Troubleshooting a Cabinet Cooler Application: Clogged Filter Elements

Recently I’ve worked with a customer who needed to troubleshoot some of his Nema 12 Cabinet Coolers installed in their plant. They’ve been installed for about 6 years now without issue, but over the summer they noticed a few times where the temperatures inside the enclosures was getting a bit higher than they were comfortable with. Since this hadn’t been an issue since prior to installation, they gave us a call to see what could be the problem.

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They had (6) total Cabinet Coolers, (2) of the 4340s and (4) 4325s all being fed from the same compressor. The first thing we wanted to determine was whether or not a sufficient volume of air was being supplied to them. Since this was a new problem and we had several years of operation without any trouble, there had to be something that has changed. With a pressure gauge installed directly at the inlet, he observed that the pressure coming into the Cabinet Cooler was only 70 PSIG. Cabinet Coolers are rated at pressures of 100 PSIG but can operate in the range of 80-100 PSIG, so we knew then that not enough air was reaching them.

When troubleshooting any Intelligent Compressed Air Product, we need to know the pressure DIRECTLY at the air inlet to the product. Oftentimes a customer will know the pressure they’re getting out of the compressor, but this isn’t generally the pressure you’ll see at the point of use. Pressure drops can occur due to undersized lines, restrictive fittings (such as quick disconnects), or improper maintenance.

He shared with me some photos of the setup and said that they hadn’t changed anything since the original installation. These units were operating off of their own dedicated compressor, so we weren’t getting a pressure drop due to any additional applications also using the same air supply.

With no moving parts to wear out the Cabinet Coolers are a maintenance-free product, so long as they’re supplied with clean and dry compressed air. In order to ensure that the air supply stays clean and dry, an Auto-Drain Filter should be installed just upstream of the Cabinet Cooler. Inside of any of EXAIR’s Auto-Drain Filters is a 5-micron filter element. If this becomes clogged over time, it can result in a pressure drop just after the filter. This turned out to be the culprit in this case as he placed an order for some replacement filter elements, changed them out, and was back up and running! The pressure at the Cabinet Coolers increased to 90 PSIG and started operating as they had before.

built to last 5 year

EXAIR prides ourselves in delivering a quality product that’s Built to Last. If you have a product that doesn’t seem to be operating at peak performance, give us a call. An Application Engineer is ready to take your call and help make sure you’re getting the most out of our products.

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

Special Cabinet Cooler Options – High Temperature, Non-Hazardous Purge and Type 316 Stainless Steel

Recent blog discussions about the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems have covered many topics including correctly sizing one, the NEMA ratings, and how-they-work.  In this blog I will review three special options that are available for the most extreme environmental conditions- high temperatures, dirty environments, and harsh or corrosive areas.

High Temperature – For enclosures that reside in high temperature ambient conditions such as near furnaces, boilers, or ovens, EXAIR offers a High Temp version, with special internal components designed to withstand the elevated temperatures.  Cabinets near sources of high heat certainly need to be kept cool, and the EXAIR High Temperature Cabinet Cooler is specially suited to for use in these locations.

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High Temperature Dual Cabinet Cooler System

Non-Hazardous Purge (NHP) – Cabinet Cooler Systems with this feature provide a continuous positive purge within the enclosure to prevent contaminants from entering through small holes or conduits.  Especially suited for dirty and dusty environments, the NHP Cabinet Cooler Systems provide a slight positive pressure inside the enclosure. This is done by passing 1 SCFM (28 SLPM) of air through the cooler when the the solenoid is in the closed position. When the thermostat reaches the set-point temperature and energizes the solenoid, the full line pressure of air is delivered to the Cabinet Cooler providing the full cooling capability, and still keeping the positive pressure.  When the internal temperature cools to the set-point, the solenoid closes and the system returns to the 1 SCFM (28 SLPM) of air flow condition.

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Non-Hazardous Purge Cabinet Cooler for Dirty, Dusty Environments

Type 316 Stainless Steel NEMA 4X Cabinet Coolers – For enclosures that are in food service, pharmaceutical, harsh, and/or corrosive environments, and any application where 316 stainless steel is preferred, the Cabinet Coolers are available in the Type 316 stainless material. The systems are UL Listed for wash down environments, ensuring the enclosure electrical contents remain cool and dry under any condition. Noted applications include on ocean going ships, power plants, medical device manufacturing facilities, and bakeries.

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Type 316 Stainless Steel NEMA 4X Cabinet Cooler System

Please note that the High Temperature, Non-Hazardous Purge and Type 316 Stainless Steel Cabinet Coolers are each available from stock!  No waiting for these special models.

