Evaporative cooling: The ideal solution for pharmaceutical warehouses

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Poor climate control in pharmaceutical warehouses can compromise the quality of medicine, the safety of staff, and the energy efficiency of facilities. To maintain optimal conditions year-round cost-effectively, evaporative cooling is the ideal solution.

The vast majority of pharmaceutical products are held to strict quality standards. Even the slightest discrepancies in a drug’s contents can make it unsuitable for consumption.

To ensure full compliance and guarantee medical products maintain their quality from factory to pharmacy, the pharmaceutical warehouses that store these goods must be carefully controlled.

Below we discuss the importance of effective climate control when storing medicine, and how our evaporative cooling systems have made a positive impact in a Madrid-based pharmaceutical warehouse.

Why climate control is critical for pharmaceutical warehouses

Governing bodies, such as Britain’s Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), are responsible for establishing guidelines that ensure medical substances are suitable for public consumption.

However, maintaining compliance with MHRA criteria and other industry standards is only one reason why climate control is key. Tailoring the conditions inside pharmaceutical storage and cooling facilities also helps:

Maximise product quality

From relative humidity and air quality to indoor temperature and climate stability, there are several key elements that must be carefully controlled in storage spaces to guarantee the purity, efficacy and safety of pharmaceuticals.

Considerations of storing pharmaceuticals. Temperature, air quality, humidity factors - infographic image

For example, exposing a drug to prolonged periods of high temperatures can permanently alter a substance’s potency and safety. Vaccines that exceed their absolute maximum temperature lose their effectiveness, and improperly stored pills can become a hazard.

If air becomes too humid, bacteria, mould and fungi can tarnish drugs. Excess moisture also causes packaging to deteriorate, as cardboard and glue are particularly sensitive to water.

Inside air should also be regularly refreshed, as airborne pollutants can cross-contaminate other products and jeopardise safety. For example, traces of antibiotics could find their way into other medicines and trigger allergic reactions in patients.

Create an ideal environment for workers

Controlled climates do not just preserve product quality – they can also create a healthy and productive environment for workers.

How poor climate can affect workers in pharmaceutical warehouses - infographic image

Avoid financial losses

When the environment inside exceeds safe parameters for storage, compromised drugs have to be discarded. With the pharmaceutical industry generating approximately €3.8 billion every day (or €1.4 trillion annually), improper preservation may yield significant financial losses.

Why evaporative cooling is ideal for storing medicine

Maintaining the ideal climate inside a pharmaceutical warehouse is essential for the majority of medical products. But, that does not make achieving optimal conditions year-round simple.

Depending on the types of medicine stored, the climate a facility is in, and the number of workers inside, no two facilities will have the same demands.

Custom climate control and cooling requirements of various pharmaceutical products - infographic image

To create a productive environment that can safely and cost-effectively preserve medical substances, it is important to select highly efficient, capable technology.

Conventional air-conditioning (A/C) may come to mind as the cooling system of choice. However, A/C is unfit for this environment for numerous reasons:

Why evaporative cooling is better than air conditioning for medical and pharmaceutical warehouses storage - infographic image

Evaporative cooling systems, on the other hand, harness the natural process of evaporation to regulate indoor air quality, temperature and relative humidity.

To do this, warm outside air is drawn into the device and through a damp membrane. As moisture from the cooling pad evaporates, heat dissipates, generating a stream of cool, clean and suitably dry air.

In practice, evaporative technology uses a fraction of the energy of a comparable A/C unit, making these solutions a cost-effective way to achieve optimal conditions year-round.

Beyond its impressive energy efficiency, the only byproduct of evaporative cooling is water vapour – ideal for warehouses aiming to reduce their carbon footprint.

Additionally, these systems work effectively in large commercial spaces that are either fully or partially enclosed. This is important for busy pharmaceutical logistic centres where loading bays are constantly in use.

Put simply, evaporative cooling systems are a flexible, efficient and economical way to keep medicine within strict parameters from the moment it leaves the factory floor.

Evaporative cooling in action: Pharmaceutical warehouse in Madrid

To help maximise efficiency, product quality and employee comfort throughout their storage centre, our Biocool team was approached by a pharmaceutical company in Madrid.

What problems did the pharmaceutical warehouse face?

Although open windows and fans had previously provided enough cool air for the warehouse, rising temperatures forced the need for a dedicated climate control solution.

The new system had to regulate temperature, humidity and air quality inside their large 8,050m² facility, preventing inside conditions from exceeding 25°C and 65% RH.

What solution was selected?

After working closely with the warehouse, the BIO 18AIV evaporative cooler was selected as the unit of choice. Following a week-and-a-half of assessment and sizing, eight units were installed over a period of 19 days.

An advanced control system was also selected, allowing technology to be programmed to automatically adjust according to changes in temperature, humidity and time. This means the coolers operate autonomously and sustain ideal conditions year-round.

Product showcase of commercial evaporative cooler used for pharmaceutical warehouse storage - infographic image

What outcome has evaporative cooling had for the client?

As well as effectively conserving sensitive pharmaceuticals and pills, the introduction of eight BIO 18AIV units has helped increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of day-to-day operations.

The chosen solution is also having a significant and positive environmental impact, emitting 75-85% less CO₂ when compared with traditional air-conditioning.

Evaporative cooler energy saving in pharmaceutical warehouses saving over €57,000 per year compared to air conditioning - infographic image

Biocool’s strong pedigree in pharmaceutical storage climate control

Achieving ideal conditions is not just best practice. For practically every pharmaceutical storage facility, it is a mandatory requirement.

To create the optimal conditions day after day, evaporative cooling units are perfectly suited. Featuring unrivalled efficiency, and the ability to simultaneously manage temperature, humidity, and air quality, these devices help warehouses comply with strict regulations and generate large economical savings.

However, not every evaporative cooler is built equally. For the greatest results, it is important to select trusted technology from manufacturers with experience.

With a 20-year track record delivering climate control in highly sensitive pharmaceutical settings, Biocool leads the way in efficient, sustainable and durable commercial air cooling systems.

To learn more about the BIO 18AIV, and how it can benefit your warehouse or workspace, get in touch with one of our experts today by completing the form below.

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