UK: Danfoss Optyma Plus condensing units are helping to provide the ideal conditions for rare and specialised blood samples.
Across the NHS, millions of pints of blood are used in transfusions every year. To ensure blood stays safe and available, it needs to be stored in very specific conditions – usually between 2°C and 6°C.
So, when one hospital’s blood storage and testing lab reached the end of its life, it needed to act fast to protect precious samples. To install a new, effective system as quickly as possible, the hospital turned to Caerphilly-based refrigeration and air conditioning engineering specialists, CB Refrigeration.
With its previous system no longer functioning reliably, the hospital needed CB Refrigeration to advise on, design, and install measures that would allow technicians in its new lab to both store and test blood at accurate, consistent temperatures.
The project required two separate designs – a cold room to store the blood (as a cost-effective alternative to having multiple fridges) and a controlled workspace for lab technicians that would consistently maintain the correct temperature even during technician changeover.
The hospital blood bank stores rare and specialized blood types that would be irreplaceable if lost through faulty storage or high lab temperatures.
As a busy lab, the project needed to factor in a large number of people, processes and items. CB Refrigeration also had to hit a very precise installation window to fit with the other contractors building the lab.
CB Refrigeration installed two cooling systems, both featuring Optyma Plus condensing units using lower GWP refrigerant R455A. The systems were designed to work in tandem or maintain the correct temperature individually – creating a failsafe should one system malfunction.
Support was provided by wholesaler Wolseley Climate. “They helped us address the PED and the EN378 as we opted for ultra-low A2L products, and we formalised that in a risk assessment,” said CB Refrigeration MD Tom Hannaby.
Reliable control to deliver absolute reliability was also a necessity. “To prevent any type of failure, we built an automatic changeover system with multiple alarm parameters,” Hannaby revealed. “Rather than just having an alarm that’s set off when the temperature reaches a certain level, we included pre-alarms as a preventative measure.”
More than 25 different UKAS-approved temperature probes were employed. These monitor if the temperature moves even one degree away from its set point.