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  1. A typical ULT freezer consumes between 9 and 20 kWh/day, which translates to 3 to 7 MWh/year. According to Loja Luz by Selectra, the annual energy consumption of an apartment in Portugal with 1 kitchen, 1 living room, 1 bedroom, and 1 bathroom is 3777 kWh. According to Pordata, the annual domestic energy consumption by an individual in Portugal is around 1.1 MWh.

  2. Reference: Farley and McTear

One ultra-low temperature freezer set at -80 °C spends as much energy as a small family apartment. ¹

How to save energy?

Consider increasing the working temperature of your ultra-low temperature freezer.


Ultra-low temperature freezers used to be set at -70 °C.

If you ask senior researchers, they will probably remember. Last decades, manufacturers started to offer more robust units, which were able to maintain -80 °C and then this temperature started to be the norm.

By increasing the temperature from -80 °C to – 70 °C you can save 30% of energy. ²

Many laboratories around the world, including researchers at the i3S-University of Porto and at the Biomedical Centre at LMU,  are now increasing the temperature of their freezers from -80 °C to – 70 °C and are happy with the outcome. 

Many biological samples are stable at -70 °C.

In this database, scientists from the University of Colorado Boulder, California Davis, Riverside, and San Diego share which sample types they are storing at -70 °C or warmer.

Ultra-low temperature freezers: At which temperature?

After the fume hood and biological safety cabinet, this is probably the most energy-costly piece of equipment you use.
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