Sustainable approaches to heating and thermal storage and utilisation within Hospitals

The Innovation Exchange programme is working alongside Hull University Teaching Hospitals (HUTH) in looking at technologies to fulfil their ambitions of achieving net zero carbon across their hospital sites by 2030. Heating attributes to approximately 70% of energy use and the move away from gas to more sustainable heating within the HUTH hospitals is highly desirable. HUTH would like to explore solutions that can ensure hospitals are heated by the most sustainable methods possible, appreciating that safeguarding patients is critical and any approaches must not impact on patient health or comfort and cause minimal disruption to hospital operation in deployment or trial. HUTH is looking for innovative partners to work alongside the sites in Hull in bringing about the net zero ambitions and fulfil their strategy for energy security ensuring patient care is not impacted whatsoever.


Challenge opens


Challenge closes



Successful applicants will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their technologies to HUTH, and there are potential business opportunities for the future for innovations that bring about the right return on net zero and financial benefits.


Hull University Teaching Hospitals (HUTH) are situated in the geographical area of Kingston upon Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire, they employ 9,600 WTE staff, have an annual turnover of £726 million (2020/21) and operate from two main sites - Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital – whilst delivering a number of outpatient services from locations across the local health economy area. There are 4 main sites owned and operated by HUTH with varied constructive, size and use which include several large multi storey hospital buildings and also smaller buildings across the sites. The smallest buildings being the mobile centres that have been installed to increase capacity quickly. 
The NHS has a target to achieve 80% reduction in emissions by 2032. Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is making an ambitious commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030 in their Zero30 plan 

The Trust aim to decarbonise the estate and infrastructure by 50% by 2028 and have asked Innovate UK KTN to work with them to help them identify potential innovative solutions to be able to deliver and deploy solutions to help them meet their targets. With the future of the estates, the Trust is working to reduce the energy demand of its buildings while considering power generation and efficient use of energy, the desire is to make the hospitals as independent as possible in the future to have a robust health service that is secure and safe.
Both sites have Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units of 1.5MW, in addition Castle Hill Hospital also has 5MW of solar Photovoltaics PV.

The Challenge
Currently, across the sites within HUTH, heating is achieved by gas boilers to raise steam and hot water together with air source heat pumps. The buildings across the sites have different types of heating, some were installed as part of the original build program.
For this challenge HUTH seeks innovative alternatives to heating hospitals that offer good payback and net zero carbon and can be easily installed or retrofitted into existing buildings. Heating systems, that are potentially supported by storage systems, would ideally be scalable to fit in any of the buildings but also cost effective. Support areas and offices have more flexibility for solutions that may require internal system changes however patient areas due to occupation can be more difficult to access. Any patient areas require N+1 (back-up power) capability however this could be provided from the existing heating solution.
The drawings below show the areas heated by steam the remaining areas are heated by decentralised gas or air source heat pumps. 


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