New “High-Density” Rack: Even More ULT Storage Capacity in the Same Space

By Jim Miller, Stirling Ultracold Chief Revenue Officer

Our 600-box SU780XLE ultra-low freezer already stores the most samples per floor space area of any comparable model. With the new “High-Density” Storage Rack solution, it can now store 100* more boxes in the same footprint! Storing up to 700* two-inch sample boxes, this optional rack solution further increases the freezer’s storage density to 81.6 boxes per sq. ft/m of floor space, which is 35-70% more ULT storage per floor space area than similarly-sized freezer models.

The High-Density Storage Rack is a perfect solution for laboratories and biorepositories with limited space who want to expand biological sample inventories without new construction. The ability to store more samples in a smaller freezer footprint not only reduces your cost per sq. ft/m, but offers the potential of replacing older ULT models with fewer freezers to reduce capital costs.

Considering that the SU780XLE is the most energy-efficient ENERGY STAR®-certified ULT freezer, this new 700-box rack furthers its efficiency per sample. In fact, the XLE uses 20-60% less energy per sample than other ENERGY STAR-certified ULT freezers (energy consumption data source: energystar.gov) in the high-density configuration. This not only enhances energy savings for all users, and potentially reduces the number of units required, but particularly benefits commercial biorepositories by improving profitability with the lowest operating cost per sample stored.

To learn more, download our new High-Density Storage Rack brochure

* To keep the vacuum release port unobstructed on the SU780XLE, it is recommended that one box be removed from the High-Density Storage Rack. This will reduce storage capacity to 699 2-inch boxes in the high-density configuration.

Stirling Ultracold Helps Australia’s Telethon Kids Institute Improve the Lives of Children

By Nicholas A. Pezzuolo, VP of Channel Development

As we expand our global market presence, it’s great when we can share how Stirling Ultracold products are making an impact in regions all over the world. One example from earlier this year is the Telethon Kids Institute in Nedlands, Western Australia which purchased and installed 23 of our SU780XLE ultra-low temperature freezers (see photo to the right) through our distributor partner Bioline Global Pty Ltd. The Institute is located within the Perth Children’s Hospital and is one of the largest research facilities in Australia. Telethon is committed to improving the lives of children through extensive research in childhood diseases, conditions, and issues. Their four main areas of focus are Aboriginal Health, Brain and Behavior, Chronic and Severe Diseases, and Early Environment.

Telethon has also pledged to reduce their carbon footprint by embracing sustainable practices for the well-being of all children in the present and future. We are proud that Telethon chose our reliable, energy-efficient freezers to help them meet their environmental goals.

VWR Recognizes Stirling as 2017 Supplier of the Year for Equipment, Instruments, and Chromatography

It’s been less than a year since announcing our new distribution agreement with VWR, the leading global independent provider of product and service solutions to laboratory and production customers. That’s why we were so honored to recently receive VWR’s coveted Supplier of the Year Award for Equipment, Instruments, and Chromatography. Being recognized among so many well-regarded suppliers at VWR’s recent 2018 Americas Sales Conference demonstrates just how successful this great relationship has become in a short time!

These VWR awards recognize supplier accomplishments and excellence in operations, sales support and customer service. “Throughout the year, our suppliers collaborate with our Sales organization to ensure we provide innovative and customized solutions to meet our customers’ needs,” said Mark McLoughlin, EVP, Americas for VWR, part of Avantor. “We are very pleased to recognize Stirling Ultracold for the products and service they provide to our customers.”

Read our Press Release Announcement >>

Setting the Record Straight on False ENERGY STAR® Claims

ES_Partner_logoRecently, another ultra-low freezer manufacturer “boldly” asserted that their model is the “most energy-efficient ULT freezer.” This very public claim was presented as having its basis in ENERGY STAR® certified test results that are posted at energystar.gov. While we’re pleased to see other ULT freezer manufacturers moving to more efficient designs and joining the ENERGY STAR program, we would like to set the record straight on this matter . . .

It has been confirmed that this competitor’s claim was false and the Stirling Ultracold SU780XLE has been validated by ENERGY STAR as the most energy-efficient ULT freezer. This is not our claim, but is based on the EPA ENERGY STAR calculation that qualifies ULT freezers for certification (version 1.1 specification). Anyone can go to energystar.gov and clearly see that the SU780XLE is the most efficient certified ULT freezer listed (.29 kWh/day/ft3).

Energystar Gov Lab Grade of ULT FreezersScreenshot from energystar.gov (on 11-27-17) showing the SU780XLE is the top Ultra-Low Temperature Freezer listed.

