What Is A NEMA Rating?

With the Summer heat upon us here in Ohio the inquiries for our Cabinet Cooler Systems are increasing by the day.  A question we always ask customers with Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guides is, “What NEMA Type is your enclosure?”  There are quite a few times where no one truly knows what a NEMA rating is. So what exactly is a NEMA rating?

NEMA is the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, one of the many standards they publish is the NEMA rating standard for electrical enclosures up to 1000 Volts.  This standard is where NEMA Types such as 12, 4, and 4X come from (you will also see an international standard reference as “IP”, more on that later).  It categorizes the enclosures by their ability to protect the internal components from things such as corrosion, dust, oil, even external air quality. These standards are reviewed every five years and the last review was done in 2013.  The reviews are generally based on improving safety, clarity of the standard, and testing methods.

So what NEMA ratings does EXAIR offer?  For our Cabinet Cooler Systems, EXAIR offers three very common NEMA types to try an offer a selection to fit the needs that we most commonly encounter.  The NEMA types and their descriptions are below.   For a full list of the Non-hazardous location NEMA enclosure types, click on this link.

EXAIR NEMA 12 Cabinet Cooler System w/ Side Mount Kit

Type 12 (IP54): General purpose, indoor use.  Protects against falling dirt and circulating dust, lint, fibers, and flyings.  Protects against ingress of dripping and splashing water. Rust-resistant Type 12 enclosures do not include knockouts.

 

EXAIR NEMA Type 4 Cabinet Cooler System
EXAIR NEMA Type 4 Cabinet Cooler System

Types 4, 4X (IP66): Water-tight, dust-tight, sleet-resistant.  Resistant to windblown dust.  Indoor or outdoor use.  Also provides protection against splashing and hose-directed water.  The “X” designation indicates corrosion-resistance.

EXAIR's High Temp Cabinet Cooler Systems

The EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems also reference an equivalent IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), IP code.   This is a code from the IEC system which specifies the ingress protection which classifies and rates the degree of protection provided against intrusion (body parts such as hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures. They are a two digit number that represents the level of protection against physical objects and he ingress of water.   Coorelation between NEMA ratings and IP codes is not always possible.  EXAIR has ensured that we also meet the equivalent IP codes shown in the NEMA descriptions above.

If you have a hot enclosure and you are not sure how much cooling is needed or what the NEMA type is, contact us.  We will gladly help you gather the information needed to calculate the heat load requirements and help determine the correct NEMA rating.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Insulating a Cabinet Can Help to Reduce Overall Heat Load

Insulated Cabinet  Insulated Cabinet2

I was working with a customer the other day who had a control panel located in a very hot environment next to a steam turbine in a power plant. The panel already had a Cabinet Cooler System working to keep the internal space cooled. However, due to some faulty temperature data about the surrounding environment, the customer had underestimated the heat load required in the application. As a result, his control cabinet was running a little higher than he wanted it to in terms of temperature. His Target was 95°F but he was running a solid 105°F inside the cabinet.

After we discussed the application a bit further and he sent some photos of the Cabinet, I learned that there was a rather large, hot turbine, just inches away from this panel. I also determined that the customer had installed our Cabinet Cooler on the top of the panel and was feeding it with proper compressed air to allow it to work at full capacity.

This is where some thinking about other strategies when considering how to reduce heat load on a cabinet come into play. Namely, passive methods of adding insulation to the exterior of the panel as well as employing heat shields between the heat source and the cabinet. Both methods are good ways to passively reduce the amount of heat load that needs to be delivered from a Cabinet Cooler to the cabinet.

In this application, the customer not only insulated his whole panel, but also the in-coming compressed air line to keep the heat from the turbine from sinking in through the walls of the cabinet and the compressed air pipe. After he made the suggested changes, the customer was able to reduce his cabinet temperature by the needed 10°F to keep a safe, 95°F inside the cabinet.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer
nealraker@exair.com

EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems Control Humidity While Maintaining Internal Temperature

As the weather in the Northern Hemisphere changes over from winter to spring and temperatures start to climb, it is slowly becoming necessary for customers to utilize the Cabinet Cooler Systems to keep control panels cool.

