Car temperature reaches 70°C on a warm day

It was autumn. It wasn’t too hot. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping. It’s a nice day.

And then my phone alarm starts going off. The car is hot. Way too hot…

The glass has turned my car into a sauna. Actually, it’s probably more like a steamer. Sit in there at the moment and you will be cooked.

It amazes me that people will still leave their kids or pets in a car and duck into the shops or a friend’s place. All it takes is for the sun to come out from behind a cloud and within minutes your car can turn into a furnace.

Can I use my own wi-fi adaptor?

Ethernet Tag Manager - Front View

When many people hear “wireless temperature logger” they think “wi-fi temperature logger”. These are NOT Wi-fi devices.

They use their own communication protocol at a different frequency. This has a number of advantages including a longer range, ability to get inside fridges, and a much longer battery life. There is no way that you could have a wi-fi temperature logger that is this size and could last months without recharging or changing the battery.

This does mean, however, that you will need both the logger or sensor, and the base station. You can’t use any other base station or router.

What if I only have wi-fi and no ethernet

Some people only have wi-fi in their office or kitchen. In this case you can still use this system but you will require another device. A wi-fi bridge will convert from wi-fi back to ethernet. They typically cost about $60 and can be purchased from most computer stores including JB Hi-Fi.

We realise that this solution does add to the cost and complexity of the system and isn’t the “perfect solution”. It is, however, often the most cost effective solution for many customers.

Contact us if you do need more advice on what you need or if the system is right for you.

The Rotten Food Cookbook is Amazon Best Seller

Last week we released the eBook version of The Rotten Food Cookbook on Amazon and we reached the Amazon Best Seller list.

The Rotten Food Cookbook is a parody cookbook we wrote to try and highlight major causes of food poisoning. It’s all about what people care about most (Food Poisoning) so that we can then talk about ways of avoiding it. As I say at the end, “no one care’s about food safety, but everyone cares about food poisoning”.

You can buy a eBook version from Amazon.

Amazon Best Seller

What is a wireless temperature logger?

This is an explanation video for “What is a temperature logger”. Coming soon we will have one specifically for “what is a wireless temperature logger?”.

For those who want to read the answer…


What is a temperature logger?

A temperature logger is a thermometer
With memory

It tells you what the temperature is
It tells you what the temperature was

A temperature logger can tell you
– when everything is fine
– when excessive temperatures were reached
– how long it stayed at that temperature

Temperature loggers are an ideal proof that all was fine

Temperature loggers automate record keeping

Temperature loggers help you decide what to do when there is a problem
Can you keep stock or do you have to throw it away?

Temperature loggers are automated and save you time

Temperature loggers save you money

Temperature loggers save your reputation


Wireless Tag Logger Improvements

The new wireless temperature logger will have a number of improved features. These new features are moving it from being a generic wireless product towards being a fully functioning temperature monitoring solution.

0.02° resolution on alarm thresholds

While the temperature logging resolution was 0.02°C, the alarm threshold was only 0.5° which meant it wasn’t possible to get an exact temperature for the alarm threshold. This has now been resolved.

Programmable sampling rate for temperature monitoring

Previously the sampling rate was the same as the autoping interval. This meant that a frequent sampling rate would quickly consume the battery life. Now it is possible to enjoy the benefits of a faster sample rate (being able to detect all issues) with a slower autoping (longer battery life).

We recommend that you sample the temperature at about 5 minute intervals and autoping at about 15 to 20 minute intervals.

Delayed notification of alarms

This feature allows you to set how many samples in a row the logger has to be high or low before it triggers the alarm. This is very important in the stopping of false alarms and the nuisance alerts for activities such as reloading a fridge.

We recommend that all users set this to a value of about 3 to 5 consecutive readings.

How long will a vaccine fridge remain below 8° during a blackout?

The critical temperatures

2°C and 8°C are the official limits that a vaccine must be stored between.

Of the two temperatures, the lower one is the more critical. At 0°C certain vaccines freeze and become useless. This is important to keep in mind when dealing with the issue.

The higher temperature is less rigid because warm vaccines age faster, they don’t suddenly become ineffective. It’s similar to leaving milk out and having it go off faster. If it is kept refrigerated it will last weeks but leave it out in summer and it won’t last a couple of hours.

