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What happens to my Stability Chamber when the lab loses power?

What happens to my Stability Chamber when the lab loses power?

Feb 28, 2023
You may be using an environmental chamber for testing and suddenly lose power. This can be caused by something as simple as a broken power line or a more severe weather event such as a snowstorm, flood or tornado.

Sudden loss of power can not only interrupt the test, but also damage your chamber.

Fortunately, when your lab loses power, there are a few precautions you can take to avoid loss of power and potential chamber damage. Keep these in mind, especially when severe weather comes into the forecast for your area.

When your test box loses power
In the event of a power failure, your test chambers will shut down completely, as they require constant power to operate. If possible, you should disconnect the test chamber from the mains voltage as soon as possible to prevent any potential damage that may be caused by power surges when power is restored.

A power outage in a room presents several dangers:

The test chamber contains sensitive electrical components. Although manufacturers take precautions to protect system components from power outages, some components, such as the XChange board, can be damaged by multiple power surges. It's best to use a surge protector to prevent this from happening.

Components can fail or degrade over time due to repeated power outages or power surges. Likewise, using a surge protector is a surefire way to protect the chamber and its electrical components.

You also need to keep in mind the type of testing you are doing.

For example, there are increased hazards when conducting battery tests. Power interruptions during battery testing increase the risk of hazardous events such as thermal runaway. Losing power mid-test also means the battery safety features will no longer work.

Not only will this affect your test results, but it will leave your battery components vulnerable to damage, costing you money in the form of damaged products and delayed test times.

So it's best to avoid battery testing in bad weather, or invest in a generator to keep your lab powered in the event of a power outage.

Finally, remote testing techniques will not work during a power outage. This can present challenges if test room users are not in your lab when a large number of active rooms lose power. For example, you can no longer know what is going on in your room.

In addition, test data may also be lost. This can be frustrating and delay your testing plans.

After your test chamber is powered off
Once power is restored to your chamber, it is best practice to verify that all chamber functions are working as expected. If some functions do not function properly after a power outage, please contact your manufacturer for further assistance. You should keep them on call at all times, not only for routine maintenance, but for rare situations like unexpected power outages.

If you are testing while the power is out, you will usually want to restart the entire test when power is restored. However, this depends on factors such as the internal conditions of the stability test chamber prior to the outage, the duration of the outage, and the specific tests you are running. Review the testing criteria you are using to inform your recovery decision. In most cases, a change in temperature or humidity conditions will affect your test and you will need to start over.

Fortunately, there are some precautions you can take to ensure that downtime is minimized and damage to your photostability chamber is avoided.

Preventive measures you can take
If you anticipate that severe weather may threaten your laboratory's electrical supply, disconnect your test chamber from the mains voltage. It is recommended that you suspend any testing until you are confident that the threat to the power source has passed.

If you are using remote testing capabilities, the lab should have a plan and system in place to handle sudden power outages. This will vary from lab to lab, but it is recommended to have an emergency power source such as a generator and a surge protector for the lab. Otherwise, you could lose important data and run the risk of adding unnecessary wear and tear to test chamber components.

To ensure your lab is well-equipped to handle potential power outages, consult a trusted manufacturer for optimal lab design. In addition to preparing you for potential power outages, reliable manufacturer XCH Biomedical will provide you with layout recommendations for increased efficiency and safety.

Ultimately, if you use surge protectors and maintain emergency power, your lab should be well protected against power threats, keeping your test schedule on schedule and your test equipment safe.

Environmental chamber manufacturers XCH Biomedical is an industry leading laboratory designer and manufacturer. Contact us today to learn more about what you can do to prevent power outages in your environmental chamber and what to do if this happens.

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