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World Refrigeration Day EN


World Refrigeration Day 2020

A modern world without reliable cooling is unimaginable. But how does it benefit our everyday life? And why exactly is it indispensable? Four examples related to World Refrigeration Day 2020 demonstrate why refrigeration and air conditioning are essential services.

EN  //  DE
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Refrigeration has always been something special. It’s said that Roman emperor Nero had snow brought down from the Alban Hills to chill his drinks in the first century AD. Refrigeration as a luxury good? Yes! Until we learned how to produce refrigeration mechanically in the mid-19th century.

Refrigeration and air conditioning have continued to advance ever since, revolutionising various aspects of our lives. Cooking without fresh foods, surgeries without blood transfusions, train journeys without air conditioning and office work without server access – who can imagine that in this day and age?
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Your mind wanders for just a moment and that’s when it happens. Your child stumbles or you yourself fall from the ladder or have a bike accident. And, of course, it’s Saturday evening, so your only option is the hospital, where the doctors are at the tail end of a very long and demanding shift. But before they can leave for the night, they have new patients to take care of.

Lots of smaller parts need to work together like clockwork to ensure seamlessly functioning medical care, which also means ensuring medications and, in serious cases, blood supplies are on hand and everyone keeps a cool head. And that’s possible thanks to the refrigeration and air conditioning technology inside the hospital.
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Medications are reliable, but sensitive to light and moisture. And even more important than that is the storage temperature. Some medicines require refrigeration (2 to 8 °C), whilst others need to be stored frozen (–18 °C). Otherwise they could lose their efficacy or even be dangerous.

Patients may require a blood transfusion after a serious accident or during a complicated surgery. And when it’s a matter of life and death, properly preserved blood products need to be available at a moment’s notice. It’s a good job the technology here has made a lot of progress over the decades. Today, blood supplies are good for up to 42 days long at temperatures between 2 and 6 °C, compared to just 21 days in the mid-1980s.
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Cool in the hospital

Optimally stored medicines, fresh blood supplies and perfect temperatures for longer surgeries and in patients’ rooms – cooling and air conditioning need to be reliable inside the hospital at all times.

Air is a key component of hygiene concepts at hospitals in Germany. Air conditioning always needs to function flawlessly to protect patients and employees.

Locations with normal requirements (waiting rooms) and with special demands (operating theatres, clean rooms), the waste heat of electronic equipment, a high number of people in the building – modern air conditioning needs to be reliable at all times and accommodate many different situations in hospitals. After all, the conditions should always be optimal for patients and medical staff alike.

Doctors at Charité in Berlin have proven that air conditioned rooms improve the course of treatment for patients with chronic pulmonary diseases. Many doctors therefore consider it to be a good idea for rooms inside normal wards to be air conditioned, just like theatre spaces and intensive care units.

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Medication production

All eyes are on them. They can’t afford to make any mistakes. And they’re working under enormous time pressure, as the virus costs billions every day. But there is hope. The best scientists are working on a vaccination for corona – and medications for other horrible diseases.

Modern medicine has been extremely successful, with the plague, diphtheria and smallpox eradicated to a large degree. But the next disease is coming and researchers require reliable equipment, which includes dependable refrigeration.

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The refrigerator has revolutionised not only the storage of foods in household kitchens, but also the production of medications. Whether it’s during development, packaging or transport, medications and vaccinations need to be cooled with absolute reliability and precision, regardless of the outside temperature.

There’s also the fact that refrigeration and air conditioning need to guarantee germ-free ventilation in the production of medication. Even the slightest exposure to germs makes medications useless.
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A solution for all tasks

From delivery and production to transport to hospitals and pharmacies, uninterrupted cold chains are an integral part of the pharmaceutical industry.

Whether a medication needs to be stored in a cool place can be found on its packaging. Improper storage can compromise the effects of the medication. Insulin, many antibiotic syrups, nearly all vaccines such as hepatitis A and B and tetanus, and other medications are temperature-sensitive and need to be refrigerated. If they’re stored at too low or high a temperature, they will lose their efficacy.

Pharmacies issue around 28 million temperature-sensitive medications to patients in Germany each year. Around eight million of these require a cold chain.

Experts differentiate between medications that require a cold chain and those that need to be stored in a cool place. Medications requiring a cold chain are especially sensitive, and temperatures between 2 and 8 °C have to be maintained throughout delivery and during storage. Medications that need to be stored in a cool place are somewhat less sensitive. They can also be transported at room temperatures but need to be stored in the refrigerator.

