Published: March 25, 2024

new freezer in the e-centerUtilizing the CUSG Energy and Climate Fund, the Environmental Center and Green Labs set out to replace the three most energy-intensive ultra low temperature (ULT) freezers on campus with new, top performing energy-efficient ULT freezers. After looking at what was available on the market, Green Labs proposed and purchased three of a new model of energy efficient PHCBI VIP ECO SMART Series ULT freezer (model MDF-DU703VH/VHA-PA) which is ~30% more efficient per space in the freezer compared to the next most efficient ULT freezers on the market (according to Energy Star data). Furthermore, this particular ULT freezer model received an Outstanding New Product Award in 2023 by a non-profit organization focused on research sample storage, the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER).  

As a result of interest by engaged scientists, instead of just three inefficient ULT freezers, two labs were willing to consolidate samples and retire two additional energy inefficient ULT freezers. Thus, in total, five inefficient ULT freezers that were collectively consuming nearly 170 kWh/day in electricity were replaced with three of these very energy efficient ULT freezers, consuming a combined total of just 15.3 kWh/day. One lab also chose to set the new ULT freezer at -70 ⁰C, which consumes 4.5 kWh/day instead of 5.4 kWh/day at -80 ⁰C, based on manufacturer data. 
This one time funding opportunity allowed the Green Labs program to replace five energy inefficient ULT freezers on campus (which were all near the end-of-life) with three very energy efficient ULT freezers utilizing only ~9% of the electricity used by the original five freezers. Having examples of these new efficient freezers on campus is expected to be helpful for energy efficiency efforts as future ULT freezer purchases come up.