2014 National Freezer Challenge

Freezer Challenge
Sarah Lowder
UNC Green Labs
Sustainability Triangle Field Site Program Intern
Identify areas of energy and material consumption that can be reduced
among the laboratories on campus, particularly regarding freezers
Develop a plan to enact a Freezer Challenge program at UNC
Recruit Eco Champions and initialize contact with labs in order gain as
many participants as possible
Enroll UNC in the 2014 National Freezer Challenge Competition
UNC Freezer Challenge
Purpose: To reduce energy consumption in campus labs
 A single ultra-low temp freezer can use the same amount of energy
as a large single family household.
How to reduce energy consumption of freezer units:
 Clean (improve airflow/defrost) or replace old units and practice
good maintenance
 Remove old / unnecessary samples to -20°C or dispose
-80 to -20 is a 75% energy savings
 Combine and share freezer space between labs
 Increase temp from -80 to -70°C
Can save 2-4 kWh/day (20-40¢) and increase the lifespan
of the freezer by reducing the stress on the compressor and
has been seen to not affect the stability of samples like
microbial cultures, proteins, yeast strains, cell lysates, etc.
Participating labs will work to make the greatest reduction in their energy
consumption. Scoring will account for the size and number of units in each lab.
The Competition
Labs with the greatest reduction in energy usage on campus will
win the competition.
A request was submitted to UNC Renewable Energy Special
Projects Committee (RESPC) to possibly generate subsidies for the
We will report our results as part of the 2014 National Freezer
Challenge, competing with many other universities that have
also introduced this program.
UC Davis, CU Boulder, Harvard, U Penn, UCSB, Penn State, MUSC, CDC, and
Collection of Freezer Challenge information and
maintaining contact with Kathryn Ramirez-Aguilar
from CU Boulder
Creation of website, brochure, and other
outreach materials
Gathering Eco Champions
 We have 15 so far!
Contact with the departments on campus
 Presented at Pharmacology and Genetics Department
Forming RESPC funding request
The Competition
In order to coincide with the National Competition, the
Freezer Challenge shall run from September 1st, 2014 –
August 31st, 2015.
Phase 1: Freezer Swap
Phase 2: Good Maintenance
Phase 3: Temperature Tune Up
Phase 1: Freezer Swap
A 15 year-old freezer with 18 cubic foot
capacity uses an average of 28 kWh per day
A newer, more energy-efficient model uses an
average of 13 kWh per day.
Swapping could save hundreds of dollars in
energy costs and 5475 kWh each year!
We are working with UNC RESPC and other
sources to try to subsidize the replacement of
old freezers on campus.
Phase 1: Freezer Swap
Action Items:
 Provide RESPC any information they
require in order to secure funding
 Email departments; have an email sent
over the listservs in order to inform the
labs about this initiative.
 Require any labs interested in
participating to provide an Eco-Champion
for their lab
 Give interested labs a list of energy
efficient options that they may (or may
not) choose from for the swap.
Phase 2: Good Maintenance
The Refrigeration Shop estimates that
HALF of the UNC freezers have seals
that leak or have failed completely.
Encouraging proper and preventative
maintenance can mitigate energy lost
through improper use and increase
freezer lifespan through reduced
compressor stress.
- Cleaning filters and coils, allow space around
edges of freezers, defrosting overly frosty freezers,
removing old or unnecessary samples, taking
inventory, consolidating and retiring freezers
Phase 2: Good Maintenance
Action Items:
 Provide labs with
information on what
good maintenance
items they should
perform, where they
can get preventative
maintenance or repairs,
and any
available for this phase.
Recruit the Refrigeration Shop in order to add training,
share information on the benefits, and push the initiative
through a source the labs trust.
Phase 3: Temperature Tune Up
Raising a freezer from -80° C to -70° C saves 2-4
kWh/day, the same amount of energy required
to run a full-sized -20 degree freezer.
It also reduces the stress on the compressor,
increasing freezer lifetime and reducing the risk
of compressor failure.
-70° C used to be the standard temperature
some years ago and the samples like microbial
cultures, proteins, yeast strains, cell lysates, and
more can be stored for years at this temperature
without compromising sample stability.
Phase 3: Temperature
Tune Up
Action Items:
Identify UNC labs that have freezers already
operating at -70°C
Recruit members from the Refrigeration Shop
to verify benefits to the freezers
Provide the list of samples that the other labs
keep at -70° or warmer for reference
Reporting Results
On the website: http://www.wastereduction.unc.edu/GetInvolved/GreenLabs/FreezerChallenge
Freezer Challenge Awards
The Frigid Four
 Frost Champion
This prestigious award goes to the lab that has the most points from all
campaigns relative to the number of ULT's in the lab.
 Frost Victor
The lab with the most total points for all freezer week programs will be deemed
the Frost Victor.
 Campus Champs
For the department that earns the most total points, relative to the number of
ULT’s in the departments.
 Campus Victors
The department with the most total points accumulated.
Special Awards
 Rip Van Winkle
Oldest sample discarded
 Frosty the Snowlab
Submit the best picture from you epic freezer adventures
 Pot O' Gold
Most valuable item rediscovered
General Action Items:
 Post a list of labs with Eco Champions and their
departments to begin recognizing those involved
and increase competitive spirit.
Send the survey out so that labs can begin listing
the initiatives in which they are participating
 Create stickers, magnets, banners, etc. for labs to
display indicating their involvement and
reiterating best practices.
Send out Green Labs Best Practices Guide
Inform Eco Champions of the other Green Labs
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