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Process chillers save water for Australian hospitals

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Installing a chiller has the potential to save hospitals tens of thousands of litres of water usage per year in the sterilisation process as it utilises hot water from the condensers and vacuum pump and pumps it back to the sterilizer rather than relying on town water.  

During a period of extended drought in many Australian States, saving water has become an important part of the national psyche. For industrial purposes in particular, the large amounts of water involved in many applications means that businesses are seeking to cut down water usage both for environmental reasons and cost effectiveness.  

For hospitals, the sterilization process is one of the key aspects of day to day running. Ensuring that patients are treated with instruments and equipment which is sterilized to the highest possible standard is crucial. However the process itself is extremely costly and takes a large amount of energy to complete. As well as the energy considerations, significant amounts of water are used to cool the sterilizer to stop this energy from creating too much heat which can damage the machine and the circuits. Many hospitals still use town water for this purpose which is an inefficient use of such a scarce resource.     

Installing a chiller can potentially save hospitals tens of thousands of litres of water usage per year. The chiller is able to take hot water from the condensers and vacuum pump, cool it down and pump it back to the sterilizer. Having a large buffer tank in the chillers means that extremes of temperature on the return water don’t have any negative effect. The hot return water just mixes with the internal reservoir which the chiller holds at a constant 10 degrees Celsius. The chiller also has the added advantage of keeping sterilizing cycle’s times constant in any weather which means greater reliability and through put.  

For hospitals like Goulburn Base Hospital in NSW, which recently installed a chiller as part of the Atherton Gorilla steriliser installation, switching to a chiller has meant significant water usage savings. Summit Matsu Chilling Systems who manufactured the chiller have had enquiries from hospitals all over Australia. “It is amazing how many are still using town water for sterilizer cooling, we are genuinely surprised that hospitals are not taking simple steps like installing chillers to cut water usage” said Summit Matsu General Manager Daniel Rollston.    

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