Just Another Untrustworthy Claim

Unfortunately, this inaccurate claim is just the most recent example of ULT manufacturer “marketing” that asserts unfounded energy specifications or capabilities. As I pointed out in the blog post, What’s the Difference Between “Typical”, “Specification” and “Final Test Method”?, others in our industry have confused and obfuscated for years on the issue of ULT freezer energy consumption. That’s why Stirling Ultracold was alone in publicly promoting the ENERGY STAR Final Test Method when it became the de facto industry standard in 2014. We’ve always believed that ULT freezer buyers deserve a straightforward “apples to apples” energy comparison, which is the purpose of ENERGY STAR after all. Isn’t it ironic that we’re still talking about confusion on this issue, even after long-awaited ENERGY STAR certification has come to ULT freezers?

Defining True Industry Leadership

At Stirling Ultracold, we carefully consider the validity of all technical data published in our marketing communications, which is why our products are known for delivering on promised performance in independent tests and daily operation. That’s also why we were the first in our industry to cite third-party, ENERGY STAR test protocol results for published energy consumption. We made this change to our SU780XLE product literature over a year ago to “walk the talk” and model transparency rather than the casual “specsmanship” that has become so prevalent in our industry. As an industry leader we place the highest value on accuracy and integrity to meet market needs.

We’ve said it before and we’ll now say it again . . . No other ULT freezer on the market offers more energy savings than the SU780XLE, and we would be happy to provide SU780XLE test data in the required ENERGY STAR reporting format to back up this statement. Not only is the XLE the first and most efficient ENERGY STAR-certified ULT freezer, but its field-proven Stirling engine doesn’t use compressors that are expected to fail.

Protecting the ENERGY STAR Brand

Stirling has been a strong voice in our industry for ENERGY STAR and we value it as the most widely recognized symbol for energy efficiency in the world. Like any asset with appreciable value, this brand must be properly used and protected. That is why Global Cooling, Inc. (parent company of Stirling Ultracold) has recently contacted the EPA’s offices of Air and Radiation and Civil Enforcement regarding the previously-mentioned false statements. As reported in our letter, several unsupported assertions were made in the public domain on the basis of ENERGY STAR misrepresentations, which are potentially damaging to us, our industry and most importantly, the efficacy of the EPA’s ENERGY STAR brand. You may request a copy of this letter to the EPA by sending an email to epa_letter@stirlingultracold.com

How to Get 15-50% More ULT Sample Storage from Your Limited Floor Space

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.

ULT Technology That Advances Both Energy-Efficiency and System Reliability

Perhaps you’re aware of the free-piston Stirling engine that allows Stirling Ultracold ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers to use less than a third the energy of legacy, compressor-based models. You may also know that this enabling technology, not only saves energy and associated operating costs, but uses 100% natural refrigerants that substantially reduce ozone-depleting and greenhouse gas emissions. However, you may not realize that the Stirling engine also advances the safety of biological samples with its inherent reliability advantages.

From the outset, Stirling Ultracold has believed that sustainable, energy-efficient ULT technology would present a very compelling choice for the research community, and we are pleased to see the recent efforts of some compressor-based ULT manufacturers to improve the efficiency of their cascade technologies.

However, it should be noted that energy efficiency was never our sole reason for bringing Stirling engine technology to laboratory cold storage. Improvements in ULT efficiency and sustainability, while important on their own merits, should always support or enhance the reliability of cooling systems that preserve valuable samples for research. The inherent reliability of the Stirling engine, while less understood, is vitally needed in our industry to further the safe preservation of biological specimens.

This innovation delivers several reliability advantages that address well-known failures associated with aging technologies used in most ULT freezers. To understand this, let’s first look at the basic differences between cascade-compressor and Stirling engine systems . . .

Unlike “cascade systems” with two compressors and cooling loops in a cascading arrangement, the Stirling engine uses a single reciprocating piston and a continuous, gravity driven thermosiphon to cool the cabinet interior. In contrast to standard cascade systems that regulate temperatures by switching compressors on and off, the Stirling engine’s linear motor system continuously modulates and adapts by controlling the motion of the free piston.

How Does the Stirling Engine Improve ULT System Reliability?
Below are several key design attributes and innovations that extend the operating life of the Stirling engine and address the common reasons why conventional ULT systems fail . . .

  • The advanced integral linear motor system has only two moving parts.
  • The moving parts never wear because gas bearings eliminate physical contact (friction) during motion
  • There is no oil to clog up the system or lubrication levels to maintain.
  • There are no valves to fail or maintain
  • 100% adaptive, continuous modulation regulates temperatures without stop-start cycles.
  • Electromechanical stress and amperage peaks from on-off surge currents have been eliminated.
  • Minimal preventive maintenance is required for reliable cooling operation.

If you would like a more in-depth understanding of how advanced ULT technology can reduce your energy consumption, while also improving reliability and sample safety, please sign up to attend our Freezer Challenge Webinar, presented by Stirling Ultracold’s Director of Quality, Chuck Stout on Thursday, April 6th at 1 pm.