PE-RT: Superior Pipe for a Hospital Heat Recovery System

Over 2.5 miles of PE-RT provided a Quebec hospital with heating and cooling lines

Existing Building: New Needs 

The price of heating an existing hospital on the Magdalen Islands in Québec, Canada presented a challenging problem: Finding a reliable pipe material to support the heating and cooling system. Additionally, this project was unique in location. The islands form a small archipelago in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence with a land area of 250 kilometers (155 miles). WSP Engineering was brought on board to design a dual line for the heat recovery system at the hospital. The team had been looking at CPVC and steel pipe, but at the time, CPVC manufacturers were not able to guarantee the performance of the system that needed to operate at around 170°F at 75psi. Steel was the preferred option. However, steel would have corroded in the salty underground water environment, making it an undesirable choice. 

Superior Advantage of PE-RT 

WSP wasn’t done searching for a better option. Denis Laframboise from URECON, an insulation pipe supplier, and ISCO Industries, a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe, equipment, and solutions provider, had conversations that lead to a partnership that allowed ISCO to prove an all-encompassing solution. For this project, François Desmarais, ISCO’s sales rep in Québec, offered Plantinumstripe® PE-RT pipe from Performance Pipe. PE-RT offers multiple benefits including higher permissible operating temperatures as compared to standard PE4710 products. It allows for continuous operation at temperatures from -45°C (-49°F) to 82°C (180°F) with intermittent operating temps up to 95°C (203°F) for some applications. It has 20 times PE4710 requirements for stress crack resistance and is corrosion- and leak-resistant. 

Proof of Performance 

François continued to offer technical support to WSP as they made the final decisions on the project. Project manager Claude Dorval was impressed with the benefits of PE-RT pipe and decided it would be the sole spec on the project.

ISCO provided four km (13,500 feet) of heating and cooling dual lines of pre-insulated 8-inch IPS DR11 PE-RT pipe. The line runs from the Hydro-Québec power central to the local hospital (2km each way). Glycol is used to trap the heat generated by the diesel generators at the power central and travel in the insulated pipe to the hospital to be used in their heating system. This whole concept acts as a big heat exchanger. 

Hydro-Québec is producing electricity at 30 cents/kwh on the island, but can only resell it to the hospital at 6 cents/ kwh as per the Provincial law. 

With this new investment, Hydro- Québec will reduce its electricity sales to the hospital and their deficit with the customer at the same time. The $4 million investment will be recovered in only four years.

“PE-RT offers multiple benefits including higher permissible operating temperatures as compared to standard PE4710 products. It allows for continuous operation at temperatures from -45°C (-49°F) to 2°C (180°F) with intermittent operating temps up to 95°C (203°F) for some applications.”

 

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