This -96C to 150C cascade thermal system provides modular and reliable thermal cycling.

A modular liquid circulating thermal system capable of temperatures in the range of -96C to +150C that can be fully integrated to supply stable, precise and reliable service.

This -96C to 150C cascade thermal system provides modular and reliable thermal cycling.

This -96C to 150C system provides modular and reliable thermal cycling.

The Snow River™ Cascade Thermal System is the most flexible closed loop cooling and heating system offered by Abbess. This system utilizes both high and low stage compressors that work together to achieve the desired temperature with higher efficiency and deeper reach than a single stage or liquid nitrogen (LN2) system. Additionally, these systems eliminate the high running cost of liquid nitrogen systems and offer precise control across a wide range of temperatures from -96C to +150C.

Due to the Snow River™ Cascade Thermal Systems modularity and Abbess Instruments staff of skilled engineers, these systems can be configured to handle any thermal load. Abbess has been providing reliable and efficient systems for more than 30+ years to industry leaders.

Features of Standard Chiller Systems

  • PID temperature controllers offer precise thermal control and profiling. These controllers provide stand alone setpoint control and profiling capability or can be networked using RS-485 to be monitored and manipulated from an Abbess or customer designed PC interface.
  • Programmable sealed bath temperature range: -96C to +150C
  • Modular cooling units provide scalable cooling capacity that minimizes the need for field service with simple on-site unit replacement and installs.
  • Systems are replaced and installed in just a matter of minutes with no loss of fluid!
  • Cost-effective solution for reliable, stable and precise thermal control systems
    • Eliminates high running cost associated with liquid nitrogen used in open loop cryo cooling and freon used in large-scale refrigeration systems. These systems provide a significantly improved return on investment compared to other ultra-low temperature cooling systems.
    • Controllable bath temperature provides for a better temperature gradient across load at steady state temperatures. Reduced cold spots that are experienced with liquid nitrogen cooling.
    • Independent thermal load and bath control allows for fast and precise temperature control

Optional Features of Chiller Systems

  • Flexible Control Interface Options
    • Touchscreen PC control for complete control and monitoring of a single or of multiple Snow River™  thermal systems.
    • System capable of monitor each  Snow River™  thermal systems temperature, pressure, faults and other conditions.  (Self-diagnostic capabilities)
      • Allow for the PC controller to make appropriate system changes to correct deviation from operational parameters.
    • Systems with multiple Snow River™ systems have a recruitment function that can recruit and/or deactivate system modules as needed.
    • Secure remote capabilities facilitate monitoring and operations
    • Advanced thermal profiling control
  • Full integration of the systems to meet customer specifications of any scale (including but not limited to…)
    • Vacuum Chambers
    • Heat Exchangers
    • Thermal Plates
    • Thermal Shrouds
    • Cold Fingers
    • Cold Traps
    • Thermally Regulated Bio-Storage Rooms
    • Thermal Storage Cabinets
Control Panel

Control Panel


Capabilities and Performance

  • Fast Heat Transfer Rate To And From Thermal Loads due to preconditioning of thermal fluid
Snow River™ Thermal Systems
Model Theoretical Cooling Capacity [W] Specification for thermal transfer fluid Specification for Unit
Heating Capacity [W] Min Temp [°C] Max Temp [°C] Unit Operating Voltage [V] Unit Length/Width/Height [in]
C40-2 1,400 (at -40 °C) 3000 -50 150 220 36/32/60
C40-4 2,900 (at -40 °C) 3000 -50 150 220 36/32/60
C40-6 4,400 (at -40 °C) 3000 -50 150 220 36/32/60
C40-7.5 5,500 (at -40 °C) 3000 -50 150 460 36/48/60
C40-13 9,100 (at -40 °C) 3000 -50 150 460 36/48/60
C40-15 10,900 (at -40 °C) 3000 -50 150 460 36/48/60
C80-2 1,000 (at -80 °C) 3000 -96 150 220 36/32/60
C80-4 2,100 (at -80 °C) 3000 -96 150 220 36/32/60
C80-6 3,100 (at -80 °C) 3000 -96 150 220 36/48/60
C80-7.5 3,800 (at -80 °C) 3000 -96 150 460 36/48/60
C80-13 6,400 (at -80 °C) 3000 -96 150 460 36/48/60
C80-15 7,700 (at -80 °C) 3000 -96 150 460 36/48/60

The C80-4 model is our most popular model used for thermal control of thermal plates and shrouds within 24” vacuum test and process chambers. This model is capable of pre-cooling 20 gallons of silicone oil to -96C in approximately 4 hours and allows the system to cool a 36-pound (16.3 Kg) aluminum plate from +100C to -90C in about 1 hour. By pre-cooling a sealed bath of silicone oil (-96C) or propylene glycol to (-50C) and then pumping the cooled fluid through the heat load faster ramp rates are achieved. A pre-cooled fluid also allows for efficient cooling, better gradients across the load, more versatile plumbing configurations and simple system installation.

