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How do you monitor industrial refrigerator temperature?

How do you monitor industrial refrigerator temperature?

A huge range of important materials and samples need to be kept in cold storage at a set and stable temperature. Think about medications and vaccines being tested for their efficacy, tissue samples used to find cures for debilitating diseases, or biochemical reagents needed for research. Cold storage monitoring is essential in laboratories and testing facilities to make sure these temperature-sensitive materials stay protected and can be used with confidence.

A good industrial refrigerator monitoring system detects, records, and stores temperature data. It will also alert staff to temperatures outside the set range. Keeping comprehensive records of refrigerator temperatures and monitoring history is important for internal quality control, as well as regulatory compliance.

What is a temperature monitoring system for laboratory refrigerators and freezers?

In the world of laboratory freezer temperature monitoring, manually reading thermometers or chart recorders with reams of paper to store are not the ideal solution. Although analog systems have historically been used for lab refrigerator and freezer temperature monitoring, they are time-consuming, prone to human error, and lack alerting systems when problems arise.

Wireless IoT monitoring and alarming are the gold standard of modern systems. The capabilities that make them especially beneficial include that they:

  • Use a thermocouple to measure temperature regularly, like every 15 seconds
  • Upload this data to the cloud automatically
  • Alert staff to problems as they happen, even if workers aren’t on the premises
  • Integrate with other systems (like LIMS or QMS) to enable better record-keeping and scientific rigor
  • Create unalterable data fields so can be used for regulatory agency reporting with ease

Which temperature sensor is used in industry settings?

A thermometer is a general term for a device that measures temperature, and an industrial temperature monitoring system can use a variety of thermometers depending on specific use cases. Thermometers contain two critical capabilities, a way to detect temperature and a way to display that temperature as a numeric value. 

In an industrial setting, the two most common principles used to sense and display temperature include:

  • Thermal expansion - Mercury and alcohol especially are used in glass tube thermometers because they expand predictably as temperature increases. As this material expands within a sealed tube, the level of the colored liquid rises and can be read against a marked temperature gradient printed along the side of the tube. These were historically used in industrial settings.
  • Electrical potential - A thermocouple uses two different electrically conductive metals that create specific voltages between them at different temperatures. This voltage is then converted into a numeric temperature value. These are most commonly used in industrial settings now because they are accurate over a wide range of temperatures, are self-powered, and have a quick response time.

How can I monitor my refrigerator temperature remotely?

When running a laboratory full of irreplaceable samples or expensive chemical components that must be kept at precise temperatures to remain viable, remote fridge temperature monitoring matters. The lab manager wants to be able to sleep soundly at home, knowing if there is a problem with their cold storage, they’ll be alerted right away. 

That’s where remote monitoring really shines. Elemental Machine’s alerting and monitoring system connects thermocouples in every laboratory refrigerator to a central hub for easy monitoring. Custom alerts are set for each area and seamlessly connect to any phone or computer. This means lab staff can receive alerts via SMS message, email, or in-app when any one machine goes outside the temperature range that’s been set. In addition, smart alerts using artificial intelligence (AI) tools can detect when the door is open and record each instance. This usage functionality alerts staff if there are any unusually high instances of refrigerator openings, needed maintenance checks, power outages, and more.

Is there an app to check refrigerator temperature?

Yes! Elemental Machines is a complete laboratory refrigerator temperature monitoring system, including a user-friendly mobile app. Lab monitoring has never been easier, connect every device to one source of truth and monitor them all in real time. Alerts can be sent to anyone, anywhere, keeping everyone on the same page. 

Our platform makes it easy to:

  • Create user groups so everyone who needs to know will know without extra steps
  • Pause alerts when defrosting or moving equipment
  • Generate auditable reports for compliance and quality control

To learn more about how we can help with your laboratory monitoring needs, request a demo today!

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