In 1992, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the government-backed ENERGY STAR® program as a means of providing individuals and organizations with a method of identifying environmentally friendly and sustainable equipment, in a bid to promote energy conservation. The program, which covers a range of appliances such as computers, heating and cooling systems, and even new homes, provides end-users with information pertaining to the energy consumption of a range of appliances.
The adoption of sustainable, energy efficient equipment has become a priority for researchers working across blood banking applications as they are faced with increasing pressures to process large volumes of blood samples daily, while reducing the environmental impact of their operation. As such, professionals working in this area stand to benefit from the acquisition of lower power-consuming, ENERGY STAR® certified equipment. Not only would this reduce the environmental footprint of their workflow, but they would also benefit from the reduced financial burden of an energy saving instrument.
Putting blood bank refrigerators in the spotlight
Refrigerators are one of the most important pieces of equipment for blood banking applications, as they are the point at which valuable whole blood and blood components are safely stored for varying lengths of time. Changes in temperature can compromise the integrity of stored samples, the risk of which is increased within busy facilities where there are frequent door openings throughout the day. As such, it is crucial that a high degree of temperature uniformity is maintained across the cabinet to support sample protection. However, this can result in the consumption of large amounts of energy. So, how can laboratory professionals find the system that is the most energy efficient?
As of December 2016, the first EPA ENERGY STAR® specification for laboratory-grade refrigerators has been put into immediate effect. The specification is designed to recognize the top energy performing laboratory refrigerators used specifically for storing non-volatile reagents and biological specimens in the lab. This accounts for equipment used in university and government research laboratories, hospitals and clinics, and pharmaceutical manufacturing plants.
Efficiency without compromise
Although energy efficiency is important, you should not compromise on sample safety or other performance characteristics when looking to reduce your expenditure. There are technologies available, such as the Thermo Scientific TSX Series High-Performance Blood Bank Refrigerators, which are designed to meet the ENERGY STAR® specifications while continuing to provide optimum performance. These refrigerators provide temperature uniformity to continually detect and adapt to user patterns, resulting in up to 40% less energy usage than conventional models. Acquiring such a technology can help laboratories to become more sustainable in years to come while maintaining high levels of sample security.
For more information about ENERGY STAR®, please visit https://www.energystar.gov/, and for more information about how our ENERGY STAR® certified blood bank refrigerators can help to reduce the energy expenditure in your lab, visit https://www.thermofisher.com/order/catalog/product/TSX2304BA.