A Hot Topic
Healthcare is a hot topic everywhere, with new breakthroughs, promising treatments, and rising costs making headlines nearly every day. Nowhere is the topic hotter than Houston’s Texas Medical Center. A medical city of a quarter million healthcare workers, researchers, students, patients and support personnel, the Center is the largest medical facility in the world. It’s also located in one of America’s warmest cities, with temperatures averaging over 90 degrees four months of the year.
Thermal Energy Corporation (TECO) is responsible for powering, cooling and heating the Texas Medical Center. TECO engineers chose an engineering strategy that mimics many elements of the human body, circulating heating and cooling throughout the Center.
Combined Heat and Power
TECO built a district heating and cooling system to chill water for air conditioning and produce steam for heat and sterilization. It works in tandem with the center’s on-site, natural-gas-fired electricity generation. The Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system pumps chilled water and steam throughout the facility with a circulatory system of underground pipes. It’s the largest chilled water system in the U.S. and the heart of the Center’s climate control.
A Healthier Medical Center
TECO’s CHP system is a serious solution for Texas Medical Center’s everyday activities and life-saving units. The circulatory system reaches into vital locations like neonatal intensive care, surgical suites, critical care and research labs that require reliable, consistent energy and climate control. And operations have never been healthier. GE’s CHP system increased efficiency from 42 percent to 80 percent, cut fossil fuel consumption 61 percent and reduced CO2 emissions by more than 305,000 tons per year. The biggest benefit in today’s world of rising healthcare costs? Texas Medical Center will save more than $200 million over 15 years.