In many countries, laboratories are one of the largest energy-consuming sectors. Much of the energy use comes from equipment & instruments including fridges and freezers, incubators, centrifuges & computers to support research data analysis work. In fact, pharmacy fridges are widely recognized as consuming 4 to 5 times more energy than other equipment.
Other than just looking at the cost price, there are several other things to consider and factor in. These can include operating and maintenance costs. You might be attracted to buying the cheapest pharmaceutical fridge offered, but it might be the most expensive asset to maintain in the long run.
The good news is, you are spoilt with choice as there are various brands out there offering energy-saving pharmaceutical refrigerators. If you’re looking at replacing or upgrading your pharma fridge for the sake of lowering your utility bills and carbon footprint, here are some things to consider before making a purchase.
1. Compressor Type
A compressor is one of the critical components of a fridge that consumes more than 75% of the electricity. A non-inverter compressor will cycle on and off at a constant speed, whereas the inverter compressor has the power to operate at various speeds. Hence, a pharmaceutical refrigerator with an inverter compressor can efficiently work at low speed and uses a minimum amount of energy that requires cooling the fridge to an optimum level.
The price for a pharmaceutical refrigerator with a non-inverter compressor such as Bumi Gaiya, REMI & Mediref tends to be cheaper compared to the pharma fridge with inverter technology. You could save 20% on the cost price but you may need to spend 70% more on the electricity bill every year.
Cutting operating cost would be a huge relief to many healthcare facilities and laboratories—what would you do with an extra RM2,500 a year? Reducing your energy usage isn’t just a good investment for the environment—it’s also a great way to keep your facility budget in check.
2. Refrigerant Type
Refrigerant is essential for cooling refrigerators but it generally isn't a factor most users think about when making a purchase. It absorbs heat from the environment which then provides refrigeration when combined with the compressor and evaporator fan. The most common refrigerants used in pharmaceutical refrigerators include R-290, R-134a, and R-600a. Usually, R-134a is used by pharma fridges in Malaysia with direct cooling technology such as Bumi Gaiya, REMI, and Mediref by Tech-Lab. Manufacturers such as ECOFRIJ, are gradually turning over their fridge ranges to incorporate R600a, which is proven to cause less impact on the environment and is generally more energy-saving compared to the R-134a refrigerant.
3. Interior Lighting Type
Fluorescent lighting is still can be found in certain pharmaceutical refrigerator brands in Malaysia market such as REMI. You may already be aware that fluorescent light emits more energy as heat rather than light. Open the fridge door for 10 seconds, and that bulb is burning enough that you can’t touch it. Figure that every time that happens, your fridge has to work so much harder to offset that heat and cool that lightbulb back down. Instead, LED bulb kicks out far less heat and are much more energy efficient than fluorescent lamp. LED lighting is a more recent technology that is an alternative to fluorescent lamps. Many fridge manufacturers have converted to this type of lighting to last far longer, be highly durable and be more cost-effective.
At FC-BIOS, we deliver high-quality and top-notch laboratory equipment, consumables, and supplies. In addition, FC-BIOS is renowned for offering exceptional service and technical support. Our sales and support team are highly trained product experts with scientific backgrounds and industry experience. Contact us for consultation as our trained team of professionals is ready to help you through the process from start to finish.