Bio Safety Cabinets (BSCs): In Search of Higher-Performing, Long-Term Affordable Solutions

Traditionally, Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs) use AC motors that need ineffective potentiometers and triacs to vary the speed of the motor. This is not only highly inefficient, but it also results in significantly higher levels of energy wastage. The ESCO biological safety cabinet, available from LEI Sales, is the perfect alternative for anyone looking for an effective BSC solution that provides operator, product and environmental protection. It’s suitability within laboratories, and a broad range of industrial facilities, makes it one of the most sought-after pieces of equipment in its class.  

The DC ECM blower: Differentiating Higher Performance

The blower is the soul of any BSC, with the motor powering it acting as its heart. Though blowers with AC motors are still popular in many BSC’s available today, they are being increasingly bypassed in favor of DC Electronically commutated (ECM) blower options.

One of the benefits of a DC ECM equipped BSC is that it comes with a self-regulating airflow capability, despite filter loading and fluctuating building voltage. Whether you prefer used laboratory cabinets, or opt to buy them new, these units have large performance envelopes, which make them more suitable for safer operating airflow values.  The added antimicrobial coating, featured on all internal and exterior surfaces, provides improved safety to staff and the lab’s environment.

DC ECM equipped motors are capable of seamlessly switching the direction of the electric current that powers it. It does that using an electronic controller. This gives them the ability to provide variable speed control, which also extends the life of the motors. That’s why they form the gold standard for the most energy-efficient Class II Biosafety Cabinets.

Beyond Safety: Affordability, Cost-effectiveness and Comfort

Cost is always a factor when planning laboratory layouts, and deciding on what lab equipment and furnishings to buy and install. You may think that, by installing an AC motor-based BSC, you’ll be saving on cost. The problem with AC motors is that:

  • At lower operating speeds, they typically don’t operate well
  • The torque, at start, is extremely less as well
  • They also provide unsatisfactory position control

Unlike the DC ECM blower of the ESCO biological safety cabinet, therefore, the above factors tend to increase, rather than decrease, longer-term operating costs for the laboratory. But there are other significant operational considerations that make DC ECM motor-based BSC’s more attractive. These motors are quieter than the traditional, inefficient options, which also contribute to the comfort quotient for staff working in the lab. And when you add to that the fact that they’re low-maintenance – it all goes to make these BSCs more affordable.

Even if you opt for used laboratory cabinets, these units are one of the most energy-efficient options in the world today, delivering operational energy savings of over 70% – compared with their AC motor-equipped counterparts. Such hard dollar savings, on operating and running the units, easily pay off in terms of longer-term cost-effectiveness. The Class II Biosafety Cabinet also features ergonomic raised armrests that provide additional comfort for staff using the BSC. And the built-in airflow sensors automatically warn users if there is insufficient airflow for safe operations.

This infographic was created by Technical Safety Services, clean room certification services

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