Utilizing a Fuel Cell as a Primary Power Source for a Hospital

            Hospitals are heavy users of water and energy, producing huge amounts of waste in the process. They place a huge demand on the resources of a community, demanding that suitable design is used in their construction. Hospital design has to ensure efficiency and strictly follow local and state building codes (Lawson, Ogden, & Goodier, 2014). Using a fuel cell generator ensures that cleaner energy is generated and used. It also cots cheaper than power from the electrical power grid. The hospital building design has to provide expandability and flexibility. This will ensure that the design can cater for changing medical needs and modes of treatment. Modular concepts of planning layout and space should be followed when designing a hospital. Generic plans and room sizes have to be used as much as possible instead of having specific sizes and plans. The rooms also need to be served by electrical and mechanical systems that are easily accessible, modular, and easily modifiable.

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            Using a fuel-cell generator to power up a hospital is an innovation that will require technical expertise and a lot of engineering, but will result in the reduction of costs and improvement of efficiency. The engineering consists of a solid-oxide fuel cell that produces energy through electrochemical reactions (Bullis, 2013). The fuel cell generator has no emissions and is a more reliable and consistent source of power. More electrical efficiency is achieved, compared to conventional combustion power technology. Heat and power installations will be combined in design to increase efficiency by using any heat generated for hospital heating. The generator also has fuel flexibility, which will allow the use of different energy sources such as natural gas, hydrogen, and methanol. In addition, quiet operation will be achieved with a fuel cell generator, which is ideal for the hospital environment. A functional team that is well aware of the engineering needs of the project will be required to ensure that all design requirements are met.

References

Bullis, K. (2013). An inexpensive fuel‐cell generator.

Lawson, M., Ogden, R., & Goodier, C. (2014). Design in modular construction. CRC Press.

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