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How do pharmacy/medical refrigerators differ from domestic ones?

Supplier: Rollex Medical
12 September, 2011

Domestic refrigerators and drink display cabinets are designed to perform multiple storage functions from freezing through to provision of various temperature zones within the cabinets.

Because the temperature tolerances for domestic foodstuffs and soft drinks are not critical, provision is also made for storage of product in doors etc. to maximise the utilisation of available space and as a consequence temperature variation throughout these types of refrigerator cabinets can be significant.

Temperature control devices and defrost functions in particular in domestic and drink display refrigerators are designed for the storage of items which are not temperature sensitive and as a result can cause wide variation of temperatures to exist in the cabinets.

The key to successful and uniform temperature control is achieved by:

  • The use of specialised thermostat controls, which are an integral part of the design of the specialised factory built pharmacy & medical refrigerators cooling systems. ( some have tried fitting hybrid control systems to domestic and display cabinets to try and emulate the sophisticated control systems used in factory built units, however a word of warning, using after market clip on systems may in fact work against the control system built into the product and interfere with defrosting cycles and the other timing cycles causing freezing and the degradation of the vaccine stored within.)
  • The use of a cooling system, which returns the internal cabinet to required temperatures as quickly as possible after interruptions such as door openings.
  • Fan cooling to ensure even distribution of temperatures throughout the cabinet.
  • A defrost system which eliminates “icing up” and is compatible with the maintenance of required internal temperatures.
  • A management system that ensures the refrigerator can do its job and which monitors its performance.
  • Very importantly fail safe overrides on all functions related to the refrigeration operation.
  • Alarm systems to ensure early warning. An alarm which will activate if internal air temperature drops below 2degreeC and also if internal air temperature rises above 8 degreesC.
  • LED screen read out for various temperature readings and monitoring.
  • There are many other optional features available with the Pharmacy & Medical factory built units not available with the hybrids and they are normally described in suppliers brochures and in their operation manuals.


Source: Rollex Medical