To discuss your application and how a Cabinet Cooler System or any EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can improve your process, feel free to contact EXAIR, myself, or one of our other Application Engineers. We can help you determine the best solution!

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Let’s Size A Cabinet Cooler System!

I can’t remember the last time I put an exclamation point in the title of my blog, but it was probably the last time I got to talk about doing math. Or write about heat transfer.  Insert your favorite engineer joke here…I’m sure I have it coming.

We’re in the dog days of summer (in the Northern Hemisphere) for sure…or, as we call it, “Cabinet Cooler Season.”  If you’re having heat related problems with a control panel, give us a call; we can help.  If you’d like to know what we’re going to talk about, read on.

Heat can cause real problems for electrical and electronic components, in a hurry…we all know that.  Fortunately, we can also specify the right Cabinet Cooler System for you in a hurry too.  And since we keep them all in stock, we can get it to you in a hurry as well.

You can access our Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide online, here.  You can fill in the blanks and submit it, or you can call in your data.  We do it over the phone all the time, and it only takes a minute.  Here’s what we’re going to ask for, and why:

Enclosure dimensions.  We need the length, width, and height of your enclosure to calculate the heat transfer surface, and the volume of the enclosure.

Current Internal Air Temperature.  How hot is it inside your enclosure?  This is the starting point for figuring out the internal heat load…how much heat the components inside the box is generating.  This needs to be the air temperature – don’t use a heat gun, or you’re going to give me the surface temperature of something that may or may not be close to what I need.  Just put a thermometer in there for a few minutes.

Current External Air Temperature.  How hot is it in the area where the enclosure is located?  We’re going to compare this to the internal air temperature…the difference between the two is actually proportional to the heat load.  Also, if there’s anything cooling the enclosure right now (like circulating fans; more on those in a minute,) this reading is key to figuring out how much heat they’re removing.

Maximum External Air Temperature.  How hot does it get in the area on, say, the hottest day of summer?  We’ll need this to calculate the external heat load…how much heat the enclosure picks up from its surroundings.

Maximum Internal Temperature Desired.  Most electrical and electronic component manufacturers publish a maximum operating temperature of 104F (40C) – it’s kind of an “industry standard.”  Based on this, a lot of us in the enclosure cooling business set our products’ thermostats to 95F (35C) – if we’re maintaining the air temperature a decent amount cooler than the components are allowed to get, history and practice has shown that we’re going to provide more than adequate protection.  If your enclosure houses something with more sensitive temperature limitations, though, we can work with that too…that’s the only time you’re going to want to put something other than 95F (35C) in this field.

Cabinet Rating.  This is all about the environment…we offer three levels of protection, per NEMA standards:

NEMA 12 – oil tight, dust tight, indoor duty.

NEMA 4 – oil tight, dust tight, splash resistant, indoor/outdoor duty.

NEMA 4X – oil tight, dust tight, splash resistant, corrosion resistant, indoor outdoor duty.

The NEMA rating does not affect the cooling capacity at all.

Other:  If the enclosure is mounted to the side of a machine, or a wall in the plant, you really don’t need to put anything here.  If it’s outside and exposed to direct sunlight, tell us what the surface finish (i.e., polished metal, painted grey, etc.) is so that we can account for solar loading too.  If anything else is unusual or peculiar about the application, let us know that too.

My Cabinet Is…Not Vented, Vented, Wall Mounted, Free Standing, Fan(s).  We’ll use what you tell us here to verify heat transfer surface (a wall mounted cabinet’s back surface isn’t a radiative surface, for example.)  Also, I mentioned fan cooling before, so without further ado…

Fan diameter or SCFM.  If there are fans circulating air into (and/or out of) the enclosure, they’re providing a finite amount of cooling right now.  Proper installation of a Cabinet Cooler System is going to require their removal.  Running a Cabinet Cooler System on a vented enclosure is just like running your air conditioner with the windows open.  So, if we know the size (or the SCFM…sometimes there’s a label on those fans, and we LOVE those folks who do that) then we can use that, and the temperatures you gave us above, to take the fan cooling into account.

Once we have all this information, it’s down to the math. Like I said, we do this all the time (especially during “Cabinet Cooler Season”) – give me a call.  Your heat problem isn’t waiting; why should you?

Before I go…here’s a nice little video, walking you through the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide.  Yes, I just made you read the book before watching the movie…feel free to tell me which one you liked better.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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An Overview of the How EXAIR Cabinet Coolers Work

 

My colleague, Brian Bergmann wrote a blog on how the EXAIR Cabinet Coolers work, “Cabinet Coolers 101”.  I want to extend that conversation about how EXAIR Cabinet Coolers can better benefit you and your equipment.