Abbess’s thermal systems are available in a variety of sizes and configurations to fit your application.

Thermal and vacuum systems can also be custom configured in sizes ranging from 2544 BTUs/hr to 86511 BTUs/hr systems and can be designed to operate at low (-50C) and ultra-low (-96C) temperatures. These systems can be used in conjunction with our vacuum systems to provide space simulation profiles or they can be custom-made to provide cooling for a variety of other applications such as biological/medical storage and freeze drying. These systems are entirely customizable and can be sized to cool your product, environment or working fluid to specific temperatures at various rates. Abbess Snow River™ Thermal systems can be configured with air or fluid heat rejection with redundant heat rejection options available.

Our systems have been proven to be reliable and low maintenance in simulation systems produced for NASA and other prominent aerospace industry leaders for years and have earned a reputation for quality, performance and, control that is simply unmatched by any of our competitors.


Industries Served

  • Biological and Life Sciences Research
  • Pharma and Biopharma
  • Biological Production
  • Chromatography
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Manufacturing and Processing
  • Industrial Processes
  • Product Testing
  • Forensics
  • Cold Chain Temperature Control
  • Aerospace Testing
  • Satellite Testing

Laboratory Uses

  • Chillers for laboratory devices
    • Lasers
    • NMRs
    • Liquid Chromatography
    • Mass spectrometers
  • Genetic sample storage (genomics preservation)
  • Large and/or multi-zone insect growth chambers
  • Laboratory freezers

Research & Development/ Quality Assurance

  • Thermal Shock Testing
  • Environmental Test Chambers with control of
    • Altitude
    • Temperature
    • Humidity
  • Lyophilizes (freeze dryers)
  • Cold Chain Temperature Control
  • Altitude and Thermal Package Testing
  • Shipment Testing

Sample Storage and Preservation

  • Thermal cycling incubators
  • Biological storage and refrigeration
  • Short-term DNA storage
  • Precise biological genetic sample preservation
  • Forensic sample storage
  • Large and/or multi-zone insect growth chambers


Integration of your process or thermal load with Snow River™ is easy!

The Abbess Instruments Snow River™ Cascade Thermal System consists of two refrigeration compressor loops working together to cool an evaporator to temperatures as low as -96C. The thermal cascade chiller system that makes up part of the Snow River™ system uses R-404 refrigerant in one of the compressor loops to cool an inter-stage heat exchanger that is used to condense an ultra-low temperature refrigerant (R-508B). The ultra-low temperature refrigerant is circulated by the second low stage compressor and vaporized in an evaporator to cool the given heat load. These evaporators can be customer supplied or custom built by Abbess to meet your specific needs. Abbess’s most common application is using a heat exchanger at the evaporator to cool a sealed bath of heat exchange fluid which can then be easily piped to the application’s heat load such as:

  •    Thermal plates
  •    Thermal shrouds
  •    Cold fingers
  •    Cold Traps
  •    Storage Coolers
  •    Storage Cabinets

If you require temperatures in the range of -50C to 150C check out our Single Stage Snow River Thermal System!

Flexible Control and Diagnostic Capabilities

Abbess offers a variety of control diagnostic and test data packages that can fit your specific application and budget. These control systems could be as basic as a simple thermostatic control or as advanced as a data logging touch screen PC interface capable of integrated system diagnostics and test data, and networking of multiple chillers to handle large or variable loads. Stand-alone PID Temperature controllers can also be utilized for simple, precise thermal control and profiling.

Touch Screen PC Control Option

Touch screen PC control provides total and complete control and monitoring capabilities of your cascade chiller system. The PC interface allows for data logging of system temperatures and pressures as well as full remote control of PID temperature loops. The interface is capable of providing self-diagnostic information to the user and can be used with a single Snow River™ chiller or multiple chillers piped in series or parallel to manage large or variable loads.