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Sustainability 2012, 4(11), 2838-2851; doi:10.3390/su4112838
Article

Environmental Profiles of Stirling-Cooled and Cascade-Cooled Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers

*  and
Global Cooling Inc., 6000 Poston Rd. Athens 45701, OH, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 September 2012 / Revised: 17 October 2012 / Accepted: 18 October 2012 / Published: 25 October 2012
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Abstract

The environmental footprint of ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers as used in bio-repositories, universities and other research organizations is investigated. These freezers, employing the cascade refrigeration system, use between 10 and 20 times the energy of an average household refrigerator/freezer. In addition, they often require high greenhouse gas potential (GWP) refrigerants. A new technology employing the Stirling cycle machine promises to reduce energy consumption of ULT freezers by 50% or more. The cascade and Stirling systems are compared for equivalent sized freezers in terms of embodied energy and equivalent CO2 production from cradle to gate and use, including total equivalent warming impact (TEWI) estimations. End-of-life issues are discussed but not quantified. It is shown that Stirling technology is able to significantly reduce the environmental impact of ULT freezers.
Keywords: Stirling; ULT; cascade; refrigeration; bio-repository; TEWI; embodied energy Stirling; ULT; cascade; refrigeration; bio-repository; TEWI; embodied energy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Berchowitz, D.M.; Kwon, Y. Environmental Profiles of Stirling-Cooled and Cascade-Cooled Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers. Sustainability 2012, 4, 2838-2851.

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