Choose The Right Refrigerated Incubator For Your Lab

How To Choose The Right Refrigerated Incubator For Your Lab

September 11, 2023

A refrigerated incubator is the best choice for your lab when you need to keep samples at a constant temperature. But how do you select the suitable model?

It would help to consider what you will use your incubator for and find a model that meets all your needs.


When deciding on the size of the incubator to purchase, it is essential to consider your current workspace and potential future workload needs. Several manufacturers offer incubators, from small personal incubators to high-capacity reach-in models.

A small incubator is ideal for low-volume workloads like Biochemical Oxygen Demand (B.O.D.) analysis. It comes with a programmable temperature controller, adjustable shelves in two-inch increments, and one amp interior outlet for shakers or roller bottles.

Large-capacity incubators are designed to work with larger volumes of culture and specimens, such as bacterial culturing or Drosophila research. These units have a digital control panel that allows accurate set points and alarm parameters and a simple user interface. They also feature an exemplary refrigeration system that only operates when the instrument is in use, saving energy costs and reducing heat cast off of the chamber during defrost. These models also include a durable design for long-term use in the lab.

Temperature Control

When working with sensitive samples such as reptile eggs, bacterial cultures, or other microorganisms, you must ensure that your incubator will maintain the required conditions. To do this, look for a refrigerated incubator with many features, including humidity controls, adjustable airflow, and various monitoring devices.

Some models even come with internal doors that allow users to see samples without opening the chamber and affecting the temperature. You may also purchase a refrigerated incubator with access ports or interior outlets to use other lab equipment inside the room.

Cooling is accomplished either with a compressor or a thermoelectric Peltier device, which uses less energy and doesn’t emit refrigerants. Some incubators can also be equipped with agitation control to facilitate cell growth or hybridization incubators that add lighting controls to the mix so that you can mimic day and night cycles.


Depending on the application you are using your refrigerated incubator for, it might be essential to have a certain level of programming capabilities. If you want to adjust the temperature of your incubator during nighttime or weekend experimentation, having a programmable unit is critical.

Lab incubators use electrical energy to convert to thermal energy to achieve the desired pre-set temperature and keep it stable. They can heat the internal chamber directly or generate thermal energy through a space between the exterior and the internal incubator, which can be water or air-jacketed.

science incubator can also feature different methods to disperse heat: gravity convection or forced air circulation. Gravity-convection uses the physics of hot air rising and cold air falling to distribute heat more evenly throughout the incubator. In contrast, forced air circulation allows you to choose your internal temperatures but may expose samples to air turbulence that could disturb or dry them out.

Heating Capability

Many incubators can control more than just temperature. For instance, some are equipped with humidity controls to mimic the conditions of a natural environment or in-vivo setting. Others have oxygen control to ensure the environment has sufficient carbon dioxide levels. This is particularly important when working with cells or embryos.

Lab incubators are also available with either gravity or forced airflow. Gravity incubators use physics to distribute heat; hot air rises and cooler air falls. Forced air models feature fans that circulate temperatures around the chamber. This method may be better suited for more extensive laboratories where space is at a premium.

Refrigerated incubators offer heating and cooling to provide precise and consistent performance in cellular research, testing, and other low-temperature laboratory applications. They are also energy-efficient with thermoelectric technology, eliminating the need for conventional compressors and refrigerants. These units are often smaller and lighter than heat-only models and can usually accommodate larger samples.

No Comments

    Leave a Reply