Summer is Coming: EXAIR Cabinet Coolers Save Your Electrical Cabinets from Overheating

The pool is open, the garden is tilled, it must mean summer is coming. This year, I’m gearing up for a hot one. My love for spicy food is already well documented here on the EXAIR Blog, and this year it’s going to be the hottest one yet! In the garden for this year we have Purple Ghost Peppers, “regular” Bhut Jolokia (Ghost peppers), White Moruga Scorpion, Purple Ghost Scorpion, Bhutlah Scorpion, and a selection of “milder” peppers and other veggies for when I’d rather not melt my face off while eating. Needless to say, you should proceed with caution when eating salsa at my house. It’s going to be heating up in my kitchen at the same time your electrical cabinets also begin to overheat. Not to worry, EXAIR has the tools you need to keep things cool.

Some of what is in store for this year’s garden, acclimating to the “real’ sunshine in late April

EXAIR’s Cabinet Cooler Systems were designed specifically to rectify these issues within your facility. Utilizing Vortex Tube technology, the Cabinet Cooler produces cold air from an ordinary supply of compressed air. This cold air keeps the enclosure free of debris and moisture and is easily installed in minutes through a standard electrical knockout. Here is a short video that shows just how simple it really is. The Cabinet Cooler Systems are available with Nema 12 (IP54) ratings and are also available in Aluminum, 303 Stainless Steel, and 316 Stainless Steel construction for Nema 4/4X (IP66) rated enclosures. For systems that are not able to be mounted on top of the cabinet, we also have Side Mount Kits available in Aluminum, 303 Stainless, and 316 Stainless. This year, EXAIR also introduced a new line of Hazardous Location Cabinet Coolers for use in classified areas.

Many of our customers experience seasonal overheating problems with their cabinets. Cabinet Cooler systems are a perfect solution for electrical panels which start to fault out in may or June and continue to cause chaos through September or October. They are quick to install, maintenance free and can be purchased with a thermostat control so they turn off in October and back on in May. You’ll hardly even remember its there and you won’t miss the electrical problems normally associated with a hot summer.

These systems are available with cooling capacities of anywhere from 275-5,600 Btu/hr. To make things much easier for you, we offer a Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide that will allow us to recommend the most suitable model for your cabinet. With a few quick measurements, we’ll be able to determine the exact heat load that we’ll need to dissipate and offer you a quick and easy solution.

If you experienced heat related issues on electrical panels last year, or just want to talk about spicy food and gardening, contact an Application Engineer today and we’ll be happy to help. Don’t wait until it’s too late, EXAIR’s Cabinet Cooler is the simple solution for maintaining the temperature inside of your electronic enclosures.

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

HazLoc Cabinet Cooler Systems: Application for Gas Sampling

A company from the Middle East contacted me about cooling a gas sampling device that was placed inside an enclosure.  The Middle East is well-known for Oil and Gas and hot ambient temperatures.  The sampling system was used by a Petroleum company to measure the composition of gas samples.  This type of device had a refrigerant system to keep the sample at a predetermined temperature.  Since the ambient conditions were very high, they noticed incorrect readings with their calibration gas.  They wanted to use an enclosure to protect the instrument from the environment and to use the Vortex technology to cool the surroundings of the gas sampling instrument to help it work properly. 

Like with any A/C unit, the higher ambient temperatures will reduce the cooling capacity of a refrigeration system.  The customer gave some details of what they needed.  They wanted to target an internal temperature at a maximum of 35oC (95oF) which would allow for proper readings.  The enclosure measured 2000 mm X 1200 mm X 1000 mm (79” X 47” X 39”), and it was made from 316SS with insulation inside.  The area was classified as a Class 1 – Div2 which means that there is a potential for an explosive gas to be present.  The sampling machine generated about 170 watts (580 BTU/hr) of heat inside.  The maximum ambient temperature was 50oC, and the instrument grade air that was being used for the Cabinet Cooler was only at 6 bar (87 PSIG).  With all this information, I had a lot to consider to determine the correct cooling capacity.

The first thing that I needed to decide was if they had a purge system on the hazardous panel.  They sent a diagram setup of the panel as shown below.  They did have a Z-purge system as reference as #4 in the diagram.  (This was the correct type of purge system for a Div2 area).  They also showed a check valve on the cold air side to reduce the potential risk for ingress.  With the design of the EXAIR HazLoc Cabinet Coolers, we use a poppet valve to keep any dangerous liquids or gases from entering.  So, they could remove it from their item list which saved them money.    

