For most industrial enclosure cooling applications, a temperature of 95°F (35°C) is sufficient to be below the rated maximum operating temperature of the electrical components inside the cabinet. EXAIR Thermostats are preset to 95°F (35°C) and are adjustable. Maintaining the cabinet at 95°F (35°C) will keep the electronics cool and provide long life and reduced failures due to excessive heat. But if 95°F (35°C) is good, why not cool the cabinet to 70°F (21.1°C)?
When cooling an enclosure to a lower temperature, two things come into play that need to be considered. First, the amount of external heat load (the heat load caused by the environment) is increased. Using the table below, we can see the effect of cooling a cabinet to the lower temperature. For a 48″ x 36″ x 18″ cabinet, the surface area is 45 ft² (4.18 m²). If the ambient temperature is 105°F (40.55°C), we can find from the table the factors of 3.3 BTU/hr/ft² and 13.8 BTU/hr/ft² for the Temperature Differentials of 10°F (5.55°C) and 35°F (19.45°C). The factor is multiplied by the cabinet surface area to get the external heat load. The heat load values calculate to be 148.5 BTU/hr and 621 BTU/hr, a difference of 472.5 BTU/hr (119.1 kcal/hr)
The extra external heat load of 472.5 BTU/hr (119.1 kcal/hr) will require the Cabinet Cooler System to run more often and for a longer duration to effectively remove the additional heat. This will increase, unnecessarily, the operating costs of the cooling operation.
The other factor that must be considered when cooling an enclosure to a lower temperature is that the Cabinet Cooler cooling capacity rating is effected. I won’t go into the detail in this blog, but note that a 1,000 BTU/hr Cabinet Cooler (rated for 95°F (35°C cooling) working to cool a cabinet down to 70°F (21.1°C) instead of 95°, has a reduced cooling capacity of 695 BTU/hr (174 kcal/hr). The reduction is due to the cold air being able to absorb less heat as the air rises in temperature to 70°F instead of 95°F.
In summary – operating a Cabinet Cooler System at 95°F (35°C) provides a level cooling that will keep sensitive electronics cool and trouble-free, while using the least amount of compressed air possible. Cooling to below this level will result in higher operation costs.
If you have questions about Cabinet Cooler Systems or any of the 15 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 😉.
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.
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!
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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)
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!
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.
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.
A food and beverage company had 316SS NEMA 4X (IP66) electrical panels inside their facility. The reason for the stainless-steel construction and NEMA 4X or IP66 rating was for the periodic washdowns with an aggressive cleaner.
This particular company had a bottling process and inside each panel, sensitive electrical components would control the operation of the system. The panels were fitted with Freon type air conditioners to keep the electrical components cool. One day, they had an A/C unit that failed, and it shut down their system for half a day. For a bottling company, a shutdown for this long stopped many bottles from being processed which costed much money from loss of production.
They had four panels that were setup similar right next to each other. They were fitted with 1,700 BTU/hr freon system on each panel. In this situation, one of the refrigerant compressors failed. They had to hire a mechanical serviceman with a license to work on Freon systems. Because of the length of time to get their system restarted, they were losing money every minute. This emergency call really hindered the entire bottling process. In fear of another shutdown, they contacted EXAIR to see if we could help them.
Even with constant maintenance, the life span of a Freon system is only around five years. (It can be even shorter if preventative maintenance is not scheduled regularly). Any mechanical system with moving parts will wear out and fail. EXAIR Cabinet Coolers use the power of a Vortex Tube which only needs compressed air to generate cold air. With no moving parts to wear or unsafe Freon to leak, they are designed to keep your electrical components cool and operating for a very long time. Trying to predict failures with refrigerant systems is very difficult to determine; but, with the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems, it takes that worry away.
EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are manufactured in a variety of options and types to meet different application requirements. For the food and beverage company above, I recommended the model 4830SS-316 Cabinet Cooler System to replace each of the A/C refrigeration systems. The model 4830SS-316 would meet the cooling requirement with 2,000 BTU/hr capacity, the NEMA 4X (IP66) rating of the panel, and the 316SS construction to withstand washdowns. The complete system includes the Cabinet Cooler, a filter, cold air distribution kit, a thermostat and a solenoid valve. The thermostat is preset at 95 deg. F (35 deg. C), and it operates a solenoid valve to only turn on when cooling is needed. EXAIR has this model in stock as well as many others for quick delivery, reducing any downtime. After the installation of the Cabinet Coolers onto the panels, the worry of production stoppage due to a failure with an A/C system was alleviated.
Maintenance departments have many concerns in keeping a system running smoothly and uninterrupted. Why add additional worries with coolant based panel coolers? If you have electrical panels that can stop your operation like the bottling company above, an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler will be a reliable solution. You can fill out the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide and an Application Engineer can determine the best model for you.