By Rory Macnamara, Technical input Franco Habib of Allsteam Engineering CC

All photos by Franco Habib of Allsteam Engineering CC

Leratong Hospital, based in Kagiso, is a flagship project of the SA Medical and Education Foundation (SAME) since 2011. The hospital serves a catchment area of over 1.2 million people. Over the years, the Foundation has made an immense improvement to healthcare delivery at the hospital, completely renovating and equipping areas such as Accident & Emergency, Walk-in Casualty and Trauma Unit (2012), the Maternity unit (2013/2014), a Paediatric unit (2011/2015), the Neonatal unit (2013) and the Antenatal Clinic. This continues our long-term project giving quality healthcare to communities that need it the most


The SAME Foundation completely renovated and equipped the Paediatric Ward (Ward 3). It helped as an exceptional area to alleviate the pressure of over-capacity, reduce cross- infection and deliver exceptional healthcare to children in the community. Allsteam Engineering was appointed to conduct the update and overhaul of three plant rooms at the hospital.

These are all steam driven and as Franco pointed out, “steam is often used in facilities where a large amount of energy is required, and steam is an established energy generator. Steam is created in a boiler using either coal, gas or light fuel, and is burned to heat softened water to 140°C. Furthermore, in heating environments it is normal for pressure to be between 300 to 1 200 kPa.

“So, the higher the pressure, the hotter the steam.”

In a hospital environment, steam is used in the laundry, kitchen equipment, hot water supply, central heating, HVAC and sterilisation – this all accounts for 75% of energy consumption in the hospital.

The work done is as follows:

  • There are four plant rooms, and each comprise two (2) by 1 000ℓ hot water storage calorifiers and one (1) by central heating non storage calorifier with one (1) 1 200ℓ jacketed condensate tank, for heat recovery, where cooled steam is collected and pumped back into the boiler house for energy recuperation.
  • Plant room Three (3) supplies wards 10 to 15, each with 30 beds per
  • Plant room Four (4) supplies wards 15 to 20, each with 30 beds per
  • Plant room ten (10) consists of one (1) by 1 000ℓ hot water storage calorifier with direct steam heating coils for central This supplies hot water to nurses quarters, which accommodates 60 occupants.

The heating capacity of 104 KW for the 1 000ℓ hot water storage tank has a recovery rate of two (2) hours. Five (5) by 1 000ℓ hot water tanks with three (3) 1 200ℓ jacketed condensate.

“If the electric route was followed, we would have used a 7 500ℓ tank which would have required a much longer recovery rate,” concluded Franco.