Preserving samples can be stressful, especially when the fate of your research lies in the hands of a ULT freezer. Next to your staff, Ultra low temp freezers should be the most reliable piece of equipment in your laboratory. So when you set out on your quest to find the most suitable freezer, where do you start?
Here are 6 points to consider when purchasing a ULT freezer for your laboratory:
How do you know which product is reliable? Take a look at the manufacturer’s track record. With some quick research you can find out the reliability rate of each manufacturer’s freezer, how long the company has been in the field, and if there have been any known freezer failures with their technology. Don’t allow yourself to be a test subject for new technology. Find a freezer with proven reliability that has been established in the research field so you don’t subject your life’s work to a faulty technology.
Temperature recovery plays a huge part in protecting your samples, especially if you plan on opening the door to your ULT freezer quite often. Display readings can often be misleading and state a certain set temperature after you close the door but this does not necessarily mean it is at that point. A lengthy recovery period means prolonged temperature elevation which puts your samples at risk. Check the temperature mapping data for the ULT freezer you are interested in so you can see an accurate reading of temperature performance during a recovery period.
Ever notice the food at the bottom of your home refrigerator gets colder than the food stored at the top? The same thing can happen in your ULT Freezer and can create a huge problem when your all of your samples need to be stored at a specific temperature. It is surprisingly common in upright ULT freezers to have variances in temperature between the top and bottom. Ask the manufacturer for reliable uniformity data where the data has been tested with thermocouples inside of the unit in various locations.
Consider where your freezer is going to be placed in your lab. This is not only necessary to know ahead of your purchase for space purposes, but also for sound. Typically ULT freezers can produce some noise and with most of their components placed at the top of the freezer, it can sound even louder being they are closer to your ear. For comparison, most current ULT freezers on the market are typically louder than an industrial vacuum cleaner. You can ask for a noise rating of the freezer you are considering or even test it yourself to see if it will be ok for your laboratory and personnel.
- ENERGY EFFICIENCY
How important is energy efficiency in your lab? Most laboratories are trying to take a more “green” approach these days as well as try and save some money in utility costs. Ultra low temp freezers are powerful pieces of equipment and do consume power in order to do what they were designed for: Protect your samples and recover temperature quickly upon door openings. There is a fine balance between energy efficiency and the heat removal capacity critical for the long term protection of samples. With that said, frequently opening doors and temperature recovery will play a huge part in consuming even more power. If energy efficiency is what you are looking for take a look at the manufacturer’s freezer data on the amount of kilowatt hours are used per day (kWh/day).
- BACK-UP PLAN
Always have a back-up plan for your samples. If your freezer fails where will you move your samples? With Panasonic TwinGuard ULT freezers you get a back-up plan built right into your freezer. TwinGuard technology involves a dual refrigeration system which has a second independent compressor system that kicks in in the event of a failure. Also in the case of a failure, temporary protection can be implemented using a CO2 back-up system.
Risking your samples to just any ultra low temp freezer can be a costly mistake. Doing your own research on these 6 points prior to purchasing an ultra low temp freezer will help lead you to the most reliable and secure product for your sensitive samples.
Panasonic Ultra Low Temp -86C Freezers have a long history of proven results of reliability and are one of the most trusted sources in laboratory research. For a more in depth look at Panasonic’s Low Temp Freezer lines and other Ultra Low Temp cold storage options, click here.