Laboratory refrigeration refers to specially designed equipment used to store samples, specimens, vaccines and medicines at exact temperatures. Sensitive items such as these require very precise temperature control for optimum performance. Lab refrigerators typically come with special features and options tailored for use in the laboratory, as opposed to less complex models intended for catering or home use.

Laboratory fridges are available in a range and sizes and specifications, but they all perform the same function – to ensure that crucial scientific or medical items are stored at the right temperature. The main difference between laboratory fridges and standard domestic fridges found in homes, restaurants and shops is that they maintain a very specific temperature range consistently and without fail.

Some of the special features that laboratory refrigerators come fitted with includes state of the art thermometers and alarms that sound if the temperature rises above or falls below the required range.

Different laboratories will require different types and sizes of refrigeration equipment. A standard laboratory refrigerator will typically operate from 2°C to 10°C, although there are exceptions. It is best to use a refrigerator that closely meets temperature needs because the lower the temperature the more power it requires.

Some labs or medical facilities may require an ultra low temperature freezer, which can store items at temperatures as low as -80°C. This is necessary for the storage of certain vaccines, including the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, which is currently a vital weapon in the fight against a deadly virus which has brought most of the whole world to a halt.

laboratory refrigeration


Thermometers and Alarms

All laboratory refrigeration equipment is typically fitted with a thermometer and an alarm that sounds if the temperature becomes out of range.

The thermometers are highly accurate and monitor both the air temperature inside of the fridge as well as a second glycine probe which replicates the temperature of the drugs stored inside the fridge, giving a more accurate temperature measurement of the drugs.


Laboratory fridges and freezers also usually come fitted with a security lock as standard to prevent any unauthorised access to the unit. This is important for several reasons, such as:

  • It prevents medicines and vaccines from being stolen
  • Stops someone gaining access to potentially dangerous samples/specimens, who is not authorised to use it


Things To Consider

When selecting a laboratory refrigerator or freezer, it is important to consider the layout of your facility. If space is limited in the laboratory or medical practice, then the unit may need to be mounted on the wall or incorporated into another unit.

Some laboratory refrigeration units are designed to fit under a laboratory counter. Keep in mind that space-saving designs are sometimes more susceptible to temperature fluctuations because of their size.

You’ll also need to determine how many shelves you will require, what the layout inside the unit will look like, the door type, which side the door opens and how sophisticated the warning alarm will be.

At Green Cooling, we provide industry-leading bespoke laboratory refrigeration solutions; we can design a refrigeration system that meets all the requirements of your laboratory or medical facility. As one of the UK’s leading provider of laboratory refrigeration equipment, we have years of experience to draw upon and we work with state of the art energy-efficient technologies to keep your costs low and reduce the impact on the environment.

If you have any questions about laboratory fridges or freezers, please contact a member of the Green Cooling team today. Acknowledged as specialists in providing innovative hospital & public sector refrigeration systems, Green Cooling are recognised by both consultants and operators for their ability to design and install refrigeration systems that provide the highest levels of site efficiency & performance for critical applications.

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