7. FAQ's and Knowledgebase / Cooling

Temperature Control of Experiments and Equipment – how do you keep your cool?

Maintaining a constant temperature is vital in many processes to ensure consistency and safety. This can be difficult in a laboratory environment.

Cooling systems might be used to keep a reaction or piece of equipment below room temperature. They are also employed to remove excess heat generated by the system to give a constant temperature which might be at, or even above, the room temperature.

Camlab can help you choose the right system to “keep your cool”

A chilling circulator unit being used to keep the reaction in this jacketed vessel at a constant temperature
A chilling circulator unit being used to keep the reaction in this jacketed vessel at a constant temperature

Consistent Temperatures

Cooling systems are not only needed for working at low temperatures.

Heat might be absorbed by a system from other sources such as exothermic chemical reactions, ambient heat of the room, equipment used in the process or friction. In these instances a cooling system just removes this additional heat so that the temperature remains constant.

 

What is a Chilling circulator?

Chilling circulators are one of the most versatile cooling systems. They comprise of a chilling bath (which actively cools the bath liquid by refrigerants) and a thermostat circulator (which controls the temperature and circulates the liquid).

The bath liquid can then be circulated through insulated tubing to cool external systems, or smaller vessels like flasks or test tubes can be placed straight into the bath liquid. In the image below a circulating chiller is being used to keep a gel electrophoresis system at a constant temperature.

The Grant LT ecocool 100 and ecocool 150 kits are our most popular ready to use chilling circulators. These come as a complete kit with all the hosing and clips needed, and can be used from -20°C to +100°C and -25°C to +100°C respectively.

LT ecocool

Accurate Temperature Control

Depending on the sources of heat present you may need to set the bath to a lower temperature than your target temperature.

For example, if you needed a reaction to be kept at 20°C but it is generating a lot of heat, you may need the bath fluid to be at 10°C to compensate. The LTC4 has the option to install a temperature probe to automatically feedback from the system and adjust the cooling accordingly.

An LTC4 circulating chiller being used to chill an electrophoresis system

Remember – the cooling system is just removing heat.

The ability of the cooling system to remove heat is referred to as the cooling power and can be measured in Watts –  the LTC4 has a cooling power of 900W at 20°C and a range of -30 to 100°C, with 20L capacity.

Cooling below zero

The liquid in the bath needs to be selected to suit the temperature you are working at. For higher temperatures just water is fine, but at lower temperatures ethylene glycol is added to prevent freezing.

bath fluid selection

 

Applications

Chilling circulators are one of the most versatile forms of cooling – they are used in laboratories and industrial settings to maintain temperatures or remove heat in a range of settings, including:

  • Rotary evaporators
  • Electrophoresis
  • Distillation or condenser columns
  • Jacketed reaction vessels
  • Print head cooling
  • Lasers
  • Test rigs

Camlab can help you to choose the best unit for your application, just tell us more about your temperature control needs

One thought on “Temperature Control of Experiments and Equipment – how do you keep your cool?

  1. I’m doing an experiment where I test the reaction of catalase under different temperatures, so I plan on using a potato in Hydrogen Peroxide, and I want to measure the activity under 0° C, 21° C, and at 100° C. So, I need help in getting the Hydrogen Peroxide to reach my desired temperatures and stay there until I stop it.

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