Sustainability Rises in Importance at Upcoming ISBER Conference

ISBER logoThe International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) is the leading professional society for individuals and organizations in the field of biobanking. At its 2015 annual conference in May, ISBER will run a symposium on biorepository financial sustainability through sound business planning. This will continue the discussion on financial sustainability in biobanking that started in 2014, which supported the creation of the sustainability grant opportunity by Conversant BIO that was announced this month.  The outcome of the grant opportunity will be a part of the larger symposium on business models for sustainability.

For this upcoming symposium, we have submitted an abstract to discuss the EPA’s new, industry-standard test method and share our EPA-compliant energy consumption test results for the Stirling SU780UE upright freezer. These results support our published specs, which have shown that Stirling freezers use less than half the energy of comparable, cascade-compressor ULTs. With the significant energy cost savings and reduced carbon-footprint achieved by using our freezers, both financial and sustainability benefits are attainable for biorepositories, which is a major focus of the upcoming ISBER conference.

For more details on the EPA’s ENERGY STAR standard for ULT freezers and why it’s important for organizations in the biobanking field, review our blog post.


If you’re attending the ISBER 2015 annual conference May 5-9 in Phoenix, you are invited to visit the Stirling Ultracold exhibit (booth #217) to see a demonstration of our ULT freezers.

Helping Research Organizations Move from HFC’s to Natural Refrigerants

Following up my last post about university campuses adopting sustainable strategies for ultra-low temp freezers, this post highlights how research organizations are making significant strides toward carbon-neutrality by using Stirling Ultracold ULTs with natural refrigerants . . .

As we also announced in our June 2014 press release, New -80C High Efficiency Ultra-Low Freezer Uses 100% Natural Refrigerants, the 27.5 cu. ft. SU780UE upright freezer uses about 10 grams of helium in its Stirling engine and about 90 grams of ethane in the thermosiphon.  The freezer is UL listed for safe hydrocarbon refrigerant use and the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy Program (SNAP) has allowed Stirling Ultracold to sell freezers containing ethane in the U.S.

Although no other ULT freezer for sale in the United States offers 100% natural refrigerants in its cooling system, these refrigerants have been used as a replacement to HCFC’s and HFC’s outside the U.S. for many years.  In contrast, a typical ultra-low freezer using HFC refrigerants in its cooling system has a net effect that is up to 17,000 times more damaging to the ozone layer than the natural refrigerants used in the Model SU780UE cooling system.  Most surprising is the superior performance that natural refrigerants can also bring to ULT storage when properly applied.

ATMO logoThe adoption of Stirling freezers is becoming a part of corporate and institutional sustainability programs that are targeting conversion to hydrocarbon-based, natural refrigerants systems used in U.S. research facilities.  You can see an example of this on the ATMOsphere website, which features a presentation, entitled “Campus Conversion to Climate Friendly Refrigerants”.

Combining usage of natural refrigerants and the Stirling engine, which uses less than half the energy of cascade-compressors, the overall carbon footprint of a Stirling Ultracold SU780UE upright freezer is less than half that of any competing product. Research organizations are discovering the sizable sustainability gains that are possible, simply by replacing multiple ULT freezers running 24/7/365 in their laboratory facilities.

We’re pleased to see the progress that these research organizations are making toward sustainability and the use of natural refrigerants . . . and we’re very happy that our freezers have become a part of it!