Power supply disruption or failure is a topic we are frequently asked about. This could be due to monthly testing in hospitals, power cuts or blackouts. It may not happen often but when you have a cabinet full of anaerobic organisms, you’ll want to know how long it will remain anaerobic.
From a microbiological standpoint, loss of power for up to 60 minutes, and the associated cooling of the workstation, would not have a negative effect on the growth or survival of anaerobic bacteria. The issue that would create problems is any rise in oxygen concentration within the workstation.
For example, if the ports were to be opened, oxygen could be introduced into the internal atmosphere and without the supply of new anaerobic gas, it could alter the internal conditions. Similarly, if the airlock or single plate entry system were opened, this would have the same effect.
In operation, Whitley Workstations maintain an internal pressure that is slightly higher than the air pressure outside the workstation. This helps to prevent inward leakage of air as any flow would tend to be outwards but the conditions are then restored via the workstation automatically injecting more anaerobic gas.
In the event of a prolonged loss of electrical power, the workstation interior will gradually cool and pressure will fall, which could cause air to be drawn into the workstation interior.
Thorough testing of Whitley Anaerobic Workstations shows that anaerobic conditions are retained overnight so any short-term power disruption should not be a concern.