Insect Rearing Chambers

header_stability

Insect Rearing Chambers – IN Series

The IN series chambers are designed with insect rearing as the primary application, but can be used for other research studies as well. Our IN series chambers are widely used among Drosophila and Mosquito researchers and offer state of the art technology for pursuing various research studies.

Incubators used in the rearing of drosophila and other biological organisms often presents challenges to typical laboratory incubators. The acids inherent in the rearing of many specimens or their food can quickly corrode a standard refrigeration evaporator, even if they are “epoxy-coated” High humidity exacerbates the issue, as droplets of concentrated acid will collect on the cooling components. Other companies use an evaporator that can have thousands of square inches of vulnerable evaporator surface, where one very small leak will require expensive repair—that may include many other components of the refrigeration system, other than the evaporator itself, due to compromised oil (modern refrigeration oils are very hygroscopic) in the system. Anyone familiar with Drosophila storage, for example, will understand that the propionic acid present in the chamber can render a new, conventional incubator useless in as little as 6 months.

Obviously, the above scenario is a primary concern to any researcher, but there are many other issues to be concerned about. Because most types of incubators are produced for a very wide audience, many of the details are not ideally suited for the needs of the insect researcher. Details that are often overlooked include: ease of cleaning (flies or mosquitoes inside an evaporator are nearly impossible to remove), ability to shut down all heat or cold producing equipment in the event of a malfunction, ability to decontaminate the chamber with high heat, noise levels, ease of programming, overall reliability in a corrosive atmosphere, and many others. Most refrigerated incubators on the market today are based on the exact same technology used in refrigerators for decades, but the truth is, much biological research is never done at temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius, so it stands to reason that the ability to go below that temperature may indeed be more liability than benefit.

Refrigeration systems control temperature in one of two ways: by cycling on and off or by running continuously. Cycling of the compressor leads to one of two outcomes: short compressor life due to short cycling and inadequate oil return or very poor temperature control (on the order of up to +/-6 degrees Celsius actual air temperature), when cycled too long.

Continuous operation of the compressor is the only way to closely maintain chamber temperatures, but for applications anywhere near room temperatures this method is vastly wasteful both in terms of system sizing and energy efficiency. Refrigeration systems in general have the following drawbacks when used for middle temperature incubators: they all entail many moving parts that can fail, they can all discharge refrigerant due to leaks (bad joints, corrosion, fatigue, poor fittings, etc.), they normally are designed for low temperatures, they make considerable noise when placed in a quiet lab, and they require professional service personnel to resolve and diagnose issues in the event of a problem.

Our standard insect rearing incubator solves these drawbacks through the use of thermoelectric, or Peltier, cooling. When designed to operate properly, this system is exceptionally reliable due to solid state construction and no moving parts (except fans). Thermoelectric cooling has been around for many years now, and there are many high-end applications that have proven exceptional reliability—look to the refrigerator on the Space Shuttle or the laser industry for further proof. We do not cycle the Peltier devices, nor run them at their full capacity—this affords a MTBF (mean time before failure) of well over 20 years. We back this statement up with a warranty far longer than anyone else on the actual cooling components. You may wonder what drawbacks there are with thermoelectric devices, and the answer lies in the lower amount of raw cooling they can provide versus refrigeration systems. Most refrigeration-based insect rearing chambers can easily go well below freezing if they continue to cool, whereas our insect rearing chamber will bottom out at a temperature of roughly 12 to 15 degrees Celsius below the ambient temperature.

Our insect rearing chambers incorporate several thermoelectric cooling devices within each chamber to achieve adequate capacity. A side benefit of this feature is that they are semi-redundant, and would allow one cooling unit to control the temperature inside the chamber if another were to fail. Corrosion is simply not an issue as there are no thin areas of metal and the cooling devices are completely separated from the actual interior of the chamber by approximately 3/4“ of sealed aluminum. Service to the chamber is almost as simple as replacing stereo components—components can simply be disconnected and sent to the factory or replaced. Control components are all solid state and do not rely on any wearing components. Controllers are non-proprietary and are exceptionally accurate and reliable. Setpoints and alarms are easy to set with a small amount of instruction. Diurnal ramping/soaking/cycling of temperatures is standard.
insect-rearing-in09-open-small

IN09

The IN09 is a bench top insect rearing chamber designed to fit on 24” benchtops or stacked with optional racking.

View Product
insect-rearing-in030-open-small

IN030

The IN030 is a single-door insect rearing chamber.

View Product
insect-rearing-in034-open-small

IN034

The IN034 is an extra wide single-door insect rearing chamber.

View Product
insect-rearing-in055-open-small

IN055

The IN055 is a 2-door insect rearing chamber.

View Product
insect-rearing-in084-open-small

IN084

The IN084 is a 3-door insect rearing chamber.

View Product

Features

IN Series

The IN series was introduced in 2003 as the first commercially manufactured large capacity Peltier-cooled insect rearing chamber. Thousands of IN series insect rearing chambers are presently in use by research companies around the world. The advantages of these chambers for insect rearing include:

Reliable Cooling Redundancy

Each IN series chamber includes multiple, independent thermoelectric cooling units. The 7 year warranty on cooling components and the ability of our chambers to maintain temperature even if the chamber suffers multiple failures is unmatched by any other refrigeration-based chamber.

Serviceability

Due to the omission of all refrigeration equipment on these models, refrigeration technicians are not required during chamber servicing. Refrigerated insect rearing chambers are not only costly to service, but can require days to service properly. Nearly every component of thermoelectric-based chambers can be serviced within minutes with basic tools. For instance, the ultrasonic humidifier is capable of being removed and reinstalled in less than a minute and operates on non-hazardous 24 volts.

Superior Control and Uniformity

The optional ultrasonic humidification system provides excellent humidity control and avoids hot spots seen during chamber mapping of steam boiler equipped chambers. Thermoelectric cooling and automatic switching system from cooling to heating control provide consistent results throughout the available temperature range. Standard control at the sensor in these chambers is ±0.2°C and ±0.3%RH.

Greatly Reduced Direct and Indirect Energy Loads

The IN Series chambers utilize less energy than comparable insect rearing chambers and introduce less impact upon building cooling systems. This efficiency “dual benefit” allows our chambers to be located in spaces unsuitable for other chambers. Electrical energy savings by the IN Series vs. steam boiler equipped chambers can easily amount to hundreds or even thousands of dollars saved per year.

Widely Proven, Non-Proprietary Controllers

Standard controllers for the IN Series are manufactured by Fuji Electric and are ideal for insect rearing chambers. Unlike many proprietary controllers, this controller is commercially available and proven in tens of thousands of installations. Standard functions include: autotuning, fuzzy logic, PID control, programmable alarms, calibration capability, offset capability, etc. A touchscreen control interface is optional. Other controller manufacturers are also supported (Watlow, Allen Bradley etc.)

Quiet Operation

The IN chambers utilize quiet and highly efficient DC fans. Locating these chambers in laboratory workspaces is a viable option.

Options Available

  • Chart Recorder
  • CO2
  • Data Loggers
  • Timed Lighting
  • Bench-Top Chamber Capable of Being Stacked
  • Dryers
  • Ultrasonic Humidification
  • Services and Warranties

    We offer 24 hour technical support throughout the lifetime of your chamber. In addition to standard warranties, we also offer extended warranties for cooling components, parts and labor. We also provide qualifications, validations and preventive maintenance services at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote.