Fulton boilers specified for Southmead PFI hospital project

Skid-mounted, dual-fuel-fired steam boiler system installed in temporary central sterile supply department

Fulton boilers have been installed at Southmead Hospital

A skid-mounted, dual-fuel-fired steam boiler system has been installed at Southmead Hospital, the £430m new ‘super hospital’ in Bristol.

Steam from the skid-mounted package, which features two Fulton 60J boilers plus ancillaries, is used during the washing and sterilising of surgical equipment and instruments at the hospital’s temporary central sterile supply department (CSSD).

Richard Boocock of Hulley Kirkwood, the consulting engineers responsible for the CSSD and specification of the Fulton system, said: “Steam is fundamental to the CSSD and we needed a system that could raise sufficient amounts and in a relatively short period.

“Fulton boilers are renowned for this and, fortunately for us, they are manufactured in Britain and also right on the doorstep of Southmead Hospital. This means Fulton can also offer immediate back-up in the event of any servicing requirements or maintenance issues.”

Steam is fundamental to the CSSD and we needed a system that could raise sufficient amounts and in a relatively short period

The washing process at Southmead’s new CSSD involves rinsing used surgical equipment in cold water before it is then washed in hot water, with steam from the Fulton boiler system being generated to indirectly heat water to a temperature of approximately 80 degrees centigrade.

Once the surgical instruments are washed and re-packaged, raw steam - at approximately 180 degrees centigrade - from the Fulton system is used to heat the water source of the CSSD’s clean steam generator, steam from which is then supplied to the sterilisers at a temperature that is sufficient enough to kill any remaining pathogens, microbes and bacteria.

Fulton was also specified because a large residual store of energy was required and, in operation, its 60J vertical steam boilers feature a large reservoir of water at super-heated temperatures. This means that if a demand for steam is required, the boiler can therefore ‘flash off’ a considerable amount of steam, something a steam generator is not capable of.

Furthermore, Hulley Kirkwood specified duel-fuel-fired (gas and oil) Fulton Swiss burners to ensure a constant supply of steam was always available should the hospital’s gas supply be interrupted. Additionally, the specification of a twin boiler, skid-mounted system ensures ‘N+1’, a redundancy method adopted by the consulting engineers to ensure an additional source of steam is available to support the CSSD’s required performance, for example if one of the boilers needs to be taken offline for servicing or maintenance.

Although temporary, the central sterile supply department is an essential change-over facility that is indispensible in the move from the original NHS trust site to the new PFI-owned hospital. The Fulton system is at the heart of this facility

Boocock said: “Although temporary, the central sterile supply department is an essential change-over facility that is indispensible in the move from the original NHS trust site to the new PFI-owned hospital. The Fulton system is at the heart of this facility.”

Fulton’s ‘J’ Series vertical gas- and oil-fired steam boiler range includes eight models with outputs from 96 to 960 kg/h. Its tubeless design eliminates coils and tubes traditionally used in steam raising plant and enables it to raise its full steam output in just 20 minutes.

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