With the calculation for the total heat load, I recommended the model HZ4840SS-316-240.  When they installed the EXAIR system to their enclosure; they were extremely happy with the compact size and the ease of installation.  Now, when a sample bottle came in for test, they were able to attach it to the gas sampler and allow for the Z-Purge system to evacuate the enclosure.  Once the purge system cycled, the solenoid valve for the Cabinet Cooler as well as the gas sampling system started operating.  With the instant cold from the HazLoc Cabinet Cooler, the gas sampling equipment was able to find the composition of the gas accurately and consistently. 

The EXAIR HazLoc Cabinet Cooler Systems are designed to keep your electrical panels cool within hazardous areas like the Class I – Div 2 above.  The certification is under UL Classified for Class I, Class II, and Class III areas with both Div1 and Div2.  System shutdowns from electrical components overheating or incorrect measurements with gas sample analysis are costly and potentially dangerous.  If you would like to discuss in more details about the different types of EXAIR HazLoc Cabinet Coolers, an Application Engineer at EXAIR will be happy to help you. 

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

Understanding your Cabinet Cooling Investment

You can make a better decision choosing your cabinet cooling product by understanding the total cost of your investment and the operating cost associated with each style. Today we will compare EXAIR Cabinet Cooler systems and a refrigerant based enclosure air conditioning system.

How will EXAIR’s Cabinet Cooler system benefit you? I will help you understand your investment, installation, maintenance and operating costs for both EXAIR Cabinet Coolers verses a refrigerant based conditioner. The importance of understanding these costs will not only help you realize the return on your investment but will also give you the confidence knowing you made the best decision for you and your company. We will compare EXAIR’s model 4325 (NEMA 12) with a 1700 BTU capacity to a similar coolant based air conditioning unit.

The initial investment for the EXAIR model 4325, 1700 Btu/hr. Cabinet Cooler system at 2021 list pricing is $809 and will have an estimated life of 20 years ($40.45/yr). The initial cost for a refrigerant based A/C with similar Btu/hr is $3777 and an estimated life of 5 years ($751.58/yr). EXAIR’s Cabinet Cooler runs on compressed air and has no moving parts which provides a long product life . It is built for industrial, dirty, extreme temperature, heavy duty and remote locations.

Installation of the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler when installed according to manufacturers recommendation will take approximately 1 hour (estimating $65/hr) while the enclosure a/c will take up to 3 hours or more. There is no worrying about what position it was on the shipping truck, no time to allow the oil to drain back into the refrigerant compressor and no huge window to cut out of your enclosure to mount within. Again the edge goes to EXAIR Cabinet Coolers with less hassle and downtime. If we use that same operating lifetime the Cabinet Cooler system will require $3.25/yr and the refrigerant unit will require $39/yr for installation.

As mentioned earlier that EXAIR Cabinet Coolers do not have moving parts thus reducing or practically eliminating any maintenance or downtime. The refrigerant cooler will average 4 hours of downtime for cleaning and checking for refrigerant leaks. You will also experience downtime to replace filters and refill refrigerants when required. There will be drain lines to maintain for the condensate that will accumulate. EXAIR wins again having no downtime or costs for replacement parts. A refrigerant unit can require 4 hours per year of maintenance to provide its full five years of usefulness. Again using $65/hr there are zero dollars per year in Cabinet Cooler system maintenance compared to $260/yr for the refrigerant unit.

If we assume that the systems run an average of 5 hours per day, 5 days per week and 9 months per year we can calculate the cost of operating each style of cooling device. We know that it costs $0.025/1000 cu. ft of air. When put into our equation it shows that the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler system has an annual operating cost of $338. The coolant based a/c unit operated on electric at a rate of $0.0955/KWH for an annual operating cost of $56.38 giving the edge to this unit.

The total cost of your investment, installation, maintenance and operating costs for the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler is $382 per year while the coolant based a/c is $1106.96 per year giving a fast return on investment for the EXAIR 4325 Cabinet Cooler system and a very long period of keeping your electronics protected and running effectively.

