Did you know that laboratory freezers with too much empty space run inefficiently because they have to work harder to maintain their set point? There’s definitely a sweet spot when it comes to cold storage; make sure your units are not too empty, and not too full! According to Lab Manager, freezers that are too bare have less thermal mass and, if they are upright freezers, may lose all their cold air rapidly with a single door opening. If you have a freezer with excessive empty space, you can fill that space with gel packs, jugs of water, or even empty EPS coolers to help the unit retain its thermal mass during door openings. Just be sure not to load up your freezer with too many containers of water all at once! Freeze a few at a time to fill any empty space.
If you have cold storage units with a lot of empty space, consider whether you could consolidate multiple refrigerators or freezers. If you could consolidate and free up an entire cold storage unit, your lab could then unplug it, which could save as much energy as a home. If the unplugged unit isn’t needed in the long run, you could even free up valuable floor space in your lab. Just think what you could do with that extra space!
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In last week's blog post we shared that the environmental impact of refrigerants is thought to be one of the greatest contributors to climate change. This alone would be a great reason for holding an international cold storage competition. It turns out, there are also several others: