By: Mike Lamach, Reach-In Sales Leader, FARRAR™ | Trane Technologies
The explosion of needs for -80°C through -60°C assets over the past decade has been nothing short of remarkable. Clinical research investments keep expanding while commercial-scale needs continue to transform the landscape. Due largely to the relative newness of commercialized products requiring cold storage, technologies have advanced incrementally while fundamentally mimicking the technologies of the past. Cold wall remains the gold standard of laboratory applications. Cost, size, and ease of procurement continue to influence cold-wall technology selections and dominate infrastructure purchases.
Conversely, the commercialization of cold solutions and the need for bulk volumes have placed substantial stress on cold-wall technologies to perform in applications for which they were not designed or intended. The industry increasingly views the conventional ultra-low temperature (ULT) cold wall as a ‘consumable’ despite the sustainability and operational issues caused by asset failures ahead of their anticipated life.
So, does alternative technology exist? The short answer is “yes.”
Traditional cold-wall technology: Conventional cold-wall technology, as deployed in all ULT freezers, is designed to promote cooling via expansion of a refrigerant through a series of chamber wall capillaries. This technology focuses on making the ULT shell as cold as possible, given that the ULT’s center would eventually reach the target temperature with minimal door openings and warm loads.
Convection technology: Convection technology forces air, tempered to the target temperature, through a chamber. This technology aims to force sufficient air volume through the chamber at uniformity to ensure consistent and repeatable cooling throughout the chamber enclosure. This technology is especially relevant for bulk loading as the more uniform freeze profiling reduces compressor stress and extends asset lifecycle.
When evaluating cold needs for an upcoming project, installation, development of the user requirements specification, consider deploying forced-air convection cooling if the following considerations apply:
- Larger loads
- Wide range of potential load scenarios
- Rigorous performance demands
- High-value materials
- Frequent door openings
- Unique material handling solutions including full-batch transfer carts
On the heels of COVID and Monkeypox, the innate performance and reliability of convection-cooling technology, purpose-built for commercial applications and precision temperature needs, is robust with benefits.
Contact us to learn more about how Entegris and FARRAR can help your precision temperature needs.
Mike Lamach, Reach-In Sales Leader, FARRAR™ | Trane Technologies
Mike Lamach leads the North American strategic account sales team for FARRAR’s Reach-In Business within Life Science Solutions, focused on the proper selection and utilization of cold processing and storage equipment in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry.
Mike started in the pharmaceutical industry in a variety of engineering roles in Patheon’s (now Thermo Fisher) contract manufacturing division focused on bulk manufacturing and process scale-up. He eventually discovered a passion for sustainability and engineering/automation’s ability to impact quality by design transitioning to sales engineering and pre-construction support. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Michigan State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.