Cold storage units were, in simplistic terms, industrial refrigerators. Generally they were used to maintain large mechanical parts, weapons, and matter that were unstable.

They were commonly used by the Breen, but were also used by the Maquis to maintain biogenic weapons. The weapons were "bulky and very unstable" and required a cold storage unit to maintain them until they were to be used. (DS9: "For the Uniform")

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