Chillers: A hot component of the medical industry

致冷物: 医学工业的一个热组分

Joanna Padovano, Reporter | November 18, 2011
From the November 2011 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


According to Hansel, with the use of an economizer, Filtrine Manufacturing Company is able to save at least 10 percent for every 10 degrees that the temperature drops outside. “We’re able to save a fair amount of energy on a single, small chiller for the customer using the ambient, lower temperatures outside as the temperatures cool down,” he explains.

Vendors are also going green by using higher-efficiency fan systems, pumps and compressors, which are the three primary energy users in a chiller, according to Bernard. Chiller manufacturers can also be more environmentally conscious by designing systems that use the least amount of refrigerant possible, says Jeff Johnson, who mentions that his company uses propylene-glycol antifreeze, which is virtually non-toxic.

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Seismic certification
Depending on the state, seismic certification is becoming increasingly important to the medical chillers sector. “California has started with the biggest increase in those seismic requirements,” says Sheri Johnson, who predicts that these regulations will eventually spread throughout the rest of the country. “Being able to keep your equipment safe during an earthquake is a big deal because it’s a big investment, and [customers] want that stuff still up and running,” she says.

According to Bernard, the entire medical model line of Dimplex Thermal Solutions has gone through seismic shake tests and was approved for OSHPD, California’s seismic certification preapproval program. “This means they can not only sustain an earthquake without tearing apart, [or having] things falling off that could injure people if it fell off a roof, but are also still operational after going through an earthquake,” she explains.

“Of course in the medical field, when you’re doing MRIs and that type of thing, if you have an earthquake where there might be a lot of injuries, these pieces of equipment need to be operational so that the doctors can diagnose and help to take care of these injuries,” adds Bernard. “So it’s a big deal to still be able to have everything in your hospital operating.”

The medical chillers sold by New Hampshire-based Filtrine Manufacturing Company have also been seismically tested to determine where their center of gravity is.

In Texas, where Cold Shot Chillers is located, seismic requirements are not as high a priority. “We haven’t really seen a whole lot of specifications for earthquake [requirements],” says Marrone.

Challenges
“Price point is always a challenge,” says Bernard. “It’s always a good balancing act between giving all the features that they give you, the exceeding quality and reliability factor, while keeping it within a price range tolerable to a customer.”

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