With the hot summer months upon us, elevated temperatures can cause shutdowns and interference with electrical systems.  For every 10 deg. C rise above the operational temperature, the life of an electrical component is cut in half.  With freon based coolers, higher ambient conditions make them less effective; and opening the electrical panel to have a fan blow inside creates a dangerous electrical hazard as well as blowing hot, humid, dirty air inside the cabinet.  To reduce loss in production and premature equipment failures, it is important to keep the electrical mechanisms cool.  The EXAIR Cabinet Coolers are designed to do just that.

How does the Cabinet Cooler work? 

EXAIR Cabinet Coolers are powered by a Vortex Tube which only uses compressed air to generate cold air.  They do not have any moving parts, freon to leak, or refrigerant compressors to fail.  These simple, but effective, cooling devices can be used in the toughest of environments.  With the Vortex Tube as the “engine, the reliability of the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler is unmatched and makes it an easy choice for cooling electrical panels.

How the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System Works

What NEMA ratings does EXAIR offer? 

To match the same integrity as your electrical panel, EXAIR offers three different types of NEMA ratings that are UL listed and CE compliant.  NEMA 12 is dust and oil tight, and can be related to the IEC standard, IP54.  NEMA 4 is dust and oil tight as well as splash resistant for indoor and outdoor use.  The NEMA 4X is the same as the NEMA 4 except it is made of stainless steel for corrosive areas and aggressive wash-down environments.  Both the NEMA 4 and 4x corresponds to an IP66 rating.  EXAIR Cabinet Coolers are easily installed and can match your electrical panel to keep the electrical components safe inside.

What size Cabinet Cooler do I need? 

EXAIR makes it easy to get the proper cooling with the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide.  This sheet goes over the important information to determine the external and internal heat loads.  It also indicates the proper NEMA type and electrical requirements for easy installation. The cooling power ranges from 275 BTU/hr to 5,600 BTU/hr, and with the filled-out form, we can make sure that the correct model is used.

What types of systems are offered? 

EXAIR offers a continuous operating system and a thermostat-controlled system.  The continuous operating system includes the selected Cabinet Cooler, a filter, and a cold air distribution kit.  The system will continuously cool until it is manually or automatically turned off.

The thermostat-controlled system is the most efficient way to operate a Cabinet Cooler.  This system comes with the selected Cabinet Cooler, filter, cold air distribution kit, a thermostat and an electrical solenoid valve.  The system is designed to operate only when cooling is needed.  The thermostat controls a solenoid valve, and it is preset at 95°F (35°C).  The thermostat can be easily adjusted to match other desired temperatures.  The solenoid valves come in three different voltages, 120Vac, 240Vac, and 24Vdc (which ever voltage is easily accessible).  With the thermostat-controlled system, you do not have worry about the system operating during off-peak conditions or cooler seasons.

What other options does EXAIR offer with the Cabinet Cooler Systems? 

For better temperature control, EXAIR can replace the standard thermostat and solenoid valve with the ETC, or Electronic Temperature Control.  It is a digital temperature controller with a LED screen for precision monitoring and adjusting.  The controller has easy-to-use buttons to raise or lower the desired internal cabinet temperature.  Once set, the ETC will hold the temperature to +/- 1 deg. F (+/- 0.5 deg. C).  The LED displays the internal temperature for continuous monitoring.  The ETC comes complete with the controller and a solenoid valve in two different voltages, 120Vac and 240Vac.  The ETC is a great option for real-time accurate measurements for your panel cooling.

EXAIR NEMA 4X 316SS Cabinet Cooler System with Electronic Temperature Control installed on control panel in a pharmaceutical plant.

Another option that EXAIR offers is the Side Mount Kit.  They are used to mount the Cabinet Coolers on the side of the electrical panel.  They are manufactured to match the NEMA rating of the Cabinet Cooler.  If you have limited space, don’t worry.  The Side Mount Kits gives you more areas to mount the Cabinet Cooler to your electrical panel.

What about harsh environments? 

With elevated ambient temperatures like near ovens, the high temperature version would be your option.  The HT Cabinet Coolers work in temperatures from 125 deg. F to 200 deg. F (52 deg. C to 93 deg. C respectively).  With refrigerant coolers, the elevated temperatures make it very difficult to cool effectively.  But with the EXAIR HT Cabinet Coolers, the high temperature will not affect the ability to blow cool air.

