February 17, 2021
Panasonic Vacuum-insulated Cooling Box VIXELL Can Maintain a -70ºC Environment for Up to 18 Days
Panasonic announced VIXELL, a vacuum-insulated box that can store items in a -70ºC environment for up to 18 days using refrigerants such as dry ice. The transport of vaccines and other medical supplies requires strict temperature control. Up until now, conventional insulated boxes have been manufactured by joining vacuum-insulated panels (VIPs) together, but a drawback of this structure has been that cool air leaks through the gaps where the panels join.
Utilizing its accumulated technologies and expertise, Panasonic has eliminated this leakage–an inevitable issue when using VIPs–through the development of VIXELL. VIXELL boxes are created using a proprietary cast-molding method which completely prevents cool air from escaping through gaps seen in conventional boxes. The 57-liter type uses urethane foam and glass wool as insulating material, and compared to previous Panasonic prototypes, improves coolness retention performance by around 30%.
Inside VIXELL boxes are thermal storage units, and the temperature is maintained by filling the inside and outside of these units with refrigerant. By switching the types of these units and refrigerants, VIXELL can accommodate a diverse range of temperature zones, including the dry ice temperature zone (below -70ºC), the below -20ºC zone, and the 2ºC-8ºC zone. The shock-absorbing structure of VIXELL™ reduces the risk of damage to this plastic sheet. This has enabled reliable, stable transportation even in the dry ice temperature zone.
The vacuum-insulated box contains a dry ice temperature zone thermal storage unit, and can maintain a -70ºC environment for up to 18 days when filled with dry ice. Panasonic will begin offering samples of VIXELL to pharmaceutical and logistics companies by the end of March 2021 with the aim for commercialization as soon as possible.