What Are the Refrigerator/Freezer Backup Power Pricing Factors?

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The Cost of a MediProducts Battery Backup System

When deciding the final cost of a Medi-Products battery backup system for each of our individual customers and their facility, the short answer is:

  1. The Number of Appliances Being Powered.
  2. The Total Startup Current of the Appliances.
  3. How Power Efficient Each Appliance Is.
  4. The Desired Runtime of the Backup Power System
  5. The Location of the Appliances and Backup Power System.
Each one of these represents an input that contributes to determining the final price of your customized battery backup system system. So, we'll break down all five cost drivers and explain how each contributes to the final price.


The Number of Appliances Being Powered

Standalone System with Panasonic


Battery backup systems are comprised of many components—each contributing to supplying power critical appliances during an outage. However, two of these play the largest role in determining how much power is being delivered, and for how long—the inverter and the batteries.
Think about a battery powered generator like you would a car.

The batteries act as a gas tank of sorts—storing the energy needed to power your appliances until its needed.

Meanwhile, the inverter acts as the system’s engine—drawing energy from the batteries, converting it into usable power, and delivering it to the critical appliances being supported.

However, just as batteries have a finite amount of power they can supply before needing to be recharged, an inverter has a limit to how much power it can supply at once—often expressed in watts or kilowatts.

As more appliances are added, the closer the inverter is to reaching its maximum capacity in terms of what it can support. In addition, as more appliances are added to a system the more power is drawn from the batteries, causing them to deplete faster.

Once enough appliances have been added to a system that the inverter can no longer support them, the appliances will not receive enough backup power to function.

However, by instead designing a system with a larger, more capable inverter these additional appliances could be supported.

And, as one may expect, as the size of the inverter and number of batteries needed to support more appliances increases, so will the price of a system.

Medi-Products systems come standard with up to 8 included A/C outlets for appliances to plug into. However, the number of available outlets is not reflective of the number of appliances it can support.

We urge you to contact our technical support team for assistance before adding appliances to your system outside the purview of its original intended power load.

Read more about how adding more appliances can affect your system here.


Total Startup Current

Large, medical-grade appliances often contain motors, compressors, and other power-hungry components. To get started from an idle, electric motors will temporarily draw very high current for a just a brief moment.

Often, this current is 3 to 6 times the amount of power the appliance is rated for. This high startup current is often referred to as “in-rush current” ,“induction current” or “startup wattage”.

So, to meet this demand, the battery backup system’s include a transformer large enough to handle this energy load as part of their power delivery system.

Startup current is often where inferior UPS products falter. For example, If you were to try and provide power to a typical medical refrigerator which draws 5 amps of power with a small, consumer UPS system, it likely will not work. This would be because the small UPS cannot generate a startup wattage large enough to start the compressor inside the refrigerator.

Thus, a single appliance like an ultra-low temperature freezer with a large startup current demand, will cost more to support than an appliance with a smaller current demand like a monitor for patient vitals or an under counter refrigerator.


Backup Power System Runtime

When powering an appliance with a custom-built battery backup system there is a factor you get to determine. That is, you get to decide how long the backup system will run for. This can be for as little as 15 minutes or for as long as multiple days.

But batteries only store energy—they do not produce it. So, the runtime of your system will be pre-determined, not unlimited.

Going back to our car analogy, the further you want to drive, the more gas you will need.

Similarly, the longer you want to run an appliance(s) the more batteries you will need.

As the number of batteries your system requires increases, the price increases as well.


The Efficiency of the Appliance

Startup Wattage vs Efficiency


Efficiency is the measure how much power an appliance needs to do its job. An efficient appliance will generally run for a longer period with the same amount of available power than a less efficient one.

The efficiency of an appliance can be affected by its size, age, condition, and other design choices made by the original equipment manufacturer.

Going back to our car analogy, the further you want to drive, the more gas you will need.

In the case of a common appliance like a pharmaceutical refrigerator, factors that impact the efficiency Include:

  • Total Refrigerator Volume
  • The Refrigerator’s Insulation Value
  • The Size of the air compressor
  • How often the compressor cycles on and off (a.k.a duty cycle)

Overall, appliance efficiency’s major effect on pricing is in regard to how many batteries will be needed to support the appliance for your desired runtime.

Larger, less efficient appliances often need more energy to function over a given period of time. So, the backup system needed to run them for your desired runtime will require more batteries than a smaller, or less efficient appliance.

Especially with older appliances, not only will they cost more to run with wall power, but will also cost more the support with a battery. So, in some cases it may be a wiser financial decision to purchase a newer, more efficient appliance in conjunction with a smaller battery backup system.

Information about how efficient your appliance is often supplied by the manufacturer on either the nameplate, user manual or online. In cases where this information is not available, energy usage may need to be measured. Using a voltmeter or multimeter.

Additionally, Medi-Products has a compiled a large database with the power consumption data for some of the most popular brands of medical equipment in use today. This ensures we can accurately size and design a custom-built system as quickly as possible without needing to wait for end user power measurements.


The Location of the Appliances to be supported


While appliance location doesn’t directly affect the price of the battery backup system itself, it can influence the overall cost of the project. If the power system needs to be hardwired into the building because there is no room beside the appliances, or it is supporting two appliances that are in two different locations within the building, this will require an electrical contractor to facilitate.

The cost of facilitating this wiring installation can vary depending on how the building wiring is set up and the rate the electrician will charge. For example, if the electrical panel is far away from the appliance that needs support, this might contribute towards driving up the installation cost—and therefore the overall cost of the project for the end user.

Now that we have considered each cost driver in more detail, the real question is..

What is The Cost of Not Having a Proper Backup Power Solution in a Medical Facility?

Performing a surgical procedure without a proper solution risk having to close down temporarily—at best, losing accreditation, or at worst-putting a patient at serious risk.

And all it takes is one storm, power surge or even just human error to put tens or sometimes a $100,000 worth of vaccines, medications, and lab materials at risk.

We received a call from a client in the past few weeks who experienced a loss of over 70,000 dollars of inventory from an overnight outage because they didn’t have a professionally sized and custom backup power solution.

And, backup power begins to pay for itself as quickly as the first time your power goes out.

How to Order a Medi-Products Battery Backup System

Every system built fits directly with the need of every customer both in power and form factor. The quickest way to find a perfect system for you is to contact MediProducts directly.

To speak to our product experts, engineers, and sales teams about quoting a system, and adding an alarm system contact us via:


Monday-Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm (EST)

email sales@mediproducts.net

Have Further Questions?

Please drop us a line to let us know how we can answer your questions more clearly: