A Btu, or British Thermal Unit, is a traditional unit of energy and is a measure of the heat content of fuels.
Originally, the Btu was the amount of energy needed to increase the temperature of 1 pound of liquid water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. The term became common among engineers in the late 1800’s.
A single Btu is insignificant in terms of the amount of energy used by a single household or by an entire country. In 2013, the United States used about 98 quadrillion (written out, 1 quadrillion is a 1 followed by 15 zeros) Btu of energy.
One Btu is approximately equal to the energy released by burning a match.
Interesting Energy Conversion Factors
|Energy source||Physical units and Btu (averages,¹ 2012)|
|Electricity||1 kilowatt hour = 3,412 Btu|
|Natural gas||1 cubic foot = 1,025 Btu|
|Motor gasoline (10% ethanol)||1 gallon = 120,524 Btu|
|Diesel fuel||1 gallon = 138,690 Btu|
|Heating oil||1 gallon = 138,690 Btu|
|Propane||1 gallon = 91,333 Btu|
|Wood||1 cord = 20,000,000 Btu (Estimated)|
1Weighted averages across different contexts of each fuel such as imports, exports, production, and consumption. Source: www.eia.gov/EnergyExplained by the U.S . Energy Information Administration
EXAIR manufactures the Cabinet Cooler System. The Cabinet Cooler System is a low cost, reliable way to cool and purge electronic control panels. They incorporate a vortex tube to produce cold air from compressed air – with no moving parts! EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are available for NEMA 12, 4, and 4X type enclosures. For the most efficient way to operate Cabinet cooler, a thermostat control system would be utilized. The standard thermostat control systems include an adjustable thermostat factory set at 95F. Also, available is the ETC Electronic Temperature Control, providing precise control with easy adjustability and a digital readout.
In the United States, the power of HVAC (Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning) systems is often expressed in BTU/hr.
The EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are available with cooling capacities ranging from 275 to 5,600 Btu/hr. To cool the down the equivalent of 98 quadrillion Btu’s of energy used by the US in 2013, it would take 17.5 trillion of our largest Cabinet Cooler Systems!
If you would like to find out how many Btu’s of cooling your electrical cabinet needs, please fill out and send in the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide and we can let you know.
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Match Photo courtesy of Samuel M. Livingston via Creative Commons License