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Data centres

It’s just about invisible from the outside, hidden and well protected deep inside the building. Access is restricted to few employees and even they have to undergo a strict security check before entering the holy of holies that is the data centre.

In this highly sensitive area, server racks line all the walls, emitting a monotone hum at all times. You rarely ever see people here. In the event of an emergency, they would also react too slow, as even a power cut of just a few seconds can have dramatic consequences for the company.
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Large data centres need to be protected from cuts with multiple safeguards. Special batteries activate within milliseconds and can keep the system running for hours. There are also emergency generators available, should the cut persist for a longer period of time.

What applies to emergency situations is just as important for normal operation: reliable, efficient cooling is the foundation for enabling servers to function and deliver their full capacity. After all, both digital brains and people should always keep a cool head. Sensors are therefore always measuring the temperature inside the server rooms to ensure the cooling is working properly. The zero-error principle is required here.
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Stable processes at constant temperatures

In the digital age, a data centre is much like a brain for the entire company. And the brain needs to be protected. Whether it’s an authority, university, hospital or pharmaceutical company, the data centre houses the truly valuable treasures of the modern information society: data.

Servers can’t afford to take a break. They work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and generate heat in the process. Cooling through phases of inactivity is not possible. Cooling systems therefore extract the heat from the server rooms.

Reliable cooling is an absolute must for data centres and extremely expensive. Extracting heat from the server rooms can account for up to a third of the energy costs. But that also offers opportunities: end users can increase the efficiency of cooling and permanently reduce costs with modern cooling systems.

Cooling systems are responsible for up to 20 per cent of the overall costs associated with a data centre, as they ensure reliable, efficient data centre operation. Modern systems enable increasingly efficient cooling and take advantage of the waste heat.

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Crisp and fresh tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, carrots and lettuce are there for the taking and the perfect complement to any meal. And why not a few apples, two or three kiwis and a mango. Don’t forget the milk and cheese! And for dessert, maybe some vanilla ice cream with hot raspberries.

All of these are easy enough to find in top quality at the supermarket. Seamlessly functioning cold chains keep foods nice and fresh throughout the journey from the producer to the end customer.

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Fruits and vegetables are valuable foods which ideally need to be stored and transported at individually defined temperatures. Refrigeration is a must for chocolate, even during the production process. And the same applies to the brewing of beer and cheese production.

India is a good example of just how important cooling is. Up to 40 per cent of the fruit and vegetable harvest spoils in the warm, damp climate of the subcontinent. There’s just one thing that can help: intact cold chains. And the technology also needs to be eco-friendly, which can be a huge challenge.

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Top quality, from producer to end customer

We expect supermarkets to provide refrigerators for fish specialities, dairy products and beverages as well as low temperature systems for ice cream and frozen goods. Even a brief interruption in the cooling can have serious consequences, allowing goods to spoil and end up in the rubbish.

Fruit, vegetables, dairy products and meat require constant temperatures between 0 and 7 °C in the refrigerator, otherwise their flavour and shelf life could be compromised.

Be it pizza, fruit and vegetables or baked goods, it is hard to imagine a supermarket without frozen products. BITZER compressors create the conditions for gentle, reliable preservation even below –18 °C.

Every type of fruit and vegetable has its own requirements in terms of humidity and temperature and keeps fresh for different periods of time in a protective atmosphere. For example, fresh apples are transported and stored at 1 to 4 °C, mangoes at around 12 °C.

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Fruit and vegetable wholesalers such as Van Gelder in the Netherlands place their trust in modern, eco-friendly and efficient technology. Van Gelder relies on BITZER screw compressors with ammonia as a refrigerant to keep its goods cool. This solution boasts a global warming potential of zero and thus protects the environment.

BITZER has also developed suitable solutions for transporting foods by lorry and ship. For container transport, BITZER offers efficient, space-saving products that ensure perfect conditions for temperature-sensitive goods.

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Refrigeration and air conditioning are essential

Whether at hospitals, pharmacies, data centres or supermarkets, refrigeration plays an important role in ensuring a well-functioning society. Whilst BITZER products and technologies are usually hard at work behind the scenes, they go a long way in maintaining operations at essential facilities like these.

The health and climate challenges that we as a society currently face reveal just how important innovative, reliable refrigeration and air conditioning technology is. BITZER has been a pioneer in the development of sustainable, efficient components for decades and ensures a better future with its products.

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