Plasma Center Freezers 101

1. Start with proper installation

Be sure your freezer installer has a reputation for showing up when promised, working carefully around subcontractors and ordering supplies on a timely basis.

Similarly, make sure you have competent cable installers who have worked with industrial freezers.

If we are your builder, we will send experts. If not, give us a call and we can help you find good vendors in your area.

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2. Take care of your freezers

Freezer controls, compressors and blower units are all very complicated. Any outside air that gets in immediately freezes.

Here are some tips for your center managers to follow in taking care of your freezers:

  • Frost accumulation anywhere in the freezer is not good, and should be addressed immediately. It can be caused by a burnt-out heating unit around doors and openings in the freezer
  • Frost can accumulate in the ceiling above your blower units. Evidence of this is water in the pan under the blower that goes to the AC pipe
  • Knock on the pan, if it sounds like a pop can it is OK, if it makes a dull sound, you have frozen water in the pan that hasn’t drained
  • Water that forms in the pan during defrost mode should go to the floor drain; if it is not properly drained, you can get standing water (which can lead to slips and falls)
  • Putting heat tape and neoprene around the AC pipe will help it last up to 5 years

The most important tip is to have your freezers routinely inspected and maintained, ideally under a maintenance contract by technicians who understand your brand and size freezer.

We require this in our leases.

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3. Why you need a freezer maintenance contract

Plasma center freezers are complicated. Not just anyone can work on them. If your freezer person makes a mistake, you could lose a million dollars worth of plasma.

Identify your maintenance company when installing a new freezer:

  • Ideally, have the maintenance company meet with your installer during installation
  • Keep copies of your freezer schematics and drawings so they are available to your maintenance company when needed

Make sure the people working on your freezers are competent:

  • Unqualified workers might start to cut wires to get your freezer working again
  • Calling people you don’t know on an as-needed basis increases the likelihood of poor work

What your contract with the maintenance company should include:

  • How often the compressor condensors will be cleaned (should be one or two times per year
  • Qualifications for the technicians who will work on your freezer(s)
  • Requirement that technicians have intimate knowledge of your specific freezer brand and model
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4. Prepare for emergencies

Emergency Generator

It’s imperative to have an emergency generator in your plasma centers, sized either to maintain just your freezer operations, or, preferably, to keep all your operations going during a power loss.

Stough Group’s refrigeration experts can help you determine the right-sized generator to buy (new or replacement), and install it—before an emergency arises.

Dry Ice

Many centers have a Standard Operating Procedure that allows them to use dry ice to preserve a required plasma-storage temperature in emergencies.

But we have seen, time after time, when a widespread power interruption caused by a tornado or hurricane happens, it can be very difficult for plasma centers to get dry ice in time to save their plasma.

Plus, dry ice displaces oxygen, which can lead to a deadly situation for a technician working in an oxygen-deprived freezer.

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5. Monitor carefully

Temperature Monitoring

Accurate temp monitoring is a vital part of plasma center recordkeeping. The freezer temperature should be checked every morning and evening.

All food and drug regulatory agencies require constant temperature monitoring. Proper installation of low-voltage wiring and 110 power wiring to your temperature recorder is extremely important. It should be run in conduit to prevent accidental shorting by nails, screws, etc.

Temp Control Alarms

The best protection is to have an alarm on your monitoring equipment, routinely tested by your alarm company. Hire a responsible firm that is on-call 24/7.

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To streamline delivery and control costs, we take a prototype approach when possible, engage local civil engineering consultants for each project, and establish a working relationship with the local governing authority.