Energy saving with -80°C ultra-low temperature freezers?

Ultra-low temperature (ULT) units, which operate at -80°C, are used in many biobanks. This form of sample storage is energy-intensive: a -80°C ULT requires an average of 20 kWh per day, depending on the cooling volume, age and state of maintenance. This means that a single unit consumes one and a half times as much electricity as an average three-person household in a year. Should the temperature of the -80°C ULT therefore be raised? The German Biobank Node (GBN) and the German Biobank Alliance (GBA) advise against this in their "Recommendations for the energy-saving use of -80°C ultra-low temperature freezers". The authors Heidi Altmann, Ronny Baber, Jörg Geiger, Michael Hummel, Verena Huth, Michael Kiehntopf, Alexandra Nieters, Sara Y. Nussbeck, Johanna Schiller and Cornelia Specht suggest alternative measures instead, such as reducing the number of units and more compact storage of biosamples.

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