EXAIR Cabinet Coolers are a low cost, reliable way to cool and purge electronic control panels. Not only is the EXAIR product more economical to purchase, maintain and install but they also provide a longer life as they incorporate a vortex tube to produce cold air. The EXAIR system also maintains NEMA 12, NEMA 4 and NEMA 4X panel integrity and are UL Listed and CE certified by independent laboratories.

EXAIR Application Engineers are ready to answer all your questions and help you determine the correct cabinet cooler size specifically for your needs.

Eric Kuhnash
Application Engineer
E-mail: EricKuhnash@exair.com
Twitter: Twitter: @EXAIR_EK

 Categories: Cabinet Coolers

 

The Basics of Calculating Heat Load for Cooling Electrical Cabinets

Is your electrical cabinet overheating and causing expensive shut downs? As spring and summer approach, did your enclosures have seasonal overheating problems last year? Is your electrical cabinets AC Unit failing and breaking down? Then it may be time to consider EXAIR Cabinet Coolers Systems. These systems are compressed air powered cooling units designed to keep your cabinet cool in hot environments. Major benefits include no moving parts to wear out, UL listed to maintain the NEMA integrity of your enclosure (also CE compliant), they are simple and quick to install and they reliably turn on and off as needed (perfect for solving seasonal overheating).

Just one question then; how do you pick which Cabinet Cooler is best for your application? It’s time to bust out ye ole trusty calculator and crunch some numbers. Keep in mind that the following calculations use baselines of an Inlet air pressure of 100 psig (6.9 bar), compressed air temperature of 70F (22C), and a desired internal temp of 95F (35C). Changes in these values will change the outcome, but rest assured a Cabinet Cooler system will generally operate just fine with changes to these baselines.

How the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System Works


Before we dig right into the math, keep in mind you can submit the following parameters to EXAIR and we will do the math for you. You can use our online Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide and receive a recommendation within 24 hours.

There are two areas where we want to find the amount of heat that is being generated in the environment; this would be the internal heat and the external heat. First, calculate the square feet exposed to the air while ignoring the top. This is just a simple surface are calculation that ignores one side.

(Height x Width x 2) + (Height x Depth x 2) + (Depth x Width) = Surface Area Exposed

Next, determine the maximum temperature differential between the maximum surrounding temperature (max external temp) and the desired Internal temperature. Majority of cases the industrial standard for optimal operation of electronics will work, this value is 95F (35C).


Max External Temp – Max Internal Temp Desired = Delta T of External Temp

Now that we have the difference between how hot the outside can get and the max, we want the inside to be, we can look at the Temperature Conversion Table which is below and also provided in EXAIR’s Cabinet Cooler System catalog section for you. If your Temperature Differential falls between two values on the table simply plug the values into the interpolation formula.

Once you have the conversion factor for either Btu/hr/ft2, multiply the Surface Area Exposed by the conversion factor to get the amount of heat being generated for the max external temperature. Keep this value as it will be used later.

Surface Area Exposed x Conversion Factor = External Heat Load

Now we will be looking at the heat generated by the internal components. If you already know the entire Watts lost for the internal components simply take the total sum and multiply by the conversion factor to get the heat generated. This conversion factor will be 3.41 which converts Watts to Btu/hr. If you do not know your watts lost simply use the current external temperature and the current internal temperature to find out. Calculating the Internal Heat Load is the same process as calculating your External Heat Load just using different numbers. Don’t forget if the value for your Delta T does not fall on the Temperature conversion chart use simple Interpolation.

Current Internal Temp – Current External Temp = Delta T of Internal Temperature
Surface Area Exposed x Conversion Factor = Internal Heat Load

Having determined both the Internal Heat Load and the External Heat Load simply add them together to get your Total Heat Load. At This point if fans are present or solar loading is present add in those cooling and heating values as well. Now, with the Total Heat Load match the value to the closet cooling capacity in the NEMA rating and kit that you want. If the external temperature is between 125F to 200F you will be looking at our High Temperature models denoted by an “HT” at the start of the part number.

From right to left: Small NEMA 12, Large NEMA 12, Large NEMA 4X

If you have any questions about compressed air systems or want more information on any of EXAIR’s products, give us a call, we have a team of Application Engineers ready to answer your questions and recommend a solution for your applications.

Cody Biehle
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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