New geothermal energy solution frees up resources for healthcare at Norrlands University Hospital, Umeå. A new heating and cooling centre, including ground storage for energy, is one of the solutions behind the hospital’s energy savings. “It‘s not only an effort to reduce the hospital’s energy costs, but also an investment in the environment” – Hans Johansson, then Property Area Manager at NUS.
The County Council Executive Committee invested in Energy Machines in 2014 to safeguard the future energy supply at Norrlands University Hospital (NUS) in Umeå, Sweden. Their focus on geothermal and renewable energy was a step toward sustainable development for the future. Energy Machines designed and installed an integrated heating and cooling system along with a large borehole energy storage area. Today, our geothermal energy solution covers just over 20% of the total heat requirement and 95% of cooling.
“By producing heating and cooling internally, we have put waste heat to good use and reduced the need for purchased energy. This is a really good deal for the County Council, and we can quickly recoup the investment cost and start saving money,” said Hans Johansson, then Property Area Manager at NUS.
Thanks to ground storage, which takes heat from bedrock in the winter and provides cooling in the summer, the County Council has a reliable supply of low-cost energy. It is now possible to keep spaces that depend on cool indoor temperatures - like operating rooms, blood banks, and laboratory settings - cool. Moreover, surplus heat is used to heat other areas in the hospital as needed. The constant cycle of energy extracted from the ground enables surplus heat to be saved during warm summer months for use in the winter.
“Previously, we paid for energy three times when we purchased district heating, district cooling, and electricity at the same time. Now we only buy electricity for heat pumps and can properly use all the energy that is in the building," said Jesper Burlin, the hospital's technical coordinator.
The ground storage comprises 125 boreholes, 200 meters deep beneath the large car park at the County Council building. It is one of the world’s 30 largest installations, supplying some 5,000 MWh of cooling and 7,000 MWh of heating – enough to heat around 450 houses. These figures translate to NUS having doubled its capacity for producing cooling and heating. The City Council plans to further invest in optimizing cooling and heating installations.