7 Factors to Consider when Choosing a Medical Refrigeration Motor

In recent years, medical refrigeration has become a crucial factor in healthcare. From vaccine storage to the rising numbers of diseases, demand for medical refrigerators and freezers has grown. This higher demand has also led to a rise in refurbishing medical refrigerators.

The electronically commutated motor (ECM) is a motor technology used in HVAC applications. ECMs first appeared in the late 1980s. ECMs are more cost and energy efficient than legacy permanent split capacitor motors. The commercial refrigeration industry has recently utilized ECMs to power freezers and refrigerators.

For older models, ECMs are an ideal retrofit solution. There are many ECM replacement options for many outdated motors and fan systems. Before upgrading your medical refrigeration system, you should consider several factors.

Temperature Consistency

Dependable cooling within refrigerated storage requires efficient motor operation. The operation should enable consistent temperatures and temperature monitoring. An electronically commutated motor can provide constant airflow at variable speeds. ECMs contain a computer controlling the signal to the motor. This allows the ECM to regulate speed, torque, or airflow. Variable speed motors can provide temperature uniformity. They can do this even in a range of cold and frozen environments. ECMs will adapt to established requirements, offering significant energy savings without compromising protection.


You should select a motor that has gone through exhaustive testing protocols. MIL, NEMA and international industry groups issue motor performance standards. A motor exceeding these standards will be a dependable motor.

High Performance

When selecting a motor, consider those with high performance features. An IP66- or IP67-rating will mean the motor is water-tight, dust-tight and submersible. Other features to look for are long-life ball bearings and resilient aluminum castings. These will help an electric motor perform better. Refrigerators and freezers are harsh environments for any equipment. Want a motor to perform at peak efficiency, even in the harshest cold? Look for one with high-performance features.

Energy Savings Options

One benefit of electronically commutated motors is efficiency. Retrofit ECM motors can save energy and provide tremendous cost savings. Versatile high efficiency technology provides greater electrical efficiency over traditional motors.

Quiet Operation

Electronically commutated motors are as strong as they are smooth and quiet. For applications where noise reduction and efficiency are critical, ECMs are ideal. ECMs maintain high efficiency and low noise output across the full range of power and speed.

Application-Specific Motors

Understanding how medical refrigeration applications helps determine which electric motor is best. Performance factors include:

  • temperature variation;
  • size of cooling space;
  • sound;
  • energy use; and 
  • clean room compliance.

Smart System Technology

Smart system technology monitors and controls the components that keep equipment running. Smart technology allows you to avoid performance concerns before they become a problem. Remote monitoring also allows you variable airflow and temperature control. This improves cooling performance to protect valuable, perishable medical storage. Smart ECMs reduce energy consumption, lower noise levels and cut maintenance costs.

The need for medical refrigerators will only continue to grow. In coming years, we will see more older refrigerators refurbished and upgraded. ECMs allow these refrigerators to transform into more advanced, energy-efficient, technology-connected refrigeration systems.

Learn more about Medical Refrigeration.


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