Arkansas Children’s Hospital has enhanced temperature control and sanitation for surgery while lowering maintenance costs and assuring smooth operations with simple, steam-driven pumps.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) is passionate about the well-being of children, families, doctors and staff. Located in Little Rock, Ark., the hospital’s infrastructure is considered vital to their healing and healthful mission. When they switched from traditional centrifugal electrical pumps to the Liqui-Mover® steam-powered condensate pump from Kadant Johnson, they reduced energy and maintenance costs, but also assured consistent climate control and sterilization for surgery.
Like most hospitals, ACH uses steam to provide heating, hot water, humidification and sterilization services throughout the hospital complex.
“Because the Liqui-Mover uses steam to pump condensate, we don’t have to worry about issues typically associated with electric centrifugal pumps. Our philosophy is all about quality of life at the hospital,” said ACH Director of Maintenance Chet Howard, “Mechanical system failures often happen because of fatigue from too many moving parts.”
“Keeping the kids comfortable, assuring doctors that surgical instruments are sterile, while minimizing outages of any kind, leads us to energy related systems that we don’t need to think about,” Howard explained. “Mechanical system failures often happen because of fatigue from too many moving parts. This is especially important for systems where steam is involved, as the high heat and moisture tend to wear down units.”
“Any equipment we can find that has minimal maintenance requirements is always a welcome addition to our physical plant” said ACH Physical Plant Foreman David Mayfield.
“Our stationary engineers make equipment room tours during each shift to assure smooth plant operation, and to check for potential issues with our boilers and power systems; but the Liqui-Mover condensate pump really requires no attention at all. Any system that functions well without requiring maintenance time is a major plus.”
The ACH maintenance team first installed a Liqui-Mover system back in 2004, replacing their conventional centrifugal electric pumps. Reliability problems had occurred, because of failing mechanical seals and cavitation with the impeller.
Mayfield indicated that ACH has three complete Liqui-Mover pump systems, one for the existing hospital, another for their Research Facility and the newest one for their 260,000 sq. ft. expansion, which will be completed in 2012.
“Leaking condensate is expensive and can cause water damage to equipment and buildings,” continues Mayfield. “The goal of any condensate pump is to return condensate to the boiler as hot as possible; it requires less energy to turn that condensate back to steam. Not only does the condensate have energy that we wish to recover but it also has boiler feed chemicals that can add additional cost when not returning condensate.”
Each unit was installed in less than 8 hours. The Liqui-Mover system skid package was pre-piped with the pump and receiver tanks, control panel, check-valve, and 3-way control valve.
Mayfield added that in these times of cost reductions and running leaner, any way to reduce recurring costs and free up maintenance personnel is a valuable asset.