Biotechnology or biotech involves the use of biological systems found in organisms or the use of the living organisms themselves to create technological advances. These technologies can be adapted to various fields, from agriculture to the medical sector.
Biotech advancements and inventions happen in a biotech lab. According to American BioTech Supply, some commonly used BioTech equipment in a lab include an autoclave, microcentrifuges, water baths, and incubators.
One of the fundamental keystones of the success of a laboratory is electrical power. It’s a requirement for every vital piece of Biotech equipment to keep products safe.
Managers of labs need to understand the importance of consistent clean power, and the danger of unconditioned power. Let’s start by looking at some of the myths of power protection.
Myth: The Availability of Power Indicates Power Quality
Believing that all power is created equal is only half right. If the lights switch on it doesn’t mean that you don’t have power issues. Having power available doesn’t mean that the electricity supply is consistent, clean, and free from voltage drops or spikes. Quality power is required for consistent performance in the lab to keep machines and products safe.
It’s a little-known fact that almost 90% of harmful power disturbances occur while the system seems like it’s operating normally.
Some spikes, common-mode noise, and normal-mode noise are present to some degree all the time. If these disturbances are left unchecked, they can lead to downtime, inaccurate measurements, shortened equipment life, data errors, and increased service calls.
Myth: Power Problems Are Caused Outside the Lab
Natural occurrences like storms cause only about 10% of power issues. The remaining 90% are generated within the facility, where anything that runs on electricity can create a problem.
Systems such as overhead lighting and the HVAC system are needed to keep a laboratory functional, but they can also create electrical impulses, high-frequency noise, and high-voltage transients. These lead to variance in the power quality and can easily disrupt electrical lab equipment that is sensitive.
Myth: A Surge Protector is Adequate
A surge is a high voltage transient or impulse, and a surge protector diverts this impulse away from the sensitive electronic systems. If the surge is not eliminated, and the power problem persists, this can cause system strains.
Surge protectors can also degrade over time and don’t offer enough protection for a laboratory environment. A low impedance isolation transformer offers more protection.
Myth: A Backup Generator Eliminates the Need for a UPS
Backup generators are designed to keep your most essential equipment running in the event of a blackout. These generators aren’t a substitute for the power grid and can only keep some areas supplied with power.
To keep a whole lab functioning will require either running on reduced power or having multiple backup generators. These generators take about 45 seconds to kick in, meaning a power outage to sensitive equipment can ruin specific processes.
An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) delivers reliable, clean, and uninterrupted power during a blackout and serves as a low impedance isolation transformer with a high load inrush capacity. A UPS provides protection and power when needed.
Biotech is vital to technological advancement and would not exist without laboratory equipment. There are many myths about keeping electrical products safe in a lab that we’ve helped dispel today.
We know now that: All power is not quality power, most power problems are caused by set-up within a lab setting, a surge protector is not adequate protection, and a backup generator is not a failsafe. An uninterruptible power supply unit can help protect from surges and unintended power loss and keep your products, and research safe.
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