St. Vincent Fishers Hospital in Fishers, Indiana is part of the largest Catholic, a not-for-profit healthcare system in the United States of America. It serves its community, not only by providing the utmost in compassionate care, but also by implementing excellence in environmental stewardship, by obtaining LEED certification, under the healthcare rating system, and by being the first hospital in Indiana to do so.
This explains why, in 2013, when St. Vincent Fishers Hospital needed to expand its emergency care clinic, to a full-service in-patient care hospital, it adopted its vision statement - ‘Expansion with the environment in mind.’ And why, when it came to its heating, humidification, and sterilization needs, St. Vincent Fishers Hospital chose to install Fulton boiler equipment.
Acting on the advice of Kevin McNutt of BSA LifeStructures, consulting engineer on the project, and working with Fulton representative and product specialist Byron Koch, President of A.B Young Company, St. Vincent Fishers Hospital installed:
- Three dual-fuel Fulton Vantage (VTG-2000DF) high-efficiency condensing hydronic heating boilers, and
- Two Fulton Classic (ICS-20) vertical tubeless steam boilers.
In 2015, the ICS-20s, used for humidification only, were upgraded to two (bigger) Fulton Vertical Multi-Port (VMP-50), low-emissions, dual-fuel steam boilers. These boilers back-fed the existing surgery suite for sterilization and then, re-fed St. Vincent Fishers Hospital’s need for humidification, serving a much greater overall load.
Vantage hydronic boilers installed
The Vantage boilers are dual-fuel optimized for both, natural gas and No. 2 fuel oil
The three installed Fulton Vantage hydronic boilers, as fully condensing boilers, achieve higher thermal efficiencies, of up to 99%, by recovering the latent heat of condensation from their own exhaust gases.
The Vantage boilers are dual-fuel optimized for both, natural gas and No. 2 fuel oil. In fact, Vantage is the world’s first condensing boiler to offer full-time operation on No. 2 oil as a secondary fuel.
Featuring Fulton ModSync controller
The Vantage boilers were also installed with a Fulton ModSync controller, to offer outdoor reset and BACnet communication, to maximize system efficiencies, based on seasonal temperatures and integration with building software systems.
Senior Mechanical Engineer at BSA LifeStructures, Kevin McNutt said, “Our firm has incorporated Fulton Vantages for hospital boiler plants, for at least the past 10 years, because of their ability to drop the heat and hot water temperature, so that we could get the condensing out of them, for energy savings. Also, there is a dual-fuel feature that we need for healthcare.”
Dual-fuel on a condensing boiler
Kevin McNutt adds, “We arrived at Fulton, because it’s a quality product, number one and number two, because you (Fulton) were the only ones who would provide dual-fuel on a condensing boiler, for a long time. Fulton products were used to generate cost savings, to generate more LEED points, to be more sustainable with hot-water heating systems.”
I like how easily accessible the Vantage is for routine maintenance and safety checks"
Matt Todd, Power Plant Specialist at St. Vincent Fishers, said “When it comes to the day-to-day operation of the Vantage boilers, I like how easily accessible the Vantage is for routine maintenance and safety checks.”
Matt Todd adds, “In the two years, since I have been here, I haven’t had enough issues (with the Vantages) that I can be specific enough about, to complain about. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, as they say, but (the Vantages) haven’t made much noise at all. They have been wonderful boilers.”
Vertical Multi-Port boilers (VMP-50s)
While the Vantage hydronic condensing boilers were standalone boilers, the two Vertical Multi-Port boilers (VMP-50s) were shipped and installed, as part of a fully-skidded system. This system included a boiler feed unit, a 304 stainless steel tank and blow down separator, and a ModSync controller, in addition to the VMP’s dual-fuel and low-NOx capabilities.
Kevin McNutt stated, “The first set (of ICS-20s) was ordered from Fulton in a three-skid arrangement, and those were installed without issue. What’s compelling about this story is that, a year down the road, when we decided that we needed to replace these boilers, to address long-term sterilization use, we replaced them with Fulton VMPs that were able to pass through standard door-sized openings, so that they could be easily installed on-site.”
Byron Koch commented, “The very tight space of the boiler room presented an installation concern, but luckily the VMP system shipped as multiple units that broke down into sections. Moreover, the only way we could get the boilers installed in the limited space we had, was because of the vertical design of the boilers, which allowed them to fit, where other types of boilers, like horizontal fire tube and water tube, would not.”
VMP boilers perform critical hospital functions
Energy savings and installation is easy, as the VMP boilers at St. Vincent Fishers perform critical hospital functions
Energy savings and installation is easy, as the VMP boilers at St. Vincent Fishers perform critical hospital functions, such as controlling the temperature and humidity in the surgery rooms, which helps maintain infection control. This can literally mean the difference between life and death.
In fact, so critical is the function of boilers in helping maintain infection control in hospitals that the 2013 edition of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) HVAC Design Manual for Hospitals and Clinics devotes an entire chapter to it.
In addition, they acknowledge the importance of installing boilers in hospitals that are low- maintenance, energy-efficient, and reliable.
energy-efficient heating solutions
Matt Todd stated, “In addition to sterilization and comfort needs, we feed our hospital humidifiers, with our Fulton Vertical Multi-Port (VMP) boilers and they, in turn, feed our operating room, which has to be in the range of certain specs, usually 30 to 60% (humidity).”
He adds, “If out of range there, you have downtime in Surgery and the ER. So humidification plays a big role in it too and that includes our Labor and Delivery C-section room that also has the same strict humidification requirements.”
Matt Todd concludes, “At St. Vincent, patients are always the number one priority, but number two is the power plant and the boilers that are installed in there. They (the boilers) heat the building, humidify our air and also sterilize our equipment. They are critical to patient care. We have to have them and Fulton has done a great job in helping us fulfill that need.”