When it comes to freeze drying, one of the most important components of the process is the condenser. The condenser plays a crucial role in the sublimation process, by condensing the water vapor that is released from the frozen product during the drying process. However, when it comes to choosing a freeze dryer, it can be confusing to compare condenser specifications from different manufacturers.
One of the main issues is that manufacturers report condenser specifications in many ways, and there is no international standard for measuring freeze dryer condenser performance. This means that manufacturers can use the specifications that put them in the best light, and it can be difficult for users to compare different units. In addition, manufacturers count on users not fully understanding the technical terms, which can make it even more confusing.
Ice condenser volume, which is the total physical (passive) capacity of the condenser.
Ice capacity, which is usually expressed as kg. This is the maximum amount of ice the condenser can physically hold before a defrost is required. As mentioned earlier, this will be less than the ice condenser volume.
Ice condenser capacity (performance) in 24 hours is another important specification to consider. This is the theoretical maximum rate at which the unit can condense the vapor to ice. It is lab-measured during the design and testing of the condenser using steam generators or very high shelf temperatures. However, it is important to note that a figure of 4kg / 24 hours does NOT mean that your run containing 4kg of water will be complete in 24 hours.
In conclusion, when it comes to freeze dryer condenser specifications, it is important to understand that manufacturers use different methods to report their specifications. It is important to compare the different specifications and understand the technical terms used by the manufacturers. By understanding the key condenser specifications such as ice condenser volume, ice capacity and ice condenser capacity (performance) in 24 hours, you can make a more informed decision when choosing a freeze dryer.