3 Feb 2017
Energy Star Specifications for Laboratory-Grade Fridges Unveiled
The EPA recently finalised its first-ever Energy Star specification for laboratory-grade refrigerators and freezers. Typically sold to a wide range of medical facilities including hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, and university and government research labs, these products are designed to contain non-volatile reagents and biological specimens at stable, low temperatures. The EPA believes that expanding into this category will help medical facilities reduce their costly energy bills and is consistent with the Energy Star programme’s goal of protecting the environment by advancing energy efficiency in a growing number of industries.
According to the EPA, the new specification will allow labs to realise significant savings through the use of existing technologies, including auto-off lighting combined with the use of LED lights; energy efficient low-E glass used in glass door fridges; more efficient cooling compressors; more advanced microprocessor temperature control and defrost sensors; more efficient high-capacity air circulation systems as well as hot gas defrost solutions; and low global warming potential, energy efficient alternative refrigerant options.
The effective date for the first (Version 1.0) Energy Star specification for laboratory-grade fridges and freezers was 21 December 2016. Manufacturers new to the Energy Star programme may submit a partnership agreement to initiate the application process while existing partners only need to send an email expressing their intention to certify products to the new specification. Existing partners may also submit a new participant form adding laboratory-grade fridges and freezers if doing so is helpful for their recordkeeping. All new products must be certified by an EPA-recognised certification body before being labelled and marketed as Energy Star certified. Upon satisfactory completion of all certification requirements, a certification body will notify the partner that the product is Energy Star certified and will submit certified product data to the EPA for listing on the Energy Star website.
Energy Star is a voluntary labelling programme designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Energy Star label is now available on more than 40 different kinds of products, including home electronics, clothes washers, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, refrigerators and freezers, room air conditioners, commercial fryers, commercial hot food holding cabinets, commercial solid door refrigerators and freezers, commercial steam cookers, computers and other office equipment, and lighting.