If the environment is extremely dirty with lint, fibers, debris, etc., EXAIR offers a NHP, or Non-Hazardous Purge, version. The solenoid valve is designed to allow 1 SCFM of compressed air into the panel to keep a slight positive pressure.  With the NHP Cabinet Coolers, the ingress of any fine particles into your electrical panel are eliminated.

For food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and corrosive type of applications, EXAIR can offer NEMA 4X Cabinet Coolers made from 316SS material.  With the high corrosion resistance, the 316SS Cabinet Coolers will continue to operate without degrading in tough environments.

Electrical shutdowns are expensive and annoying.  If you have interruptions from high internal temperatures, EXAIR Cabinet Coolers are a great solution.  They can be installed quickly and easily.  With no moving parts or costly preventative maintenance needed, they can operate for decades in keeping your electronics cool.  If you have any questions about Cabinet Coolers or the Sizing Guide, you can contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.  We will be happy to help.

John Ball
Application Engineer
Email: johnball@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_jb

EXAIR Cabinet Coolers are Ideal for Keeping Electronics Cool

Here in Southwest Ohio, high temperatures have consistently been in the low-to-mid 90s for the last couple weeks. Temperatures that high mean it’s time to stay inside and crank up the A/C or head to the nearest swimming pool.

For the electronic control panels in your facility you’ll want to take a different approach. Traditional refrigerant-based air conditioners for electronic panels can be installed, but they’ll require long installation periods, maintenance and higher purchase prices. Refrigerant-based systems must be constantly monitored to replace filters, clean condensers, and checking the compressors to prevent any failure. As for tossing your control panel into a swimming pool to cool off, well I’ll let you be the judge of why that’s a bad idea 😉.

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EXAIR’s Dual Cabinet Cooler With Electronic Temperature Controller

The best solution for keeping your electronics cool is an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler. With nothing more than a supply of compressed air to operate, the Cabinet Cooler installs in minutes through a standard electrical knockout. It has no moving parts to wear out, and when supplied with filtered compressed air the Cabinet Cooler requires absolutely NO maintenance. For higher temperature applications in extreme ambient conditions, we also have High Temperature Cabinet Coolers available.

Just last month we hosted a Webinar discussing Cabinet Coolers as the Intelligent Solution for Compressed Air Cooling. If you happened to miss it, you’re not too late!! Click here for a replay of the Webinar on the EXAIR website.

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To  which size Cabinet Cooler is right for you, complete the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide online. One of the EXAIR Application Engineers will then be able to determine the cooling capacity required based on the conditions of your cabinet. In less than 24 hours, you’ll have a response from us with the recommended model. With all Cabinet Cooler Systems available from stock, you can get one shipped out to you right away!

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You can submit your data via email or fax, or you can call an EXAIR Application Engineer for immediate assistance.

IF you need a faster turn-around than that – call us or chat online and we will get the process started immediately. These products are in stock and ready to ship same day to solve your problem. Don’t wait until it’s too late, EXAIR’s Cabinet Cooler is THE solution for maintaining the temperature inside of your electronic enclosures.

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@exair.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

EXAIR’s Cabinet Coolers Meet Specific Environmental Needs

I wrote recently about a “textbook” application for EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems…overheating control cabinets on a factory floor, solved quickly & easily with stock product, off the shelf, installed in minutes.

“Well, la-di-da, Russ,” some may say, “You sure knocked that whiffleball out of the park, didn’t you? What about those of us with more complex requirements than a plain Jane electric box on a typical production floor?”

To them, I would say:

1. Yes we did, and thank you for noticing!
And
2. Read on.

EXAIR manufactures, and stocks, a number of special Cabinet Cooler Systems to meet most any need:

Food and pharmaceutical processing areas often call for specific materials of construction. Something that doesn’t corrode, something that isn’t susceptible to surface wear or pitting in a washdown environment…something like Type 316 Stainless Steel. For these cases, we also offer our complete line of NEMA 4X Cabinet Cooler Systems in optional 316SS construction, from 275 Btu/hr (69 Kcal/hr) to 5,600 Btu/hr (1,411 Kcal/hr.) And they’re all in stock.

Of course, other harsh environments, like this outdoor installation at a wastewater treatment plant, also require the highly corrosion resistant properties of 316SS.

EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems work best on a sealed enclosure, but sometimes it’s not feasible to completely seal an enclosure – there may be a cable bundle coming through a common penetration, or perhaps the door isn’t fitted with a gasket.  In cases where such equipment still needs to be protected from dust, fumes, or other environmental contaminants, you could always use a Continuous Operation Cabinet Cooler System.  But, if you want to control operating costs with Thermostat Control, our Non-Hazardous Purge option provides a continuous positive flow, even when the internal temperature is below the Thermostat setpoint, to prevent these contaminants from entering.  These are all in stock as well.