One such situation involved a customer who was building a panel for his client in Malaysia. Malaysia is about 3 degrees north of the Equator, so it is what I would call a semi-tropical if not tropical environment. And such places are quite high in humidity levels. This customer had a client who was in the palm oil processing industry which is quite big in Malaysia. He needed a Cabinet Cooler System to generate about 1000 Btu/hr. of cooling power in a NEMA 12 type system. So I recommended he go with a 1700 Btu/hr. Cabinet Cooler System so he had plenty of capacity. I also recommended he go with 24 VDC thermostat control so he could easily pull the power out from within his panel and not have to run any new circuits.

As the customer duly noted, the fact that the Cabinet Cooler System purges the cabinet with clean, cool and dry compressed air allows for the humidity levels to hang down at a much lower level around 40 – 50% RH instead of up around 80 – 90%. This is attributed to the processing and drying of the compressed air at the production point before it is sent out to the facility and again at the point of use with the included, 5 micron, compressed air filter/separator that comes with each system.

Previously, the customer was using only the small, DC type fans to pull that hot, humid air through the panel which led to many corrosion issues and did not relieve the heat issue at all. With this new improvement, the end user no longer has to worry about such issues. Also, there is virtually no maintenance for this system which produces much longer up-times for the customer as there are no moving parts to wear out. Overall, it was a good recommendation in this case as the Cabinet Cooler System was handling multiple, previously negative issues. Now the pain has been taken away and the end user can move on to solving other, more pressing problems.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer
nealraker@exair.com

Can We Help Identify Your Existing EXAIR Product? – Yes.

From time to time we have customers call in and say “We have one of your products and need another. But we installed it so long ago that we no longer have the paperwork to know which model we bought.” That’s a great thing to hear in a way. Our products have outlasted their filing system, and not only that, but now we have potential to solve another problem for the same customer.

When this happens, we can sift through our files to find out which model was purchased, or if the original purchase was made through a third party, we can determine the model number in other ways. We can use the dimensions, material of construction, description over the phone, or a photo emailed to an Application Engineer such as the one below.

Cabinet Cooler

But, the needs of the application don’t end there. We may be able to pinpoint the model number of the device currently in use, but we also need to confirm that this model will be suitable for the new application. For the end user that sent in the photo above, this meant the completion of a Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide for new heat load calculation.

What we determine in many cases is that the new application has specific needs which dictate the use of a product with different attributes (in this case a different Btu/Hr rating on a Cabinet Cooler). Whether it is because of heat load, ambient temperature concerns, required material, or any other variable, we are sure to provide the most suitable solution.

As spring gains momentum and warmer months are to come, it may be time to consider an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler solution for an overheating electrical panel in your facility. Contact an EXAIR Application Engineer for help calculating heat load and choosing the right system.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE

Snow Snow Go Away

Enough already! Enough is enough! I am done with Winter!

 

I’m sure that I am expressing the sentiments of  most the nation.   In my sixty some years I cannot remember a winter this severe. I shouldn’t complain though as I have heat and electricity, unlike those who are caught up in the propane shortage.

When you come to think of it, folks in the extreme northern climates deal with this kind of weather as a normal routine. It just proves that we have become so accustomed to a controlled environment, that we have lost our resilience and the ability to cope  outside our comfort zone. I am going to take this as a wake up call and stop complaining and go take the dog for a walk.

With cold gripping the country, you would not think that we would be getting calls for our Cabinet Cooler Systems. Quite the contrary as many control panels are in very warm environments such as foundries, bakeries, etc. Also Summer will be coming soon. It would be best to get a Cabinet Cooler System sized up and ready rather than wait for a heat related shutdown.

CCSizing

Our application engineers are available to help you size up your cooling requirements. We have an online form to outline  the data we will need to size one up properly. One of our engineers will do the calculations for you and get back to you promptly. Remember last summer when that one panel kept tripping out or alarming every time it got too hot…You may be cold now, but don’t let the heat sneak up on you.

