Dynamic Gas Scavenging Systems: Saving Energy and Money
Walt Vernon, PE, LEED AP, EDAC, FASHE
Principal, Chief Executive Officer
Mazzetti is thrilled to be partnering with an innovative company called AGR, or Anesthetic Gas Reclamation; whose technology has the capability to reduce energy in anesthetic gas systems, reduce greenhouse gases and most importantly, save health care facilities money.
AGR was started by an anesthesiologist (and chemist) at Vanderbilt University, Dr. James Berry. In his investigations, he realized the enormous energy waste of the anesthetic gas vacuum systems. Normally, a vacuum system in the operating room takes air from the room. However, the system is only needed when the patient exhales.
Recognizing that vacuum outlets are rarely closed in an operating room, he invented a valve he called the Dynamic Gas Scavenging System, or DGSS. This device is completely independent of the gas collection system, and has its own FDA approval. It has been installed in a number of hospitals around the country as a pilot project. The beauty of the valve? It saves a lot of energy.
In fact, it saves about 90% of the energy normally consumed by the waste anesthetic gas disposal system. It also extends the life of the pump, reduces service interval of the pump, and frees up the capacity of the pumping system. If the device fails, it simply defaults back to normal operation, so there is no risk. It is a no-lose proposition for our clients. Depending upon the cost of electricity, the valves pay for themselves very quickly. There is no competing product.
What about financing? Here’s an example of how you can finance these installations in Oregon.
For new buildings projects, Oregon’s Energy Trust will pay between $0.15/kWh and $0.30/kWh based on kWh savings for installing the DGSS valves. The specific rate depends on the overall project savings; the greater the percentage of building energy savings, the bigger the incentive rate.
For existing buildings projects, incentives for the DGSS valve would be at a rate of $0.25/kWh based on kWh savings. Energy Trust will also pay us to do an energy study of specific measures an Owner is actually thinking of installing.
In both cases, the project needs to be preapproved before the owner financially commits to buying the valves.
The project must meet the payback guidelines to be preapproved, which is typically a project payback between 1 and 10 years.
Additional info is available at http://www.energytrust.org. Other incentive programs in other states likely offer similar programs.