Problem: Saving energy is on the minds of most people these days; scientists are no exception. When working with biological safety cabinets (BSCs), operators have to protect themselves from biohazards and protect their work from contamination while being increasingly cognizant of energy consumption. Scientists are also seeing increased pressure to be more productive. While safety can never take a backseat to energy savings or productivity concerns, BSC manufacturers have invented enhancements to provide safety, increase productivity, and conserve energy.
Solution: SterilGARD® e3 high efficiency biological safety cabinets offer a significant reduction in energy usage while maintaining a rigorous standard of safety and protection. One of the multiple energy-saving features is a method of saving energy when the cabinet is not being used, called ReadySAFE™ mode. ReadySAFE mode allows the BSC to substantially reduce its energy consumption when a worker is not sitting at the cabinet. This is accomplished by having the motor automatically slow down when the user closes the viewscreen. The motor does not stop, because its function is to provide just enough airflow to maintain containment (personnel protection) and the internal cleanliness condition (product protection).
When the laboratory worker reopens the viewscreen, the motor immediately speeds up to provide proper operating airflows. There is no need for the worker to re-sanitize the work area because the SterilGARD maintains the cleanliness state inside the cabinet. The instantaneous, automatic protection increases laboratory productivity.
Recent studies using microbiological and cleanliness-class/particle-count testing techniques concluded that when operating in the ReadySAFE mode, these cabinets meet or exceed NSF/ANSI Standard 49 Class II and ISO Class 4 criteria while consuming 50 to 75 percent less energy than when operating in the standard mode.
Benefits of ReadySAFE mode are:
- A reduction in noise generation for the BSC—measured at less than 50 decibels.
- Heat produced by the BSC is greatly reduced. This will save energy costs to condition the laboratory air.
- Interior cleanliness levels are maintained, eliminating the additional step of sanitizing the work area before use, thereby increasing laboratory productivity.
- Ongoing work can be left in the cabinet without fear of contamination.
- A significant reduction in energy use (as opposed to leaving the cabinet in operating mode 24 hours per day).
Users of BSCs count on these cabinets to shield them from the dangerous biohazards they work with and to protect their science from contamination. This primary mission of BSCs cannot be compromised in the name of energy savings or productivity. However, with innovative engineering and design coupled with stringent testing, manufacturers are finding ways to meet the challenges of providing biological safety, increasing productivity, and reducing energy consumption.
For more information, go to www.bakerco.com
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