Non-Hazardous Purge option is available for any EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System.

When we calculate heat load, we use your Sizing Guide data to determine both internal heat load (generated by the components in the enclosure) and external heat load (generated by the ambient temperature in the area.)  Regardless of the internal heat load, enclosures in extremely hot locations need protection too.  When the ambient temperature will exceed 125°F, a High Temperature Cabinet Cooler System is specified…performance is identical, but they’re outfitted to withstand the higher temperatures for durability and long lasting operation.  This option is offered for all of our Cabinet Cooler Systems 1,000 Btu/hr and higher, and they are also all in stock.

This Dual Cabinet Cooler System protects a critical equipment panel on a hot roll steel line.

No matter the challenges of your facility’s environment, we can help.  Again…all of the above options are in stock, ready for immediate shipment.  What could be better?

Well, actually, we ARE giving away free stuff with Cabinet Cooler System orders through the end of July 2018:

This applies to our standard Cabinet Cooler Systems, as well as those with options for various environmental considerations detailed above.

So…don’t overheat your electronics from the inside, or out, wherever they’re located.  If you’d like to find out more, give me a call.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
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EXAIR’s Cabinet Coolers Solve Your Overheating Problems

We here at EXAIR always know when summer is approaching, as phone calls and orders for the Cabinet Cooler Systems start to kick into high gear.  After those first few hot days in late spring, it is common for panels and electrical enclosures to overheat due to faulty air conditioning units, fans that are not working, or lack of a cooling system in general.

Time for us to sharpen our pencils and be ready to help! Our Cabinet Coolers are in stock and ready to solve your overheating problems with same day shipping on orders we receive by 3pm. If you need assistance choosing your Cabinet Cooler Solution, Contact an Application Engineer today!

The Cabinet Cooler System is a low cost, reliable way to cool and purge electronic control panels.  We recently hosted a Webinar on the systems, and it is available for review (click picture below)  webinar-on-demand

EXAIR Cabinet Coolers incorporate the vortex tube technology to produce cold air from compressed air, all with no moving parts.

Below shows the basics of how the Cabinet Cooler is able to provide cooling to an enclosure.  Compressed air enters the vortex tube based system, and (2) streams of air are created, one hot and one cold. The hot air is muffled and exhausted through the vortex tube exhaust.  The cold air is discharged into the cabinet through the Cold Air Distribution Kit and routed throughout the enclosure. The cold air absorbs heat from the cabinet, and the hotter air rises to the top of the cabinet where it exits to atmosphere under a slight pressure. Only the cool, clean, dry air enters the cabinet – no dirty, hot humid outside air is ever allowed into the cabinet!

HowCCWorks
How the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System Works

EXAIR offers Cabinet Cooler Systems for cabinets and enclosures to maintain a NEMA rating of NEMA 12 (dust tight, oil-tight), NEMA 4 (dust tight, oil-tight, splash resistant, indoor/outdoor service) and NEMA 4X (same as NEMA 4, but constructed of stainless steel for food service and corrosive environments.

Cabinet Cooler Systems can be configured to run in a Continuous Operation or with Thermostat control. Thermostat control is the most efficient way to operate a Cabinet Cooler.  They save air by activating the cooler only when the internal temperature reaches the preset level, and are the best option when fluctuating heat loads are caused by environmental or seasonal changes. The thermostat is preset at 95°F (35°C) and is easily adjusted.

Another option is the ETC Electronic Temperature Control, a digital temperature control unit for precise setting and monitoring of enclosure conditions. An LED readout displays the internal temperature, and the use of quick response thermocouple provides real time, accurate measurements. The controller has easy to use buttons to raise or lower the desired cabinet temperature set-point.

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EXAIR NEMA 4X 316SS Cabinet Cooler System with Electronic Temperature Control installed on control panel in a pharmaceutical plant.

 

Other Special Cabinet Cooler considerations are:

  • High Temperature –  for ambient temperatures of 125°F to 200 °F – for use near furnaces, ovens, etc.
  • Non-Hazardous Purge – ideal for dirty areas where contaminants might normally pass through small holes or conduits. A small amount of air (1 SCFM) is passed through the cooler when the solenoid is in the closed position, providing a slight positive pressure within the cabinet.
  • Type 316 Stainless Steel – suitable for food service, pharmaceutical, and harsh and corrosive environments.

If you have any questions about Cabinet Coolers or any of the EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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