LabX Reasons to Upgrade: The 2017 Thermo Scientific TSX Series Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers

Designed with new standards of performance, protection, sample storage capacity, and sustainability in mind.

Today’s ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers require enhanced performance features to meet the challenges of modern use. Complex sample storage requirements, advanced monitoring including temperature mapping at GMP labs, and energy efficiency are all major considerations in choosing the ideal ULT freezer solution.

The ability to reach a low temperature set point, hold temperature, and recover from door opening events are key performance metrics of ULT freezers. Many technologies have been developed to address these criteria, including cascade refrigeration technologies with two compressors working in concert, and newer technologies with two independent compressors coupled with specialized refrigerant working to maintain temperature control.

The innovative V-drive technology featured in the Thermo Scientific TSX Series ULT Freezers achieves another level of performance, by combining temperature control with the ability to adapt to the freezer’s usage patterns. The V-drive provides the adaptability to handle a range of workloads, reducing energy while maintaining optimal temperatures to protect samples.

Conventional ULT freezers use single speed compressors that continually cycle on and off. The V-drive runs at variable speeds, adjusting cooling performance to conditions inside and outside the freezer. The V-drive runs at a lower speed when freezer conditions are stable. After frequent door openings, or with the addition of samples to the freezer, the V-drive system detects the activity and increases the drive speed

The V-drive technology was the corner stone of the original TSX Series ULTs, introduced in 2015. These freezers broke new ground by combining excellent temperature pull-down, peak variation, and fast recovery performance with a low environmental impact. The new TSX Series builds upon this success and offers an expanded range of capacities as well as a re-designed user interface.

The new TSX Series includes four models: 400, 500, 600 and 700 2-inch box capacity. With 33.5 cubic feet of interior space, accommodating up to 70,000 2 mL vials, the TSX700 is ideal for sample intensive applications such as biobanking. The difference in capacity equates to a larger width compared to the smaller freezers, with no change in depth or height.

An all new user-friendly touchscreen on the 2017 TSX devices features an easy to use set-up wizard, event log, temperature mapping, and data download options – with capacitive touch that is amenable to use with gloved hands. Datalogging and temperature mapping features are all exportable via a built in USB port, negating the need for a separate chart recorder. Temperature levels and events are automatically recorded for the lifetime of the freezer. Advanced safety features include custom alarm settings, padlock-compatible doors, and optional access card entry. To round out the design features, the devices have ergonomic door handles, eye-level touch-screen interfaces, and shelf-level placement thus avoiding floor-level loading of racks.

Paramount to freezer performance is sample protection. Low peak temperature variation of the 2017 TSX Series protects samples throughout the entire cabinet, while high uniformity provides for consistent temperature at all shelf levels throughout the cabinet. Fast door opening recovery times means that sample safety is maintained regardless of door opening frequency or the introduction of new samples. All of these sample protection measures are enabled by the V-drive technology and its ability to detect high and low usage patterns, adjust compressor speeds, and reduce power consumption without jeopardizing sample integrity.

Beyond protection, the V-drive adaptive control allows for unprecedented energy efficiency. Traditional ULT Freezers use roughly as much energy as a residential home. One can imagine the magnitude of energy usage by a series of freezers in a dedicated lab. How much money in terms of grant or research funds would be saved if those freezers were upgraded to the latest energy efficient technology? The 2017 TSX Series can reduce energy usage up to 70% over older technology ULT Freezers as the typical usage of a TSX device is 8 kWh per day depending on size. The devices produce less heat and therefore reduce HVAC costs as well.

The 2017 TSX Series is sustainably designed. Only natural hydrocarbon refrigerants are used in compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) and the European Union’s F-Gas regulations. SNAP compliant, water-blown insulation is used in the manufacturing of these devices, which takes place at an award-winning zero-waste landfill facility.

The new TSX Series is also extremely quiet. Most ULT freezers emit a humming sound from the traditional compressors that is often so loud the devices have to be kept in the hallway. The new TSX Series devices are quiet enough to reside directly in the lab and, at 45.5 dBA, the sound is comparable to a standard refrigerator.

Of course, there are many options and accessories that enable customization of the units. There are liquid N2 and CO2 backup systems in the case of compressor failure, maintaining temperature down to -80°C and -67°C, respectively. Different shelving setups allow specific sample storage configurations. There are alarm accessories, replacement backup batteries, security options, and others all meant to provide custom solutions for the lab.

To sum it all up, there are a number of compelling reasons to upgrade to the 2017 TSX Series line of ULT freezers. These devices build off the innovative and successful V-drive technology, offering superior performance by coupling activity detection with compressor speed and power consumption. The new user-friendly interface and advanced data storage features enable better ease of use and control. The use of environmentally friendly refrigerants, the optimized power consumption, and the low noise emissions, ensure energy-efficient and cost-effective operation.

In total, the 2017 TSX Series sets new benchmarks for performance, protection, and sustainability.

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This article was written by LabX in conjunction with Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Thermo Scientific -80°C lab freezers, also known as ultra-low freezers (ULT), are designed first and foremost to protect samples. They're also designed to maximize storage capacity by offering a range of upright and chest models to accommodate a variety of laboratory footprint requirements. Additional features include energy-savings models that meet today's sustainability demands. Choose from our premium TSX, advanced or standard performance platforms.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with revenues of $18 billion and more than 55,000 employees globally. Our mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. We help our customers accelerate life sciences research, solve complex analytical challenges, improve patient diagnostics and increase laboratory productivity. Through our premier brands – Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Fisher Scientific, and Unity Lab Services – we offer an unmatched combination of innovative technologies, purchasing convenience, and comprehensive support.