The capabilities of a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) generally go beyond typical applications where backup power is needed. Unlike applications where a sudden power outage can cause operational problems such as data loss, the power failure of a pharmacy refrigerator or lab freezer would prevent a healthcare worker from opening the refrigerator to retrieve vaccines. A typical pharmaceutical freezer can maintain its internal temperature for four hours in the event of a power outage, provided the door is not opened.
Recent news about the coronavirus vaccine breakthrough has put pharmaceutical refrigerators in the spotlight. This is mainly because vaccines, diluents, immunoglobulins, and other drugs have specific temperature requirements, most of which must be kept between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius. According to the NHS Green Book, if the temperature exceeds 8 degrees Celsius, the “cold chain” is broken and the contents of the refrigerator must be damaged or destroyed.
Medicines and vaccines stored in freezers are less able to withstand temperature fluctuations, and some vaccines must be stored at temperatures between -15 and -50°C. Unlike other frozen vaccines, the first dose of the Covid 19 vaccine should be stored at -70 degrees Celsius and should not be moved more than four times from that temperature; once thawed, it will last only five days before deteriorating and denaturing.
Freezers and refrigerators must be in good working order to ensure adequate temperature control, and power must be available at all times.
Destruction of vaccines due to power outages can be costly, and those in urgent need of vaccines may have to wait longer.
What are UPS reservations?
Due to strict regulations on vaccine storage, a medical refrigerator failure could not only be a costly inconvenience, but also a violation of regulations; the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) also notes the minimum requirements for proper refrigerator conditions.
“Steps have been taken to reduce the likelihood of unintentional power interruptions.
Uninterrupted power outlets and clear labeling are common methods of achieving the above statement. This reduces the risk of human error, but in the event of a sudden power outage due to a grid fault, an unswitched outlet cannot provide additional power to the refrigerator.
With an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system. The UPS can switch the load to battery power in the event of a mains failure. So that power to the refrigerator is not interrupted. And the appliances are protected from power surges and spikes that can cause thousands of pounds of damage. Visit also: Best APC Smart-UPS
Many refrigerators and freezers in laboratories and pharmacies are also equipped with alarm contacts. That sounds like the alarm in the event of a power failure. Ironically, power failure alarms require a power source, and since the main power system shuts down during a power failure. They must be powered by a secondary source such as a UPS.
What are the best UPS for pharmacy refrigerators?
When we think of UPS systems, we usually think of large. Multi-megawatt power systems with a string of batteries. But there are also compact, stand-alone, single-phase units. And the power supply depends on your goals and budget.
1. Back up alarms for contacts and alert the practice owner.
The least expensive option, a small inverter, is self-contained enough to power the pharmacy refrigerator alarm contacts. This gives the practice owner time to implement an emergency plan. And staff time to ensure the refrigerator door is closed before power is restored. Our proprietary UPS monitoring software also provides mobile alerts in the event of a power outage. So the situation can’t be overlooked after hours.
2. Emergency pharmacy refrigerators with a battery life of 8-10 hours or more.
For a fee, we back up our pharmacy refrigerators with a UPS. To provide vaccines in the event of a power outage lasting several hours. This could save thousands of people from having to dispose of their vaccines in the unlikely event of a power outage where the refrigerator is not cooled.
The above two solutions are the most common. But there are a variety of solutions for all sizes and environments. Compact UPS systems starting at 800 VA, available with optional battery packs. In larger installations with more medical applications, a three-phase UPS system can be. Installed in addition to the single-phase system.