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer
Phone (513) 671-3322
Fax (513) 671-3363
Web: www.exair.com
Twitter: EXAIR_JP

Cabinet Coolers Keep Working at Full Capacity After Six Years of Near Constant Operation

I was digging through my old application files today and ran across an application that I worked on with our Indonesian distributor (PT Interwira Lancar Mandiri).  Our distributor had a customer who was in the business of manufacturing automotive radiators. The end customer contacted them with a problem relating to a failed motor drive which caused one of their two production lines to come to a stop.

The end customer had a Freon based air conditioner set on his panel, but the air conditioner began leaking water into the inside of the panel. The water got into the motor drive, shorted it out and caused the production line to go down. Not only was the production down for 1 month, but the motor drive cost them $20 k USD to replace by the time they purchased, had it shipped and got it installed.

The customer was extremely wary of what he was going to use for an air conditioner unit because there was no getting around keeping these motor drives cool. So, our distributor introduced the customer to EXAIR Cabinet Cooler and the customer purchased Model 4330 for his panel.  Our distributor was back in the customer’s plant on another issue some six years later when he saw the old EXAIR Cabinet Cooler system still on the motor drive panel, cranking out cold air. No maintenance had been performed on the Cabinet Cooler System in that time (as none was necessary) even though the environment was quite dirty. You can see from the photos below that the place had not been cleaned in a long time.

CC1

When we talk to customers about the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems, one of their initial concerns is how long they last. Because there are no moving parts to wear out, the life span can easily be in the range of 20 years or more. You would have to purchase 4 Freon based units, pay to have them changed out and pay for them to be maintained 2 – 4 times per year, changing filters, replacing compressors, and re-filling coolant in that time.

Not only does the Cabinet Cooler last a long time, but when it is operating, it produces a positive pressure onto the panel which keeps dust and debris from getting inside your cabinet over time.

CC3

Neal Raker, Application Engineer
nealraker@exair.com

High Temperature Cabinet Cooler Keeps Laser Measurement System Cool on Steel Slab Production Line

slab cutting

Large steel slabs are cast, sized and cut to length in order to ready them for various types of secondary processing such as rolling, forging, machining, etc. The measurement and cutting functions of the steel slab process are controlled by various lasers focused on different features of the slab to provide for non-contact measurement due to the extreme high temperature conditions that are present.

slab measurement with laser

The electronics that are used as part of the laser measuring equipment can withstand temperatures up to about 60°C (140°F). The areas in a steel slab casting line where the laser electronics are located will usually exceed this temperature quite easily.

One of our customers was utilizing a protective box for his equipment that had a Peltier type cooling system integrated within. The cooling system would work for only a short while as the cooler would become clogged with dust and debris from the operation. This condition would lead to overheating and failure of the measuring equipment.

The customer came to EXAIR for a solution. He wanted to keep his existing enclosure and simply add an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System to the box to replace the function of the original cooling module. The Cabinet Cooler System would be able to deliver significant cooling power for the application and provide a positive pressure on the enclosure to keep dust and debris from getting inside. Best of all, the Cabinet Cooler System is not affected by debris accumulation on the outside of the cabinet.

After we made some calculations, we recommended that he use our High Temperature, NEMA 12 Cabinet Cooler Model HT4215 on the enclosure.

high-temp-cabinet-cooler

The end result is a cooling system that has high reliability and low maintenance concerns due to zero moving parts, low purchase price and which is not affected by dirt, dust and debris from the ambient environment. This is a common problem for both Peltier coolers and Freon based cooling systems as they rely on the principle of ambient airflow over a heat exchange surface which is exposed to the ambient environment. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are using filtered compressed air utility from the facility compressed air supply, which by comparison is many times cleaner and thus contributes to low maintenance aspect of our product.

If you are looking for a simple, low cost, ‘bolt on’ cooling solution for your high temperature application, give EXAIR a chance. We may very well have the solution you are looking for.

Neal Raker, Application Engineer
nealraker@exair.com