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Low-Temperature Freezers

Low-temperature laboratory freezers will achieve temperatures of -40°C to -85°C, much lower than their kitchen-based counterparts.

by Lab Manager

Low-temperature laboratory freezers will achieve temperatures of -40°C to -85°C, much lower than their kitchen-based counterparts. When selecting a freezer or refrigerator for your lab, it is important to know what specific storage requirements you’ll need, such as the temperature range or space available


Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Low-Temp Freezer

1. How long does it take to get to -80°C after set-up / install (cool down time)?

2. If there is a power failure, how long will it take to get to -60°C (holdover time)?

3. How often do the compressors have to run (compressor run time)?

4. What is the max and min temp variation from set-point across the chamber (temperature variation)?

5. What is the capacity, how many racks and 2” / 3” boxes can it store (sample storage)?

6. What are the optimal voltage/wiring conditions for running the ULT? If your building is older, will low voltage or voltage fluctuations affect the performance of the freezer?

Types of freezers our readers are currently using or planning to purchase for their labs, based on our latest freezers survey:

  Currently Using Planning to Purchase
Blood bank and plasma 94% 6%
Explosion-proof 94% 6%
Flammable materials storage 89% 11%
Upright general purpose lab freezers 91% 9%
Under-counter general purpose lab freezers 94% 6%
Low temperature chest lab freezers 86% 14%
Low temperature upright lab freezers 88% 12%
Upright ultra-low temperature freezers 89% 11%
Chest ultra-low temperature freezers 82% 18%
Other 50% 50%

Most of our readers who were planning to purchase a new lab freezer were interested in an ultra-low freezer.

Considering an ultra-low freezer 62%
Not considering an ultra-low freezer 38%

Reasons our readers were planning to buy a low-temp freezer included:

Addition to existing systems, increase capacity 37%
Current ultra-low freezer is nearing end of lifespan 30%
New application requires an ultra-low freezer for high value sample 7%
Require the protection of back-up ultra-low freezer 7%
Setting up a new lab 11%
Other 9%

Recently Released Low-Temp Freezers

• Fully automated freezer individually stores and retrieves sample vials at temperatures of -80°C, using a traditional mechanical freezer or at -180°C using a liquid nitrogen tank (vapor phase)
• Allows hands-free retrieval of vials with the freezer’s robotic arm
• Tray of five vials can be loaded or retrieved in 30-60 seconds


HEF Series
• Feature combined traditional insulation with Vacuum Insulation Panels complemented with Vacupor NT™ technology to provide the best thermal insulation available compared to any single insulation technique
• Reduce energy consumption by more than 59% in comparison to competitive units of similar size
• Boasts enhanced compressor circulation system
• Includes an upgraded high efficiency fan


Select™ Series
• Now available in three upright sizes
• Features an operating temperature range of -50°C to -86°C
• Includes high/low audible & visual temperature alarms, remote alarm contacts, patent pending voltage buck/boost
• Contains 1HP low noise high-efficiency compressors


• Provides excellent energy efficiency with a power consumption of 13.77kWh/24hr
• Includes enhanced cooling efficiency, insulation characteristics, and door-open recovery times
• Features greater temperature uniformity throughout the freezer
• Boasts advanced new capillary tube heat exchanger
• Also provides up to 30 per cent more storage capacity than a conventionally insulated freezer

PHC Corporation of North America


Low-Temp Freezer Manufacturers

Eppendorf (New Brunswick Scientific)
SANYO (Now Panasonic Healthcare)
So – Low
Thermo Fisher Scientific