Why Solid State Freezers are Best for Your Research or Healthcare Facility

June 13, 2019

At most research or healthcare facilities, the medical freezer setup involves of a bank of large freezers in one storage room and/or a few undercounter freezers at select workbenches. They are typically shared storage areas, with frequent openings and closings from various researchers or employees throughout the day.

This traditional freezer arrangement works … but it’s not exactly optimal. The regular door openings can put the safety of medical resources at risk and cause the compressor to work overtime (ultimately leading to expensive repairs). Plus, the time that employees spend retrieving materials at central freezer banks really puts a damper on workflow efficiency.

It may be time to rethink your facility’s or lab’s freezer setup. By utilizing solid state technology, a compact benchtop freezer can provide greater temperature stability and uniformity than a full-size freezer, in a much smaller size to fit the tight space constraints of your work environment. Beyond convenience of placement, there are four key ways that a move to solid state freezers can positively impact your healthcare or research facility.

1. Increase workflow efficiency

Replacing the compressor with a solid state system frees up valuable internal space. With a countertop footprint about the size of a small microwave, the external dimensions of a solid state benchtop freezer are very small, yet there is ample internal capacity. With freezers that sit right on the benchtop (or even within a vented hood or biosafety cabinet), researchers no longer need to waste valuable time going to and from central or shared freezers to retrieve materials.

2. Maintain safe, consistent temperatures

Compressor-based freezer temperatures fluctuate due to their duty cycles, sometimes getting too warm with repeated door openings or during auto-defrost cycles, as the condenser coils are heated. These temperature spikes inside the freezer cabinet can be as much as 15°C in a freezer that’s not full, putting the contents at risk.

Because solid state cooling is always on, the freezer delivers much tighter and more reliable temperatures (±0.5˚ C). Contents are protected from possible damage because there’s no on/off duty cycle creating wide temperature fluctuations.

3. Improve reliability and reduce maintenance

Every time a compressor-based freezer fails, samples and other medical supplies are potentially compromised. Facilities staff are constantly overloaded with urgent (and expensive) repairs so that researchers can successfully carry on with their work. Because compressor-based freezers are mechanical systems, the upkeep and maintenance required to avoid those scenarios are complicated and time-intensive.

Unlike the mechanical parts of compressor systems, solid state cooling systems have very few moving parts that weaken over time and fail. They are also quick to install and deploy, and simple to repair.

4. Support energy savings and sustainability

At Harvard University, labs account for nearly 44% of energy use but take up only 20% of the space. And that scenario is quite common at universities, government research campuses and industry labs. Through the efficient operation of solid state cooling, labs can realize up to 40% energy savings. In addition, using a natural refrigerant (CO2) reduces Global Warming Potential (GWP) versus standard refrigerants.

Are you considering a cooling change to boost workflow efficiency and reduce energy maintenance costs? Phononic solid state medical grade freezers offer unprecedented sustainability and resource consumption. They are long-lasting, with fewer upkeep and maintenance requirements than traditional freezer options. Connect with our healthcare team to learn more.