Depending on the type of equipment and its intended environment and location, a range of safety standards and certifications may apply to enclosure cooling systems for industrial control panels.
As seasons and technology change so do the considerations for enclosure temperature control. Whether you’re designing an enclosure with more heat-generating equipment, battling high heat in an industrial environment, or combating humidity and condensation outdoors, there is always a new temperature consideration to keep your eye on. Here are the top industry news and […]
Electrical equipment such as VFDs, contactors, and PLCs generate heat through power losses. This same equipment can lose efficiency, operate erratically, or even fail prematurely due to excess temperatures, resulting in reduced productivity, customer dissatisfaction, and lost revenue.
Heat pipe technology is an efficient yet effective approach to enclosure cooling that contains no moving parts except for air circulation fans. This characteristic makes it highly suitable for applications that require a sealed enclosure but have limited power supplies. Noise levels are negligible, so these units can be used in areas where noise […]
Although electrical control equipment generally operates over a relatively wide temperature range, sometimes it’s best if the operating temperature is tightly controlled. The reason for this is that the wide temperature cycling that can occur in an enclosure may be detrimental to the equipment, and the output of carefully calibrated control devices could vary […]
Managing enclosure heat gain needs to be a part of everyday business operations, as failure to do so may cause electrical components to overheat, resulting in equipment downtime and lost productivity. Manufacturers suggest maintaining enclosure temperature of 104°F (40°C) or less is acceptable. Ideally enclosure air temperatures should be maintained closer to 95°F (35°C) […]
The design and assembly of an electrical enclosure is complicated by the need to comply with various requirements, such as those laid out in the National Electrical Code (NEC), and designers naturally focus on complying with those requirements. Strangely, the NEC makes only one passing reference to the cooling of an electrical enclosure. Perhaps […]
Electrical components, such as variable frequency drives, PLCs, contactors, and switches, as well as the equipment and machinery they control, represent a large upfront investment in almost any industry. Failure of these components due to excessive temperatures may even cause a chain reaction, leading to inefficient operation, damage or failure of the machinery in […]
Control panels are designed to house and protect electrical components for powering and controlling industrial, HVAC, and other equipment. Industrial control panels may include PLCs, VFDs, contactors, fuses, switches, transformers, timers, and other components, each of which operates within an optimal temperature range.
When selecting an industrial control panel, it’s essential to give careful consideration to the environment where the panel will be installed. The ambient temperature, humidity, risk of exposure to water, snow or ice, and the presence of chemicals all have an impact the on specification of the enclosure and how it is cooled. Before […]
Owning industrial electrical equipment can be an expensive affair. The initial cost of the equipment itself may not be that high, but the operating costs over its lifetime and the downtime to your business in the event of failure can be significant. For instance, while a standard industrial-grade 20 HP Variable Frequency Drive is […]
Control panels protect equipment from mechanical damage, as well as inclement weather, corrosive chemicals, falling particulates, and spraying liquids. However, this protection is achieved at a cost: increased exposure to heat. Thermal damage to electrical equipment can result from a number of heat sources, including hot environments and nearby industrial ovens and furnaces. High […]
When assessing what kind of protection is needed for an industrial control panel enclosure, there are five key factors to consider. These are ambient temperature, humidity, pollution, weather and dust. Once the effects of these factors are adequately assessed, it’s a relatively simple task to evaluate the type of enclosure that’s required and decide […]
When selecting a temperature control solution for electrical enclosures in applications such as telecommunications, water treatment plants, manufacturing plants, or industrial complexes, several factors must be considered. These factors will determine whether a filtered fan system or closed loop enclosure air conditioner is the best choice for protecting the electrical equipment from damage.
Electrical enclosure cooling design is a task that is often neglected until it’s apparent that there’s a problem with the electrical enclosure overheating. At this stage it’s difficult to engineer an effective solution without causing disruption and involving considerable expense. It’s far better to consider enclosure cooling requirements during the initial electrical enclosure design […]
Many electrical enclosure manufacturers include the sale of enclosure cooling products as part of their service. While a few of these manufacturers are linked to specific enclosure cooling products, many are not.
There are several ways to cool electrical enclosures. These include the use of filtered fans, air to air heat exchangers, and enclosure air conditioners. Regardless of the method used, certain techniques are useful for optimizing enclosure cooling design.
An air to air heat exchanger is a closed loop cooling solution with significant cooling capacity. Apart from air circulation fans, it contains no moving parts and energy consumption is extremely low, meaning annual running costs are low. Air to air heat exchangers are available for cooling NEMA 12, 4, and 4X sealed enclosures.
Electrical equipment manufacturers generally recommend enclosure temperatures be kept below 95ºF (35ºC). Active cooling maintains the electrical components at constant operating temperature, providing a longer and more reliable life span. A crucial first step in determining whether a temperature controlled electrical enclosure is necessary for your industrial application is calculating the heat load. Besides thermal, […]
The use of enclosure air conditioners to protect equipment inside electrical enclosures has become commonplace. However, there are several requirements that users should be aware of when selecting an air conditioner. Among these are the need to specify the correct capacity unit and to ensure that its construction is compatible with that of the […]
Reliable operation of electrical equipment in an enclosure is dependent on its operating temperature. This in turn depends on the heat load of the electrical equipment and method of cooling adopted. In many instances, natural or fan-assisted ventilation is used. This is only viable if three conditions simultaneously exist. These are: Low heat load […]
HMIs (human machine interfaces) are used to provide information and control inputs to plant and machinery. HMIs usually incorporate a visual display on a touch screen, letting users enter information and activate plant and machinery through soft buttons configured on the screen. Generally, HMIs interface with a PLC or SCADA system, although some HMIs […]
Some maintenance staff are skeptical about industrial cooling equipment and regard it as a waste of time. They reason that modern electrical equipment is robust, well designed, and doesn’t need cooling. As an example, they may point to the use of high temperature electronics found in motor vehicles and assume that industrial electronics are […]
The selection of the right size enclosure air conditioner should be based on a careful assessment of the total heat load, ambient temperature variation, and the required enclosure temperature. If the air conditioner is larger than required, energy usage will increase and the unit will cycle excessively. Conversely, an air conditioner that’s too small […]
The process of choosing electrical enclosure cooling equipment is not straightforward. It requires an understanding of heat loads in the enclosure and the optimum working temperature of electrical equipment to size your air conditioner. Another level of complexity is added if you are choosing cooling solutions for industrial applications. Industrial cooling equipment requirements are […]
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