Portables – Know the difference, know what you are buying

18th July 2020

Portable Medical Refrigerators – Know the difference, know what you are buying

What do you need a portable medical refrigerator for?  Your need should form the basis of a purchase. For transporting vaccines or medicines which have to be kept at a set temperature to ensure safety, or perhaps you want to keep items at a set temperature during transport.  Options are limited if constant use is required.

Why are some products more expensive than others? Price variation  will mainly be down to the overall functionality and validity of the product.

What are the main portable refrigeration products available?

Compressor type – With a 240V AC and a 12V DC connection, compressor style medical fridges are guaranteed to hold between 2-8 degrees continuously whilst connected to a power supply. Some can be solar powered or run via a vehicle. They will have an internal fan fitted to circulate the air, and will also have a digital temperature controller ensuring that temperatures do not deviate even in extreme ambient temperatures. They will have the same functionality as a standard medical refrigerator including Max/Min temperature memory and an Audio/Visual alarm on temperature deviation. Designed for constant use. The additional functionality is reflected in the price which generally starts at around £600.

Thermo-electric – Also with a 240V AC and/or a 12V DC connection. These are primarily designed as portable cool box drinks chillers. They will only cool the contents to a maximum of 15 degrees below the ambient temperature. Ideal in cold weather but not so good during a hot summer. Most of the thermo-electric units can also be switched for operation to warm the contents of the unit (which can cause confusion to the user). There is usually no exact temperature control over the contents stored inside as often there is no form of dedicated temperature control fitted. Constant use could be an issue. Prices usually start at around £300.

Insulated carrier (cool bags) – Insulated carriers are dependent on pre chilled cool packs, which are inserted into the carrier along with the products that require controlled cold chain storage. Over time, the inside temperature will equalise to that of the surrounding ambient heat. Not suitable for constant use. Prices usually start at £100.

Shoreline’s portable medical fridges come with a calibration certificate so you can be certain  your product is designed and built for the strict purpose of controlled temperature storage.

Not sure the best product for your needs?  Contact Shoreline at ask@shoreline-medical.co.uk or call 01903 733877.

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