There is an essential piece of equipment to purchase for any laboratory–an ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezer. And the necessity is, storing precious and sensitive items safely.
If you are a laboratory owner, then you have to purchase such a freezer without failure.
Typically, ULT freezers operate within the -50 degrees C to -80 degrees C range and are used to store various analytes and products, from biospecimen samples to enzymes and drugs.
ULT freezers play a vital role in preserving items that are critical to research work. A ULT freezer’s capability is not a composition of a single factor but a slew of features, all of which translate to the take away–the effectiveness of storage.
With the availability of many ULT variants, you need to do a bit of research before you shell out money on such a freezer.
So, when you set off to research, consider the following factors:
It is the first factor to consider before you zero on a freezer. Reliability is of utmost importance for a freezer as that will store temperature-sensitive items. You need to get the assurance that your prospective freezer will strictly adhere to the temperature requirements. You should also ensure that you can keep your worries at bay as the freezer can maintain the requisite temperature levels after you turn off the lights at night.
Look for a freezer that minimizes the temperature spread, also called peak variation, within the body. There will be locations within it that are colder or warmer in every freezer than the average temperature. It is called the temperature spread.
If your prospective freezer comes with a minimal peak variation, it can uniformly deliver the necessary temperature within the cabinet and maintain temperature stability. The factor is critical to prevent the stored items from thawing and repeatedly freezing whenever the door is opened and closed.
Right, or minimal, peak variation allows researchers to fully maximize storage capacity because they do not limit themselves to “The Goldilocks Zone.”
Reliability in your prospective freezer is all about sample integrity. Your laboratory samples will be reliable only if the freezer maintains a reliable temperature.
The compressor is a critical component of a ULT freezer. It will help if you keep in mind that not all compressors are equal in all respects.
It is advisable to choose among the Thermo Scientific TM TSX series of ULT freezers that are built with variable speed compressors powered by adaptive V-drive technology which is new revolution in cold storage.
The running of the V-drive compressors is analogous to the movement of a car. These compressors accelerate and decelerate in response to usage and the environment, creating the necessary temperature environments.
Ease-of-use is another important consideration while selecting a ULT freezer. Look for features that entail monitoring and control support. For example, remote monitoring capabilities can lower the risk of hidden malfunctions affecting your samples during off-hours or natural calamities.
In the laboratory freezer market, you will find many ULT freezers that bear icons to alert you of power failure or temperature fluctuations when the door is left open. It is also advisable to choose a unit that bears numerical indicators of operating temperature to enable you to keep track of the temperature status.
Comfort-ability in Usage
Evaluate the comfort-ability levels of the unit you intend to purchase. A case in point is an easy-to-open door. It is a useful feature and becomes handy when your staff will carry, keep, and take out items from the freezer. Likewise, the shelves’ height and depth also matter a lot. If they do not conform to your staff’s convenience, they can put physical stress on them during reaching into it to load or take out items.
When it comes to choosing a ULT freezer, you cannot undermine the sustainability factor. It is essential as the freezers operate at extremely low temperatures and thus are highly energy-intensive units. Choose a freezer that caters to the sustainability demands without damaging the stored items. Freezers that use green hydrocarbon refrigerants in compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program are the ones you should choose to buy. The hydrocarbon refrigerants improve system performance without negatively impacting the environment.
Purchasing a ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezer will entail a large investment, but you also cannot shy away from the purchase as you cannot run your laboratory without such a freezer. But, make sure that you do not spend your money on the wrong freezer. Therefore, consider the factors outlined in the article before purchasing for the apparent reason.