% of the
electricity required by the hospital, depending on
the season.



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