The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center opened in 1975 in Seattle, WA, and is a world-renowned, non-profit research facility for the prevention and treatment of cancer, HIV/AIDS and many other diseases. Dr. E. Donnall Thomas, one of the pioneering researchers, discovered that bone marrow transplantation could help to treat leukemia and improve the outcome of blood cancer treatments in patients. Since then, Fred Hutch researchers have made numerous breakthroughs such as developing immunotherapies, which use the immune system to disrupt cancer cells. Today the 15-acre campus consists of five scientific divisions, three Nobel laureates and over 2,700 faculty and staff.
Fred Hutch has purchased a significant number of Stirling freezers, which has been established as part of their Freezer Purchase Policy. Fred Hutch has about 450 ultra-low temperature (ULT) -80°C freezers on campus. These ULT freezers are necessary to store fragile biological samples and materials for research. The Fred Hutch Fairview Freezer Facility houses 200 ULT freezers and has reached capacity for power consumption and floor space. To address both issues, Fred Hutch chose our SU780XLE upright ULT freezer as the exclusive model when new ULT freezer purchases must be made. The SU780XLE freezer is not only the most energy-efficient, Energy Star®-certified upright freezer on the market, but it also has the largest storage volume per square foot of floor space.
As stated in the Freezer Purchase Policy, the Facilities Engineering (FE) Department at Fred Hutch verified that the SU780XLE freezer uses 50% less power than a traditional compressor-based freezer. Heat generation during operation was also reduced, which resulted in 50% less energy use from the air conditioners that cool the facility. The SU780XLE also uses 80% less refrigerants and no oil due to the utilization of our free-piston Stirling engine.
At Stirling Ultracold we are always excited to hear about how our freezers reduce operating and energy costs, protect sample integrity, provide more storage capacity and help advance innovative cancer research.
At Stirling Ultracold, we recognize that laboratories and biorepositories have a limited amount of floor space. That’s why our unique ULT freezer design delivers more storage capacity per square foot than other comparable models, giving you the most use of your floor space. With our compact Stirling engine cooling technology, less than 11% of our SU780XLE’s outer cabinet volume is needed to house its mechanical cooling system. That’s remarkably smaller than compressor deck space required in other ULT freezers, which is why you get so much more storage capacity in a smaller footprint with a Stirling freezer.
How Much More Sample Storage Do You Get Per Square Foot?
Our unique freezer design allows you to store 15-50% more 2ml vials per square foot of floor space (per freezer) when compared to other upright models of similar size.
Here’s another way to look at this . . . With the smaller footprint of our 600-box-capacity SU780XLE, you can place two additional ULT freezer units in a 50-foot row (side-by-side arrangement with recommended clearance), versus competitive models. This equates to a difference in storage capacity of 1,200-2,200 additional 2” sample boxes, or 120,000-220,000 additional sample vials within the same floor space!
Also, the Stirling Ultracold SU780XLE can be placed directly against the walls in your space, whereas competitive models require an additional 6-8 inches behind the freezer for ventilation clearance. This increases our footprint advantage even further.
Our Stirling engine cooling technology is located at the top of our freezers, inside the green top. This places more racks within easier reach, while significantly improving system access and serviceability. In other ULT freezers, compressor-based cooling systems are located at the bottom of the freezer where service access is more limited.
With our innovative cooling system and unique design, we provide the most ULT storage capacity for your limited floor space, in addition to keeping your samples safer than they’ve ever been.
I am very pleased to announce that Stirling Ultracold has received Zero Waste Certification from Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI), an independent certifying body that recognizes excellence in green business industry performance and practice globally. GBCI conducted an on-site assessment of our facility, reviewed our policies and practices, as well as our diversion data for the past year. By adhering to the US Zero Waste Business Council’s and Zero Waste International Alliance’s rigorous standards for diverting waste from both incineration and landfill, this certification confirms our commitment to fulfilling the shared environmental sustainability goals and initiatives of our customers.
For us, becoming a certified Zero Waste facility is not a mere symbol or marketing pitch. Our success in reducing, reusing, and recycling waste is an extension of our core values, which have driven Stirling Ultracold’s products and approach to the research community since our beginnings. We have always believed that it is possible to align finding cures for diseases with sustainability. That is why every ultra-low freezer we manufacture supports sustainability and climate action goals with 100% natural refrigerants, industry-leading energy efficiency and the smallest possible carbon footprint. As we shared last year in our post, Why We’re Becoming a ‘Zero-Waste’ Manufacturer… Not Just ‘Zero Landfill, our Zero Waste program is part of our larger commitment to help research organizations achieve their corporate sustainability initiatives.
Having recently announced our new ENERGY STAR® partnership and certification of the most energy-efficient ULT freezer in the industry, earning Zero Waste certification is another important sustainability milestone for Stirling Ultracold because it validates our authenticity in supporting the values of our customers.