NY Hospital First to Use Solar Power for Dialysis

June28, 2012 by Shannalee in Solar Living

Glen Falls HospitalGlen Falls Hospital in Glen Falls, New York, recently unveiled new rooftop solar thermal panels at its Renal Dialysis Center, making it the first hospital in the area to run dialysis in part through solar power.

“This innovation at its purest … will also help us save a few bucks,” said David Kruczlnicki, hospital president and CEO. The solar system had a total pricetag of $32,500 but was partially paid for by a $25,000 federal stimulus grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

The way it works is this: the solar panels will absorb heat from the sun into municipal water that flows through sealed vacuum tubes. Because heat is a major part of dialysis, used to keep the blood at a 77-degree temperature as it moves through the cleansing machine and then warming it to 98.6 for a patient’s body, the solar panels will be very useful in replacing other forms of power used in the treatments.

In fact, the solar power generated through the new panels should replace about 45 percent of the natural gas that was being used to heat water for the center, which uses about 5,500 gallons of heated water a day during treatments right now. By saving the hospital money, this renovation will also make it possible to repay the investment within five years, with continual cost savings afterwards, through its entire estimated 30-year lifespan.

That’s money the hospital can “take..and re-invest in patient care or new technology,” said Ron Zimmerman, VP of operations at the hospital.

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