Two Webinars about Energy-Efficient Freezers, Oh My!
Why do ultra-low temperature (ULT, -80C) freezers use as much energy as a home? And what recent changes have been made to ULT freezers to help reduce their energy consumption, while still ensuring that samples are protected?
If you've ever wondered the answers to these questions, these two webinars are for you! Last year both Stirling Ultracold and Thermo Scientific gave tech talks on ULT freezers. These talks are available on our resources page. We hope you enjoy learning about energy-efficient ULTs - next week we'll take a look at energy-efficient -20s.
Is there evidence that samples are safe at -70C?
Spoiler alert - YES! If you've been following My Green Lab, you know that we coined the phrase '-70 is the new -80'. Adjusting your ultra low temperature freezer set point to -70C can reduce energy consumption by 30-40% and prolong the lifetime of a compressor-based freezer. For years we've been directing people to check out the incredible crowd-sourced document, that Dr. Kathy Ramirez-Aguilar at CU Boulder put together, of samples that have been stored at -70C. And now, thanks to our collaboration with the European organization EGNATON on the Freezer Challenge, we have been made aware of these two publications, which show sample stability at -70C for yeasts and molds, and the enzyme PON1. Furthermore, suppliers such as GE and Qiagen have updated their storage recommendations to -70C for certain reagents as well.
The community is still working on obtaining evidence for a wide range of samples - shout out to Martin Farley at Kings College and Amorette Getty at UC Santa Barbara for doing this work - but it's clear the evidence is mounting in favor of safe, sustainable sample storage at -70C.
If you choose to set your ULT freezer to -70C as part of the Freezer Challenge be sure to add your name and your samples to the Google doc! We would also be happy to add them for you - just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.