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One of the reasons laboratories are so energy demanding is because they house a great deal of heat-generating equipment. Laboratory equipment energy use constitutes between 10 to as much as 50 percent of the total energy use in a laboratory (not including associated cooling energy use). However, there has been little attention paid to this as an area for efficiency improvements, partly because of the real and perceived lack of energy-efficient choices in lab equipment, and the lack of data on energy use characteristics of lab equipment.

Energy intensive equipment typically found in laboratories includes:

· Fridges and freezers, including ultra-low temperature freezers
· Electron Microscopes
· Nuclear Magnetic Resonance equipment
· Mass Spectrometers
· Scanners
· Plant Growth Cabinets
· Fume cupboards
· Autoclaves
· Glass washes
· Computers

From a US Labs21 discussion forum, it was decided that of the plug-in equipment, refrigerators and freezers were among the heavier energy users. Click here for more on fridges/freezers.

Equipment is not only important in terms of its direct energy use. Wrong assumptions about power rating, their siting within a laboratory and how and when equipment is used all affect the design and sizing of HVAC and other building services. Click here for more on rightsizing and grouping of equipment.