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How to Select an Ultra Low Temperature Freezer

publication date: Sep 9, 2019
author/source: Tovatech


Let Tovatech's scientists help you select an ultra-low temperature freezer.

When to Select an Ultra Low Temperature Freezer

Selecting an ultra-low temperature freezer involves carefully considering the nature of your requirements including the quantity and types of products being stored, required storage temperatures, and frequency of access. This post by Tovatech's scientists is designed to help you select an ultra-low temperature freezer.

What is Meant by Ultra-Low Temperature?

As you know, there are many types of freezers on the market. Here are some general terms applying to scientific (not commercial or household) freezers. Manufacturers may define the temperature capabilities of their various models differently.

  • Scientific laboratory and pharmacy freezers can control ranges from -10? to -25?C (+14? to -13?F)
  • Low temperature freezers depending on the model and function: to - 25?, -35? or -40?C (-13?, -31?, -40?F) minimum, also with a user-controlled range
  • Ultra-low temperature freezers control temperatures down to -86?C (-186.5?F) also with precise temperature control

How much "Cold" do you Really Need?

Base your decision on the recommended storage temperature for what you put in your freezer. Our next section provides some examples. But keep this in mind:

Just as with your room or central air conditioner, a colder setting means a higher power consumption. But don't stint: the most important consideration is the proper storage temperature of the contents.

Keep in mind as well that when you access the unit you allow ambient-temperature air to enter. We'll get into that later.

Typical Applications for Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers

Ultra-low temperature freezers find wide application in:

  • research universities
  • medical centers and hospitals
  • blood banks
  • forensic labs for long-term evidence storage
  • establishing performance specs for parts used in extreme cold environments

As to more specific examples of the above, ultra-low temperature freezers are used to store biological samples such as DNA/RNA, plant samples and insect artifacts, autopsy materials, blood, plasma and tissues, chemicals, drugs and antibiotics.

Manufacturing firms and performance testing labs use ultra-low temperature freezers to determine the ability of products and machinery to perform reliably under severe low temperature conditions such as found in Arctic and Antarctic regions.

These myriad applications suggest that ultra-low temperature freezers may house multiple and different experiments, some of which may require frequent checking while others remain undisturbed for lengthy periods of time. And in fact if they do, this becomes a feature that can be applied to your selection process.

What to Look for in an Ultra-Low Temperature Freezer

Here we'll cover some of the more important things to keep in mind when you go shopping for an ultra-low temperature freezer (also identified as ULT freezers).

Temperature Control

As suggested above, the lower you set the thermostat on a ULT freezer (or any freezer for that matter) the more energy it consumes to maintain that temperature. So again, it is a smart idea to match the temperature capability to storage or environmental testing recommendations.

The key is a precisely adjustable thermostat.

Temperature Excursion Alarming

High efficiency insulation plus cabinet- and door-mounted gaskets contribute to energy-efficient performance. But things can go wrong in which case an alarming system should provide an immediate alert, and it should be functional in a power outage.

Ultra-Low Temperature Record Keeping

Accurate record keeping when storing valuable and/or temperature-sensitive products is critical.

Isolating Specimens

When you open a freezer door you provide access for ambient temperature air. This makes it advisable to select an ultra-low temperature freezer with separate internal compartments.

Compartments can be fitted with optional individual specimen racks to hold separate containers that in turn can accommodate cell dividers.

Selecting your Ultra Low Freezer Size

How much storage capacity do you really need? Freezers in general operate more efficiently when they are full. This is because the contents help stabilize holding temperatures.

The criteria for size should also take into account space available (i.e. footprint). Tovatech scientists can help you make a selection. In brief, however, interior volumes can range from 13 to 30 cubic feet for upright models and 2 to 27 cubic feet for chest models.

Need more Info on Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers?

This introduction is based in part on our blog post specifying an ultra-low freezer and an article on the subject in the trade journal Labcompare focusing on biological sample preservation.

Why you should buy from Tovatech

Our ultra-low freezers are designed to the highest quality standards to deliver long-term, reliable, temperature-critical storage of valuable products and samples. See the listings for models that meet your critical ultra-low temperature storage requirements. Contact our professionals for assistance in making the right choice.


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