Losing power to a vaccine fridge

Losing power to a vaccine fridge obviously means you are losing the ability for the fridge to cool down. The speed at which it heats up is determined by a number of factors:

  1. How often you open the door: This is the biggest factor by far. Every time you open the door you are replacing the cold air with the warmer air outside. When you close the door this warmer air will heat up the contents while the contents try to cool the air.
  2. How warm the room is: This is more of an issue if you are opening the door, or if you have a glass door. If it is a cold day then you have less of a problem, but a failure in summer means you will need to be acting faster and be more cautious.
  3. The type of door: A glass door will let heat through more than an insulated door.
  4. The temperature within the fridge when the power failed: While this is mostly out of your control, the general setting of the fridge will impact on this. Having the fridge run between 5 and 7° means it will warm up sooner than if it was running between 3 and 5°.
  5. The size of the fridge: Warmer fridges generally maintain their temperature better than smaller fridges. Given that there’s nothing you can do about the size in the event of a blackout you can ignore this!
  6. The temperature of the stock: If stock does arrive during a blackout, cool stock won’t impact the temperature, but putting warm stock into a vaccine fridge will.
  7. The amount of stock/content in the fridge: The more content that is in the fridge, the better its heat regulation.

Preparing for a power failure

If you know that you are going to have a power outage in advance then there are a couple of simple things you can do:

  1. If you have multiple fridges, move the likely stock required into one fridge and keep the other one closed
  2. Consider using an eski as a temporary storage (see later with freezing warning)
  3. Minimise the amount of times you need to open the fridge. Take multiple units out at once if possible, but ensure that they aren’t left out too long. Consider using an eski.
  4. Don’t have stock arrive during the power outage.
  5. If you have room in the fridge, place bottles of water in the fridge before hand. Ensure they have sufficient time to cool down.
  6. For extended periods, get ice in and place ice at the bottom of the fridge. See the freezing warning.

During a blackout

Once the power fails there are a couple of things that you can try to do to minimise the temperature change:

  1. Don’t open the door
  2. When you do open the door, open it only enough to get access to the stock, and close it ASAP.
  3. Take multiple items out at once if you are likely to need it
  4. For extended periods, place ice at the base of the fridge. See the freezing warning.

Freezing warning

A couple of the tips involve the use of ice. This poses a more significant risk if done incorrectly.

Vaccines must NOT come in direct contact with the ice.

The temperature can not drop below 0°. Using an eski filled with ice is the most likely cause, but packing a fridge with ice will also potentially cause freezing.

There are ways of avoiding direct contact with ice such as using cardboard or material to act as a barrier. Don’t use too much or it will insulate the ice.

After the blackout

Check the maximum temperature of the fridge and if possible record how long it has been since the power failed.

A better solution is to have used a temperature logger which will provide not only the maximum temperature, but a detailed history as to when it exceeded 8°, for how long, and how warm the fridge actually became. This information is then better used to determine if the vaccines have been compromised. OnSolution can provide advice on the best temperature logger for your needs.

You may need to notify the authority to determine if the vaccine is still viable, or if it needs to be disposed of. If in doubt, do not use the vaccines until this check has been completed.

Vaccine Temperature Poster

Free Vaccine Storage Poster

If you would like a free poster reminding staff about the vaccine storage temperatures please contact us. We have free A4 laminated posters available or we can email you a pdf version.

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RPA Vaccine Fridge Should Not Have Failed

RPA is now asking hundreds of mothers with new born babies to contact them because a vaccine fridge may have been failing.This strikes me as an amazing problem for a major hospital.

For more information see the full article from the SMH

Low cost temperature loggers have now been available since I started this business in 2000. Back then we were selling temperature loggers for under $100 while the competition was still over $150. Since then the competition has moved down in price which means hospitals have no excuse for not monitoring fridges independently.

The problem at RPA

RPA has a vaccine fridge where the temperature sensor may have been faulty. What that means practically is that:

  1. The sensor was measuring the wrong temperature
  2. This wrong reading was being used to control the temperature. This meant that the fridge was then too warm or cold but the controller throught it was now OK
  3. The wrong reading was being displayed to the staff
  4. The staff were recording the wrong reading

So if you looked at the records or at the fridge then you would have thought that everything was fine – but it wasn’t.

The simple solution – independent monitoring

The solution is very simple, an independent thermometer needed to be used. That is, there needs to be a second method to record the temperature that does not involve the fridge’s sensor.

The device to do this is called a “temperature logger”. They have existed for years. We sell a dozen different types. They aren’t expensive. In fact, they start at about $50.

If RPA had a logger in place they would have had two independent devices telling them that the vaccines were good:

1. The vaccine fridge itself should have an alarm built into it to alert staff when it is too hot or cold. That’s why vaccine fridges cost more than normal fridges (plus some extra smarts)

2. The temperature logger has a list of all temperatures throughout the day (week, month, year!)

If either had indicated a problem then it could have been resolved immediately. If both said things arefine then the fridge is working.

The total solution

Now, however, even just having a temperature logger is old technology. It is now possible to have a wireless logger for the same price as traditional loggers. These units will automatically transfer the temperature to the cloud. From there it is possible to:

  • immediately alert someone if the fridge is too hot or cold when the problem occurs
  • remotely see what the current temperature of a fridge is
  • remotely see the history of the fridge temperature