The widespread adoption of enclosure air conditioners to keep electrical enclosures cool has enhanced enclosure reliability and allowed the use of sensitive equipment in harsh locations. Further, the availability of online tools for selecting air conditioners has made it easier for enclosure cooling designers to choose the right air conditioners for their applications. But sometimes solutions are not that obvious and outside help is required. Here are seven enclosure air conditioner questions that, perhaps, you should have asked.
1. How Can I Fit an Air Conditioner to an Existing Ventilated Enclosure?
This is a common solution to overheating in a ventilated enclosure. Reasons for overheating may include excessive heat load, additional equipment and harsh ambient conditions. In many instances, stronger fans won’t work and something more substantial is required.
An enclosure air conditioner is an ideal answer provided it is possible to effectively seal the enclosure and convert it from a ventilated enclosure to a fully-sealed one. A suitably sized air conditioner fitted to the enclosure side or door will solve enclosure overheating problems and manage the enclosure temperature.
2. Does High Ambient Temperature Affect Enclosure Air Conditioning?
The cooling capacity of an air conditioner is inversely related to the ambient temperature. Consequently, the BTU/H output of the air conditioner is lower at higher temperatures. This can be taken into account through the selection of an air conditioner that has sufficient cooling capacity at a high ambient temperature.
3. What Do I Do To Protect My Air Conditioner from Vibration?
Some level of equipment vibration is inevitable in many applications, particularly on steel structures and in mobile deployments. Excessive vibration can cause damage due to movement and abrasion. Typical examples of equipment that is affected include copper piping used in refrigeration circuits, piping connections, and electrical wiring.
The solution is to specify a vibration protection package. Measures taken to mitigate vibration include reducing uncontrolled vibration by securing flexible components, and using flexible stainless steel braided hoses that tolerate vibration.
4. Is Special Protection Against Dirt and Dust Necessary?
Equipment that’s located in an environment with high levels of dirt and dust will be quickly coated by dirt. This dust reduces heat transfer that may lead to overheating. Additionally, dirt prevents the proper operation of moving components, and conductive dust may damage electrical equipment by creating shorts.
In dirty environments, electrical enclosures and enclosure air conditioners should be properly sealed against dust. Although NEMA Type 12 enclosures provide some protection against circulating dust, a sealed NEMA Type 4 enclosure is best for high levels of dirt and dust. It’s crucial not to overlook the need for high-capacity air filters on the condenser systems of air conditioners used in dusty environments.
5. What about Highly Corrosive Locations?
The effect of corrosive substances is readily apparent in marine environments where carbon steel deteriorates rapidly when subject to sea spray and mist. Even painted parts deteriorate quickly as the salt easily penetrates poorly protected areas. Besides salt spray, other substances that cause rapid corrosion include many industrial chemicals and waste water treatment chemicals.
Effective solutions for corrosion include using sealed NEMA 4X type enclosures that prevent ingress of corrosive vapors. Other corrosion protection steps include using corrosion-resistant stainless steel and electrostatically coating components, such as condenser coils, that are exposed to the corrosive environment.
6. How Do I Remotely Monitor the Enclosure Air Conditioner To Make Sure Nothing Goes Wrong?
Despite the excellent reliability of enclosure air conditioners, there are times when something may go wrong. Examples include a blown supply fuse, poorly sealed electrical enclosure doors, doors left open and blocked condenser air filters.
To prevent unwanted temperature increases leading to plant downtime, a remote temperature and enclosure air conditioner monitor can be installed. This raises an alarm if the enclosure temperature goes too high and facilitates prompt corrective action. Remote enclosure monitoring is particularly useful in industrial and other spread-out complexes with numerous electrical enclosures.
7. How Can I Get Rid of Condensate Water?
All air conditioning systems create condensate that has to be removed. Frequently, there’s no suitable drain close by and the condensate from electrical enclosure air conditioners drips onto the floor or into a bucket, causing a nuisance and creating a safety hazard.
Fortunately, there’s a way around this. Enclosure air conditioners that are designed with a condensate evaporation system (that removes all condensate) are ideal. Additionally, the best condensate evaporation method removes heat from the hot compressed refrigerant gas, improving overall system efficiency.
If you have other air conditioner questions, contact us at Thermal Edge. We manufacture a comprehensive range of top-quality enclosure air conditioners designed to reduce your cooling costs while keeping your enclosures cool.