Renal units in Kent are now counting the benefit from the installation of heat exchangers to dialysis machines.

Fraser Campbell's picture

The project to retro-fit heat exchangers in dialysis machines at various renal units around East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust is nearing completion. Funding for 52 machines was secured in a ‘Dragons Den’ event back in June. Innovative ideas were presented to the Trust during the evening and successful schemes were awarded funding there and then. The pitch requested a capital outlay of £11,600 with a return expected within four years. It is estimated that the resulting total carbon saving annually should be in the order of 14 Tonnes CO2e. The heat exchangers were delivered by BBraun in August and the installation process started immediately.

Machines in the renal unit at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford were all modified by the end of August. Along with the existing stock of HDF (Haemodiafiltration) specification machines, with factory fitted heat exchangers, every machine in this unit can benefit from the device. Furthermore, the unit is now being used to evaluate their effectiveness. Monthly electrical meter readings are now monitored and compared with previous readings. Comparisons made over a six or twelve month period will be more representative, but the initial results from the first month or two are eagerly awaited.


Heat exchangers - anyone else got machines to retrofit?

Frances Mortimer's picture

That's great news, Fraser.  We look forward to hearing how much electricity has been saved in your first couple of months.

Encouraged by the East Kent unit's success, the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare has now also been awarded a small amount of funding - from The Funding Network at an event run by 10:10 Campaign - to help other units do the same.  It would be great to get all old machines retrofitted as soon as possible and start saving that carbon!

Most dialysis machines now have heat exchangers fitted as standard, but some of the older Braun models don't have them.  Has anyone got these machines in their unit, and would like to get their Trust to retrofit heat exchangers? Any questions, please reply to this forum thread!


PS - the original case study, and a powerpoint presentation by Fraser (including voice-over) can be downloaded from the site - see:



Dialysis heat exchangers: who has Braun Dialog machines?

Frances Mortimer's picture

Hi everyone, we are looking for renal units with Braun Dialog+ dialysis machines.  These are the ones which can save 20% on electricity by retrofitting heat exchangers (that's about 536 kWh and £50 saving per machine per year, for machines used twice a day).  

The Kent & Canterbury service have recently retrofitted 52 machines and are expecting pay-back within 4 years.

If your unit uses these machines and doesn't yet have heat exchangers fitted, please get in touch!  We can help liaise with your Trust to make the case for investment (& carbon saving). 

Please contact me via my profile here (you will need to be logged in to the site).  Thanks! Frances


Newcastle experience - heat exchangers for home HD machines

Frances Mortimer's picture

People may have seen that the Newcastle renal unit entered a heat exchangers retrofit project to the Green Nephrology Awards last month.  (you can read the case study here: )

I thought it was interesting that because they chose to retrofit their home HD machines, they were able to fund the capital cost from the home dialysis conversion budget.  The energy savings in patients homes are greater than in hospital, because the incoming water is colder (in Winter) so more energy is needed to heat it to blood temperature.  The electricity savings fall to the patient, but can be recouped by the Trust through a lower annual payment towards patients' increased utility bills.

I wondered if other units may have home HD machines which could benefit in the same way?


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