Bio-Speciman Freezer Storage FAQs

Where is the Freezer Farm located?

UCSF Logistics-DSM operates a Freezer Farm at our Oyster Point facility at 612 Forbes Blvd. in South San Francisco.

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How many freezers are located at the Oyster Point facility? Will my samples be secure?

The Freezer Farm has capacity for 68 electro-mechanical or liquid nitrogen freezers in 48" x 48" spaces.  Each space is supplied with 110 vac, 15 amp and 220 vac, 20-amp single phase, as well as seismic restraints.  The Freezer Farm is in a separate, locked space inside the Oyster Point facility.

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What is the backup plan in the event of a power outage?

Backup power is supplied by a pair of 125 kW diesel generators with automated switchgear that requires no human intervention.  In the event of a loss of power to the facility, the generators will sense the loss of power and start supplying power to the Freezer Farm only.  Should the generators stop running due to a loss of PG&E power, the University of California Police Department (UCPD) will receive an alarm signal and contact Logistics-DSM staff.  The generators have approximately 300 gallons each of diesel fuel on board, and even with all –86 freezers running continuously, the available fuel represents a 72+ hour supply, which exceeds NIH requirements. These generators are inspected each week, test run every 30 days, run under a minor load each quarter, and run under a full load annually.

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How do I know if my samples are safe?

Logistics-DSM works closely with Freezer Farm customers to assure that all samples stored at Oyster Point receive the same level of support as samples stored in the customer's lab. Our staff monitor and record the temperatures of all freezers every morning and evening of each business day. We also collect environmental data for the air temperature in the Freezer Farm.  Our staff is skilled in handling liquid nitrogen in the event that you use that type of freezer, or use Ln2 as a backup on your freezer.

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Are there other methods that I can check the contents and conditions of the freezers?

Some customers elect to use an automated, remote-temperature-monitoring system, such as Sensaphone or Opto Solutions. 

In the event that a customer notices a temperature excursion in one of their freezers overnight, on a weekend or a holiday, we ask that they contact UCPD at (415) 476-1414.  UCPD maintains a list of available Logistics-DSM staff, and they begin calling them.  Once UCPD reaches an available staff member, they pass on the customer's contact information.  At this point Logistics-DSM staff will make arrangements to meet the customer at Oyster Point to move samples to another freezer.

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