Evaluating the Cost of Ownership for Electrical Enclosure Cooling
When it comes to evaluating the cost of ownership for an electrical enclosure cooling system, things can get complicated. Choosing an easy way out by basing the entire purchasing decision on price alone would be a big mistake. Picking the least expensive unit that barely meets your minimum specifications could cost you much more in the long run.
Alternatively, choosing an oversized electrical enclosure cooling system with a higher initial cost may not only have a greater impact on your bottom line this year, but may also increase the total cost of ownership in the long run due to inefficient operation.
In addition to higher usage costs, lower-quality or improperly sized cooling equipment can come with unforeseen problems including unplanned downtime and the cost of failure. Risk associated with operating interruptions can lead to decreased productivity and lost revenue.
In order to achieve lower total cost of ownership, choosing the correct type and properly sized electrical enclosure cooling system for your particular application is a must.
Protecting Your Electrical Equipment from the Environment
Sensitive electrical equipment can be adversely affected by environmental factors such as corrosive liquids and gases, high levels of dust and dirt, excessive humidity or splashing water. The enclosure cooling system should be compatible with the NEMA rating of the cabinet.
If one or more of these conditions are present, a closed-loop cooling system will be required to provide electrical enclosure cooling. By keeping potentially harmful elements out of the enclosure, electrical components will remain protected, lowering the total cost of ownership in the long run.
Choosing the Right Electrical Enclosure Cooling System
The most important factor when evaluating ownership cost of an electrical enclosure cooling system is the upfront costs. These costs are determined by the type and size of cooling system required in order to maintain ideal electrical equipment temperatures. Using the enclosure temperature management (ETM) calculator is the best way to determine the ideal cooling solution with sufficient capacity to properly cool your electrical enclosure.
After reviewing ETM calculator results it can be determined if your application can be sufficiently cooled by the use of an air to air heat exchanger or will require the purchase of an enclosure air conditioner.
Manufacturing areas with high ambient temperatures combined with the internal heat load created by the electrical components within the enclosure will require a larger cooling system, increasing the overall cost. Additionally, larger cooling systems will have higher operating costs due to increased power consumption.
Selecting Appropriate Options and Accessories for Your Application
Electrical enclosure cooling systems are designed to accommodate a variety of applications. However, in order to maximize the value of an enclosure cooling system, it should be equipped only with the features specific for your application.
Ownership costs can be a challenge to evaluate since each individual cost can affect other costs. Demanding field conditions may require specific options and accessories to help protect sensitive equipment. The upfront costs will be higher but chances are the enclosure cooling system will provide additional years of trouble free service.
Safety, Installation and Routine Maintenance Costs
Cutting costs on safety features can increase the risk to maintenance workers and shorten equipment life. A higher priced model may have features to make installation and servicing easier and safer, thus saving money on maintenance and repairs resulting in a lower ownership cost.
The final important aspect of evaluating cost of ownership is the reliability and longevity of the equipment. If routine maintenance is missed or system issues aren’t addressed, components can wear out prematurely, leading to unplanned service costs and possible downtime.
To make the best purchase decision, rather than focusing on price alone, the cost of a system over its lifetime must be considered. The Thermal Edge Team can help you accurately evaluate the cost of ownership for your application.