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NYS’s Glen Falls Hospital Saving Costs With New Solar Thermal System Used In Dialysis Center

Solar thermal systems have long been popular in the residential sector, but now others such as medical institutions – with the help of state incentive programs – are also increasingly installing these systems for their energy efficiencies and cost effectiveness.

In New York, the first medical center to now take advantage such state incentives is the renal dialysis center of Glen Falls Hospital, which received $25,000 in funding from the NYSERDA’s Solar Thermal Incentive Program for the installation of its new $32,500 solar thermal system.

The solar thermal system – whose installation was completed a few weeks ago – is being used primarily to heat the water required in operating the dialysis machines.

“The solar thermal system, which preheats incoming cold water through 15 rooftop solar panels and a 375-gallon solar water tank before it goes to the boiler, is expected to reduce the center’s water heating fossil fuel consumption by 45 percent,” said Dayle Zatlin, assistant director of communications at the NYSERDA.

On many days, especially in the summer, the fossil boilers at the center will not be needed because the solar thermal system will handle all of the center’s hot water needs,” added Zatlin.

The system heats the water to anywhere between 120°F to 190°F. Then, mixing values temper it to 77°F for dialysis, and 140°F for hot water for sinks and the bathrooms.

The dialysis is a water-intensive process using an artificial kidney to filter the blood from harmful waste products, regulate chemicals, and remove excess fluids in the body. Water needs be heated to 77°F before it enters the dialysis machine, where it’s then raised to body temperature for use in the blood cleaning process.

The center uses about 5,500 gallons of heated water each day in treating 136 patients who visit three days a week and undergo three-and-a-half to four hour treatments during each visit.

The system uses an average of 200 gallons per hour of treated water for patient treatments and an additional 35 gallons per minute between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. during the regeneration cycle that cleans and softens the water, preparing it for treatments.

“The new system has improved the efficiency of this 13,000 square-foot facility, where more than 20,000 treatments are provided annually, and some patients travel for more than an hour away for dialysis,” said David Kruczlnicki, president and chief executive officer of Glen Falls Hospital.

Kruczlnicki also thanked the NYSERDA and Apex Solar (who installed system) for improving the efficiency of the facility.

The NYSERDA says that the solar thermal incentives are being granted on a first-come, first-serve basis, and applications will be accepted until Dec. 31, 2015 or until the funds are finished.


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Reader Comments (2)

Solar thermal systems constitute an important renewable green energy technology by exploring the naturally renewable energy of the sun. Solar thermal systems are a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way to supplement domestic hot water preparation.

September 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSolar Panels

Thanks for your comment!

Kyriaki (Sandy) Venetis

September 23, 2012 | Registered Commenter Kyriaki (Sandy) Venetis

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