Taking control of cold chamber humidity

In any standard refrigerated chamber, the average humidity will read between 90 – 100% relative humidity (RH). When RH can rise to 90 – 100% in a cold chamber, the formation of condensation is pretty much inevitable so how can you take control of cold chamber humidity?

Undesirable moisture in the air makes an ideal environment for contaminants to grow which can be a threat to stored products. From our experience, taking control of humidity is key to preventing product damage. As standard tools to control temperature in a cold chamber are not normally designed to also control RH this article takes you through what happens when humidity is not controlled, and the steps taken to control air conditions in our refrigerated rooms.

Why does relative humidity rise in a cold chamber?

As stated by sciencing.com in an article around how temperature and humidity are related:

Relative humidity represents a percentage of water vapor in the air that changes when the air temperature changes…. As air temperature increases, air can hold more water molecules, and its relative humidity decreases. When temperatures drop, relative humidity increases… Temperature therefore directly relates to the amount of moisture the atmosphere can hold.

Why does controlling cold chamber humidity matter?

The combination of packaging materials and uncontrolled humidity can cause contaminants to grow which can be a threat to stored products. Customers mostly store their refrigerated products with us in a packaged form. Paper and cardboard are the most commonly used materials for packaging, but these materials also absorb moisture from the surrounding air. Contaminants thrive in a moist environment so cardboard, paper or other porous materials can fuel contaminant growth and make the problem worse.

In addition, packaging inside the units becomes moist and soggy if the condensation is not adequately removed. To alleviate this risk, some customers use other non-absorbent materials for cold storage to provide further protection for their research samples.

Solving the cold chamber humidity problem

By using technology to control and adjust air conditions in a refrigerated room, we can bring humidity under control and prevent the formation of contaminants. Therefore, protecting our customer products from environmental damage.

Through absorbing and dispelling moisture, our technology lowers the indoor humidity levels as demonstrated in this graph. These humidity measurements are from a newly installed refrigerated stability room before and after the introduction of equipment to control air conditions. With a more than 50% reduction in humidity following the installation, relative humidity levels have stabilised at around 25% which will inhibit any contaminants forming.

Reduction in cold chamber humidity

About controlling humidity in our refrigerated rooms our Stability Operations Manager, Marie Morrissey says:

There is a higher rate of condensation in refrigerated rooms where RH is too high, and excessive moisture can have an impact on stored products. To protect our customer products and prevent the growth of contaminants we have introduced technology to control RH. This is in addition to staying on top of our scheduled maintenance activities to keep equipment in the best possible condition for maintaining stable conditions.

How can we help you with your stability storage requirements?

With tightly controlled temperatures and humidity rates at our spacious cGMP facility, we can store and manage any samples over the full life cycle of your stability plans.

To discuss how we can help with increasing your stability storage space contact the team today.