The project included energy-efficient lighting, new boilers and solar water heating to supply domestic hot water to patients’ rooms and nursing floors. The measures provide substantial savings and help achieve sustainability goals.
Incentives provided by both We Energies and Focus on Energy helped the Appleton Medical Center install a 48-panel, drain-back solar system in 2010. Since its installation, the panels have provided the thermal equivalent of more than 20,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, saving more than $13,000 per year in energy costs.
On a sunny, zero-degree day in January 2011, the fluid temperature in the panels was 190 degrees. Through a heat exchanger, the fluid was able to heat water in the storage tanks to more than 150 degrees – several degrees hotter than the recommended maximum temperature for any domestic water heating system.
“The system is expected to supply more than 85 percent of the total year-round hot water needs for the new 75-bed addition,” according to Cliff Schneider, AMC Facilities manager. “We’ve been very pleased with this decision as it’s nearly maintenance free and reduces our environmental footprint.”
Prior to construction, a series of neighborhood meetings were held about the new addition, and the solar panel arrays were designed to minimize visibility from the street.
The total project cost was approximately $168,000, with incentives from We Energies and Focus on Energy covering more than $117,000.