The Mennonite Health System unveiled plans to implement energy and oxygen production cogeneration systems (CoGen) in the Caguas Mennonite Hospital. These projects are part of the institution’s long-term plan to outfit its six hospitals with the same technologies, for which it will invest $36 million.
The cogeneration system produces 1,748 kilowatts of electricity. The new system also allows the production of 1,300 pounds of steam, which is used in cleaning medical instruments, company executives said.
As part of the cogeneration process, hot water is produced that is destined for use in the hospital bathrooms, and ice water for the air conditioning systems. Currently, the Caguas Mennonite Hospital is the second on the island to have an electricity cogeneration system installed.
Meanwhile, the oxygen production unit — which makes the Caguas Mennonite Hospital the first institution of its kind in Puerto Rico to have this system — works through a compressor that collects atmospheric air, dehumidifies and cools it, and processes and stores it in high pressure oxygen tanks until it reaches the appropriate levels of purity to supply it to the hospital.
“We’re very proud to continue taking firm steps toward the goal of continuing to develop first-line hospital facilities, with modern, robust and reliable infrastructures that have a direct impact on the service we offer our patients every day,” said Ricardo Hernández, executive director of the Mennonite Health System.
“The installation of systems like these allow us to have additional sources of energy and oxygen to ensure the continuity of our operation in case of an event,” he said. “And this, for us and for our patients, means a necessary peace of mind, in addition to contributing to the effective management of the natural resources that we need so much.”
Some of the main benefits of the cogeneration system are: Energy savings of 75%, consistency in any issues on the part of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), and compatibility with other alternative sources of energy, including solar panels.
The system can generate up to 100% of the energy that the Caguas Mennonite Hospital needs to operate 24/7, and is added as a third source of energy, in addition to the PREPA service and the emergency power generators.
The oxygen production system provides a reserve, represents savings and the capacity for continuity and reliability of services in any event, hospital officials said.
The Mennonite Health System plans to implement these systems in its hospitals in Guayama, Aibonito, Cayey, CIMA-Aibonito and Humacao next.