Avoiding a Costly Medical Refrigeration Failure
According to the CDC’s Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit, “a break in the cold chain can mean extra doses for patients, increased costs for providers, and damage to public confidence in vaccines.” When it comes to medical storage needs, it’s vital that cooling systems function properly to maintain critical temperatures. The risks are high and the losses significant if proper temperature conditions are not met in medical refrigeration and freezer applications. Using a proper electric motor and monitoring system can help prevent these costly refrigeration failures.
Although the need for medical refrigeration has intensified in recent months with the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, there are many other substances that require medical refrigeration. Blood and plasma, cells and tissue, lab samples, as well as other vaccines and pharmaceutical products require specialized storage temperatures. Medical refrigeration is required to store these biological products in hospitals, clinics, diagnostic facilities, and pharmacies.
Medical Refrigeration Applications*
Understanding how equipment is used helps determine which electric motor is best suited to support a variety of performance factors that impact sensitive materials. These performance factors include temperature variation, size of cooling space, sound, energy use, and clean room compliance.
Blood Bank Refrigeration & Plasma Freezers
Blood bank refrigerators and plasma freezers provide safe storage of plasma and blood-associated components at the uniform preset temperature of –30°C. The refrigeration system includes an electrically powered compressor, a condenser, a capillary tube or expansion valve, an evaporator, and interconnecting tubing. In many models, the compressor and motor are connected to the same shaft and sealed in a compact, airtight compartment, making more space available for storage. Systems are either cylindrical with rotating shelves or rectangular with pullout drawers or shelves.
Laboratory Refrigerators & Freezers
Laboratory refrigerators and freezers are normally used in hospitals and industrial sectors. The main challenge for these freezers is to minimize energy consumption. Refrigerants used in the freezers could lead to ozone layer depletion, so equipment should have the least potential for global warming, be nontoxic and non-inflammable. The increased demand for blood and blood components, rising number of organ transplant procedures and technological advancements in laboratory freezers are helping to keep laboratory refrigerators and freezers in high demand.
Pharmacy Refrigerators & Freezers
Pharmacy refrigerators and freezers are designed with the unique needs of the pharmaceutical environment in mind to safely store vaccines, prescription medications, and other medical products requiring cold storage. The refrigerators and freezers are factory pre-set to 5°C for pharmacy applications and include fully extendable, ventilated pharmacy drawers and stationary pharmacy shelves, which are easy to clean and adjustable for storage flexibility.
Chromatography Refrigerators & Freezers
Chromatography refrigerators and freezers are used to cool and preserve chromatography samples or specimens, which may include blood and plasma samples, vaccines, or other medicinal chromatographic specimens. These refrigerators and freezers are used when the samples undergoing chromatography process are required to be preserved in stable airflow and suitable temperature conditions. They are equipped with specialized features such as microprocessor-based controls, which assist in maintaining the required conditions for chromatography liquids as well with digital temperature displays and need to include lockable, easy-to-clean sections.
Enzyme Refrigerators & Freezers
Enzyme refrigerators and freezers are designed with features that support sample protection and sustainability objectives for the storage of enzymes requiring -20°C. This equipment is designed to provide temperature uniformity that continually adapts to user patterns, offering significant energy savings without compromising protection. It’s important that these refrigerators and freezers have a quiet sound level of 52 dBA, which enables end users to work alongside the equipment without distraction.
Enzyme refrigerators and freezers are available in different specifications to suit various commercial needs. Most clinical labs use these refrigerators and freezers to ensure the integrity of enzymes.
Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers
Ultra-low temperature coolers are bio-coolers that are utilized to preserve viruses, bacteria, drugs, enzymes, chemicals, cell preparations, and tissue samples, for example. Their temperature scope typically ranges from – 45 C to - 86° C. A considerable increase in the research and development in the biomedical industry has led to an increased need for ultra-low temperature freezers.
Cryogenic Storage Systems
Cryogenic storage systems are equipment developed for the storage of liquefied gases with a normal boiling point below -90° C. Adequate insulation is the significant feature of cryogenic components, which ensures the proper regulation of temperature levels within the cryogenic storage equipment.
Electric Motor and Control Solutions
A broad range of innovative ECM motors provide high quality, energy efficient solutions for critical medical refrigeration and freezer storage. ECM motors are also ideal retrofit solutions with replacement options for dozens of outdated motors and fan systems.
Using cloud-based monitoring enables a connected experience with equipment, providing the control to prevent loss of sensitive medical products. Variable airflow and temperature control through remote monitoring improves cooling performance to protect valuable, perishable medical storage. Use of the smart systems with ECM motors reduces energy consumption, lowers noise levels and minimizes maintenance costs.
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*From DataM Intelligence report, “Global Medical Refrigerators Market.”