Energy Efficiency at LifeBridge Health

Energy efficiency plays a large role in LifeBridge’s sustainability efforts. In 2010 Sinai Hospital began to replace its fluorescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LED light bulbs. The purpose of doing this was not only to reduce its energy consumption, but also to prevent people from being exposed to the toxic element of mercury, which is found in traditional fluorescent lights.

Energy Transition Phases
VFD (Variable Frequency Drives)
Total Energy Savings
Measuring Success
5 Reasons Why Your Organization Should Become Energy Efficient

Energy Transition Phases

The LifeBridge Health LED energy transition, which BGE has committed a 50% incentive to, consisted of two phases:

 Phase 1 - Non Patient Service Areas
 Phase 2 - Patient Care Public Areas
  • 7,600 bulbs installed
  • 8,400 bulbs to be installed
  • Completed 5/3/10
  • Started 4/19/11

Here is a map that highlights phases of the project:
Energy Phases
Other facts about the project:
  • LifeBridge replaced F32T8 lamps with 15-watt lamps and drives in non-patient care areas of the campus.
  • These replacements will reduce the current 259.25 KWH load by more than half (144.38 KWH).
  • Most of the lamps burn 24/7 with a small percentage in intermittent use.
  • The estimated life of light bulbs is 80,000 hours. LifeBridge expects to have to change the LED bulbs once every 5 –7 years.
You can see the difference between the fluorescent and LED lighting at Sinai Hospital here:
 Fluorescent Lighting  LED Lighting
                               Before (with fluorescent lighting)                                 After (with LED lighting)

VFD (Variable Frequency Drives)

A variable-frequency drive (VFD) is a system for controlling the rotational speed of an alternating current (AC) electric motor by controlling the frequency of the electrical power supplied to the motor. A variable frequency drive is a specific type of adjustable-speed drive. Variable-frequency drives are also known as adjustable-frequency drives (AFD), variable-speed drives (VSD), AC drives, microdrivesor inverter drives.

To date 43 VFDs have been installed under BGE’s Energy Conservation program. They are located on pumps in the power plant and air handlers throughout the campus. With these energy efficient motor drives in place LifeBridge has reduce energy intake by 20%, as less mechanical energy is wasted.

The monthly savings for the combined energy budgets for Sinai Hospital and Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital is an average of $7288.00, or $87456.00 annually.

VFD Energy Savings Chart

Benefits of Using VFDs

There are many benefits to using variable-frequency drives:
  • Significant energy savings.
  • Lower maintenance costs because lower operating speeds result in longer life for bearings and motors.
  • Controlled ramp-up speed in a liquid system can eliminate water hammer problems.
  • The ability of a VFD to limit torque to a user-selected level can protect driven equipment that cannot tolerate excessive torque.

Total Energy Savings

Since this change was implemented Sinai Hospital has saved $850,000 in overall lighting costs, and it will save an additional $140,000 in 2012. Sinai will also be adding on the Children’s Hospital with an additional 31,048 sq footage with no increase to the 2012 utility budget.

Here is a worksheet of energy savings at Sinai Hospital:

Energy Savings Worksheet

Measuring Success

Below are a few examples of how energy has been measured at Sinai Hospital.

Location No. – 4

Location Description – Ground Floor Hallway by Fire Command

Ground Hallway Energy
Sinai Hospital Energy Star Performance

The Energy use of the Sinai Hospital building has been measured and compared to other similar buildings using the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Energy Performance Scale of 1-100, with 1 being the least energy efficient and100 the most energy efficient.

5 Reasons Why Your Organization Should Become Energy Efficient

  1. The process is easy.
  2. Help is out there for organizations to implement sustainable energy programs.
  3. The savings are real. You WILL see a reduction in your operating budget.
  4. “Low hanging fruit” projects could be operational in as little as six months.
  5. Lewis Poe did it, and he’s willing to help you!