Medical Equipment Blog

Questions About Laboratory Refrigerators

Monday, January 09, 2012

In our lab we have a variety of different storage requirements. Do laboratory refrigerators allow for significant adjustments of shelves and storage bins?

Both the full size models and the under the counter models of lab refrigerators allow for flexibility in moving the shelves and bins about to create the specific storage space required. The full sized or 11 plus cubic foot models provide the maximum amount of flexibility since they have storage containers and shelving units on the door as well as in the interior of the unit. The smaller under the counter models tend to have shelving that is adjustable in the interior of the fridge but limited or no storage on the door. They also tend to have only one larger bin for storage or they may not have a bin but rather four adjustable shelves.

The full sized lab refrigerators provide options for small and large container storage on the door as well as one or two bins on the bottom level of the interior space. The larger bins on the door and the interior will be fixed, however the smaller upper bins and shelves are usually fully adjustable or can be removed completely for very large storage needs.

How easy is it to accurately set the temperature in laboratory refrigerators and how is the temperature maintained in the system?

Technology now provides the ability to digitally set the desired temperature for the laboratory refrigerator with the use of a keypad. This digit set point pad may allow you to key in the specific desired temperature or use an arrow up or arrow down mechanism to set the required temperature. A digital read out of the current temperature is also provided on the keypad, allowing for quick reference and easy visual confirmation.

Temperatures are maintained via a microprocessor system that instantly responds to variations in the temperature. Depending on the specific model of fridge there is also the option for the user to set lower and upper limits in a temperature range. If these limits are exceeded a warning sounds in an auditory as well as visual fashion which can also be monitored from a remote location. This is an important consideration if samples, specimens and materials stored in the fridge are highly temperature sensitive.

What are the differences between a laboratory refrigerator and a deluxe or premium model of commercially available refrigerator?

First and foremost a lab refrigerator is certified and commercially rated for use in a lab. It must be performance tested before leaving the manufacturer and information on that test provided to the purchaser. Temperature variations are highly controlled, much more than in a standard home fridge, and there are is additional insulation, the safety and alarm features as well as the monitoring system that can be used with these units.

The interior is also differently designed in the lab fridge. It is constructed from molded ABS without any seams, ensuring that problems with contamination are not a concern.

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Lab Refrigerator Q & A

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

What internal storage options are available in most types of lab refrigerators?

Lab refrigerators have many of the same features as a traditional home style of fridge. They are specifically designed to have a variety of different internal configurations that will suit the specific type of storage capacity and container shapes and sizes used within the lab or medical facility. This flexibility makes them a great option and also provides easy storage of very small and relatively large containers.

Bins on the bottom of the fridge allow for storage of a variety of different types of materials and containers. Shelves within the unit are fully adjustable to allow the users to reconfigure the interior design as often as necessary. Most of the lab fridge adjustable shelves will be made of wire so they are very easy to clean and allow for easy visibility in the unit itself.

Shelves on the door of the full sized fridges are adjustable as well. These shelves have lips or ledges that secure any objects in place when the door is opened or closed. Different adjustments allow for storage of small or larger bottle, vials and containers on the door.

What are the sizes of lab refrigerators available and which is the most energy efficient?

There are full sized and under the counter models of refrigerators available. The full sized fridge is typically 11.2 cubic feet in interior capacity and has an exterior measurement of approximately 23.5 inches in width by 24 inches in depth and a height of 59 inches. Interior dimensions are 20.7 by 18.8 by 52.4 inches, providing a significant amount of storage space.

The smaller under the counter models are designed to fit under a standard counter or workbench and are 23.7 inches in width by 23.5 inches in depth and 33.5 inches in height. They also have an interior capacity of 6.1 cubic feet, making them an excellent option for individual work areas or smaller labs.

Both are designed to be energy efficient and low cost appliances to run within a lab. Of course energy efficiency is partially a function of the amount of material stored in the fridge as well as the number of times the door is opened and closed. Energy efficiency is always highest when the unit is not overloaded with material and the door is not constantly opened and closed.

How easy is it to clean and decontaminate a standard model of lab refrigerator?

Designed to have a seamless interior, easy to remove shelving units, bins and containers as well as a smooth and scuff resistant interior and exterior these lab fridges are very easy to clean and decontaminate. Standard cleaning and disinfecting products can be used in the unit and there is no requirement for any specialized equipment.

Bins and shelves that are removed can be cleaned the same as traditional appliances and can easily be soaked in warm water and bleach to remove difficult stains and spills.

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