Demystifying “Performance” When Selecting a High-Performance Cold Storage Solution – 4 Metrics to Consider

Adapted from Thermo Scientific  : Life in the Lab

Samples are at the core of everything we do in the lab, making the products that protect them truly indispensable to lab professionals’ daily lives. Laboratory refrigerators and freezers are arguably among the most important because they have the job of storing vaccines, blood, reagents and other temperature-sensitive items for testing – and even administration to a patient. Without a proper storage unit, hundreds of thousands of rand in research or life-saving product as well as countless hours of work could go to waste in an instant.

For these reasons, many lab professionals seek high-performance units that can help them operate with ease and confidence. However, what does it really mean to be high-performance? Performance is a complex concept with different criteria for every customer, facility and application. When it comes to your next high-performance refrigerator or freezer, consider the following performance metrics before you buy:

  1. Reliability to Protect Sample

Whether it’s a research sample, flu vaccine or chemotherapy drug, it’s imperative your cold storage protect precious and highly sensitive biological materials at all times. To achieve this, the Thermo ScientificTM TSX Series of refrigerators and freezers use V-drive technology, coupled with thermoelectric technology in their undercounter units to continually adapt to user patterns. For example, the control system will ramp up when it detects a spike in activity, such as an increase in door openings, and then reduce speed overnight and on weekends when conditions are stable. This helps ensures optimal performance at all times while also extending the life of the unit’s core components. Moreover, TSX units are compatible with a range of wireless monitoring and remote alarm systems, so lab professionals know the instant a door is left ajar or the power goes out at a facility. With this added layer of oversight, lab professionals enjoy 24/7 piece of mind.

  1. Temperature Uniformity

In addition to maximizing the unit’s lifespan, the V-drive offers another critical benefit: temperature uniformity. Regardless of what is being stored, uniform temperature throughout the cabinet is critical to keeping contents viable and maximizing storage space within each unit. Inconsistent temperatures within traditional refrigerators have prompted the CDC to issue guidelines around where vaccines should be stored within a cooling unit. Among its recommendations is to keep vaccines away from refrigerator walls and placing them only in the centre of the unit. These restrictions can considerably limit storage capacity, compelling labs to purchase more units than would otherwise be necessary. They also expose troubling vulnerabilities within many units that could put sensitive samples at risk. The TSX series’ dynamic temperature adjustment overcomes these concerns by maintaining temperatures within a tight window around the set-point. This is achieved through automatic adjustments by the control system that keeps temperatures stable throughout the day – despite door openings – and consistent throughout the cabinet.

  1. Sustainability & Environmental impact

Protecting your science so you can make the world a better place remains Thermo Scientific’s top priority, but their mission goes beyond empowering research. With sustainable operation becoming a key consideration for many labs, they are committed to providing you with the tools you need to innovate sustainably, with natural and efficient equipment. Whether seeking to reduce energy costs, conform to corporate sustainability objectives or meet government regulations, selecting an environmentally friendly cold storage unit can have a considerable impact. TSX models use non-hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) coolants to reduce environmental impact and increase cooling efficiency. Paired with V-drive technology, TSX units reduce energy consumption while also lowering overall operating costs. For instance, a byproduct of their efficient operation is that they emit less heat than conventional cooling units. This places less strain on HVAC units, lowering energy costs and creating a more comfortable lab environment.

As a result of these features, the Thermo Scientific TSX Series of high-performance refrigerators and freezers, including large-format models, are 25-35 percent more energy efficient than conventional alternatives and meet ENERGY STAR® criteria for lab-grade refrigerators and freezers. Similarly, the TSX Series high-performance undercounter units have been shown to use up to 40 percent less energy than conventional refrigerant models.

  1. Financial & Cost of Ownership

A core consideration for every product purchase is the financial investment. In the case of a cold storage unit, which does come with a substantial price tag, it’s important to look at several factors, including the upfront costs, cost-of-ownership and warranty benefits. Together, these considerations can help you get the most value out of your cold storage purchase. For example, because of its energy efficient coolants and variable-speed performance features that help reduce energy bills over time, the TSX series proves to be a machine many labs can count on for years to come – and one that will continue to aid in energy savings long after its been paid for. This unprecedented reliability is why Thermo Fisher Scientific backs the TSX series with a 10-year warranty for 10 year compressor warranty with 2 years parts and labour serviced by the local suppliers Labotec.

Ultimately, no two laboratories are the same. Finding the right cold storage solution for your environment is a personal experience based on your unique needs and values. Recognizing this, Thermo Scientific has developed three distinct series of cold storage units, each with a different set of features and performance to meet your specific application requirements, as well as any budget. These include the TSX Series High-Performance Refrigerators and Freezers, the TSG Series of general-purpose applications and the Value Series for basic biomedical operations. To learn more about Thermo Scientific’s range of cold storage solutions, visit here