Energy Innovation Helps Community Health Providers
Managing 36 clinics and providing vital services for residents in a remote region of Alaska is no small task for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.
Several clinics in the network were reporting challenges with their boilers, as well as issues that many thought were weather-related but were difficult to pinpoint. Under previous maintenance systems fixing these issues would require on-site review, however, the Alaska Housing Building Monitoring (BMON) System allows remote digital monitoring 24/7.
The clinic in Holy Cross had an oil boiler hydronic heating system and Toyo stove as heating backup. The facility received regular complaints about rooms being cold. Alaska Housing’s BMON system allowed staff to remotely diagnose that the Toyo thermostat had been turned up and was overriding the boiler, causing other rooms to be cold. By looking at the temperature and boiler run times, the issue was determined without a trip to the clinic, saving time and money.
Finding Answers from a Distance
Another clinic had a new boiler installed with a motor sensor to track when the boiler was running. In the first few months of installation, the boiler shut down several times. Maintenance was unable to identify the reason, nor find a solution. Ultimately, the BMON system provided a clue. YKHC maintenance determined that because the boiler had been installed on the windward side of the building, wind pressure frequently backdrafted the boiler exhaust and caused it to shut down as an automatic safety measure. By comparing wind speeds with times that the boiler shut down, the problem was determined and the exhaust was re-routed to another location to solve the problem.
Under normal circumstances both instances would have required a physical trip to the location to diagnose the problem. BMON’s digital monitoring allows systems to be checked remotely anytime, anywhere.
AHFC’s BMON is a collaborative software/hardware solution that works in tandem to track critical facility maintenance data. While it was designed specifically for conditions in Alaska – especially for remote areas – it could be used anywhere.
BMON’s internet-based dashboard provides data available to anyone, anytime. The system is customizable to meet specific building needs, with a high degree of flexible, adjustable parameters that can be set by operators. This includes automatic notification alerts by text and/or email with visual indicators, comparative data analysis – both real-time or historical – and more. There is no required software download; the system is designed to be turnkey on an internet browser and is intended to view with low friction on a mobile device, laptop, tablet, or in the field.
BMON uses wireless sensors for tracking data. It can accept data from both inside and outside sources, such as the National Weather Service.
Learn More About BMON
Click here for more information about AHFC’s BMON System and other energy efficiency services and projects.