In recent years, there has been an increase in the demand for blood and plasma. Also worth mentioning is that, with the global pandemic still ongoing, the standard norm is all about progress with the COVID-19 vaccine. As a result, the ability of manufacturers to meet hospital demand while also meeting the needs of the general public will be influenced by the cold storage requirements.
Hence, the global market for lab freezers has increased (check here) significantly since 2015. Continuously, it is expected to rise in the future. In fact, the lab freezers market is expected to reach $3.76 billion by 2021, representing a 4.6 percent annual growth rate.
As a result of the increasing demand for new technology that better fits the needs of the industry, many people are discussing their ultra-low temperature (ULT) storage options and how to keep them operating at peak performance levels. Ultra-low temperature freezers have a typical service life of 12 to 15 years. Therefore, if you intend to purchase one, you should ensure that it has all of the necessary features and is a good fit for your laboratory.
In fact, in the last three decades, there has been a significant advancement in the field of freezing technology. Today’s freezers are far more effective and efficient than those previously available on the market. As a result, by upgrading to available new models, depending on the open space, you can benefit from the most up-to-date technological advancements that are appropriate for your lab needs.
What Is An Ultralow Freezer?
Ultralow-temperature (ULT) freezers, also known as -80 freezers, are widely used in the life sciences industry, pharmaceuticals, and laboratories for the long-term storage of biomolecules. To protect samples containing biomolecules such as oligonucleotides and proteins from high-temperature decomposition or being damaged, in simpler terms, they typically maintain a temperature between -40 and -80°C or -40 and -123°F during the process.
Types Of ULT Freezers
ULT freezers are available in two basic configurations: upright and chest. Each of these has advantages and disadvantages depending on the laboratory or application.
Upright freezers, most commonly, are the more popular choice because of the limited space available in most laboratories. Upright ULT cold storage has a smaller physical footprint and makes better use of open storage space.
Chest freezers, on the other hand, are much more energy-efficient than upright. But because of the issue in labs with limited space, according to Nuaire, chest style ULT freezers account for less than 5 percent of total ULT freezer sales. But when we talk about its advantages, chest-style freezers have a longer lifespan and better efficiency. Temperature setpoints can be reached more quickly, and they are also simpler to maintain.
What You Should Consider
When it comes to sampling preservation, it can be a frustrating process — mainly because your research’s outcome is in the grip of an Ultra-Low Temperature (ULT) freezer. Thus, it is critical to have the most reliable piece of equipment in your laboratory, and the ultralow freezer should be the first one in line. So, where do you begin your search for the best cold storage for your laboratory?
Preliminary planning should include deciding on a location for the freezer before beginning the purchase process. Naturally, the freezer you purchase must be able to fit into the available space, but it must also be able to travel from your docking station, through your lab entryways, and to the spot of your choice.
This cold storage may generate a considerable amount of heat and noise. The need for adequate ventilation is therefore essential. Generally, a freezer requires a minimum amount of side and top clearance for proper air circulation. Typically, it is recommended that there be a minimum of 203 mm of space on the top and 127 mm of clearance on both sides and the back.
Also, take note of the decibel ratings. Freezer models may vary from unit to unit. Some may be noisier than others, and vice versa. So you should inquire first about the unit you are considering, especially if the freezer will be next in the workplace.
Obviously, freezers account for high energy bills. In laboratories, many tech freezers usually operate. Take note: freezers consume an average of 3 percent more energy each year. Hence, most laboratories today are attempting to adopt a more “green” approach (link:https://sustainability.umich.edu/media/files/ULT%20Freezer%20Flyer%20-%20Nov%202018.pdf) because of the environmental concerns about carbon footprint.
Since higher power consumption was previously a stumbling block, modern technology has made the ULT freezer remarkably energy efficient. Purchasing a new freezer may give you a return of savings because as the technology advances, the energy efficiency of ULT freezers has increased too.
Also, ultra-low temperature freezers are large, powerful pieces of equipment that consume a lot of energy to do what they were designed to do: protect your samples and return to average temperature quickly when the door is opened. Thus, it is necessary to strike a delicate balance between energy efficiency and heat removal capacity to provide long-term protection for samples.
With that in mind, frequently opening doors and temperature recovery will significantly increase power consumption even further. If energy efficiency is essential to you, look at the manufacturer’s freezer data to see how many kilowatt-hours (kWh/day) the appliance consumes daily. This will make purchasing an ultralow freezer a good investment in the long run, given that it’ll last your lab for many years.
Biswajit Rakshit is a professional blogger and writer. He loves to write on various topics.