Another Piece To The Puzzle

With having three young children, puzzles are a very popular item in my house.   Whether it is a wooden puzzle where you are matching different color fishes into their corresponding recess on a board, or maybe a classic Rubik’s Cube that I will get half way through solving when one of my daughters wants to help mess it up.  (Which I absolutely love to help them do because I watch their face as they turn each side and it is simply a look of pure joy and amazement. No matter the case, the puzzles always get solved and then they are guaranteed to be done again.

Cabinet Cooler

Here at EXAIR, I look at nearly every application I come across as a puzzle.   Sometimes, we have the exact piece that has a precise place and fit.  This could be a Cabinet Cooler System to cool and overheating electrical panel.  More often than not, it’s not that easy.  We spend a good margin of our time creating a picture in our head of what the customer’s application is and we try to find that missing piece to the puzzle that will complete their needs.

This is one of the great things about the Application Engineering Department here at EXAIR, each one of us has a very diverse professional background and very different life experiences which permits us to cover just about any scenario you can throw at us.  If one of us hasn’t experienced it, there is a good chance we have someone outside of our department who has and we will bring them in on the problem solving.  It’s not too uncommon for certain applications to even make it into the eyes and ears of the President of EXAIR due to his extensive background with many industries.

The point is, if we can’t figure it out, we know who to ask, if they don’t know, we’re going to try our hardest to get you the right product to fit your needs and exceed your expectations the first time. If not, we honor a 30 day guarantee on stock products and will take the product back so you know that we have exhausted all options.   We’ve even been known to call former customers back when we come out with new products that will fit their needs we weren’t able to meet.

30 Day Guarantee
30 Day Guarantee

If you think you have a hard to solve compressed air application, contact us.

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

An Advantage of Vortex Tube Based Cabinet Cooler Systems

Today, I begin publishing the first in a series of blog posts about some common misconceptions of vortex based cooling. The primary focus will be cooling electrical panels, but we may touch on a few other application for vortex tubes as well.

A Cabinet Cooler System is a low cost, reliable way to cool and purge electronic control panels or small enclosures. The EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System incorporates a vortex tube to produce cold air from compressed air without any moving parts.

VT
How a Vortex Tube Works

 

I want to take on the most difficult myth first. I was attending a compressed air conference recently where Cabinet Cooler Systems were listed as a waste of compressed air. Saying Cabinet Cooler Systems waste compressed air is like saying automobiles waste gas. A ’74 Dodge Monaco station wagon was best served to haul 8 kids to Florida and use three times the gasoline of (4) 2014 Honda Civics, but the automobile was driven everyday on that 15 mile work commute.  Comparatively, a 5,600 BTU/HR Dual Cabinet Cooler System without a thermostat, cooling an enclosure the size of a shoebox, is a waste of compressed air. Using a properly sized, thermostat controlled Cabinet Cooler system upon an enclosure will protect your company from thousands of dollars in equipment damage and hours of downtime caused by heat damaged electronics – this is not a waste of compressed air. I understand what the presenter wanted to say, and like anything else, if the product is not sized right or installed improperly it will not operate as efficiently as it could. Cabinet Cooler systems do not waste compressed air, they utilize compressed air.

nema12thrmocntrsys
The components of a NEMA 12 Cabinet Cooler System w/ thermostat control.

 

One of the places where Cabinet Cooler Systems shine are dirty, dusty environments where maintenance to air conditioners costs thousands of dollars in replacement parts and man hours every year.  Take one look at the troubleshooting guide for these units and you will find a litany of items that need to be replaced: evaporator coils, motors, wheels, compressor, or capacitor. In many cases, this replacement needs to be done by an outside contractor, which only adds to the cost.

Vortex based cooling improves on air conditioning in dusty or dirty environments in two ways. A vortex based cabinet cooler has no moving parts to wear out or be replaced. The units have been known to last for more than two decades. This lack of moving parts means that a dusty environment will not have an operational impact on the Cabinet Cooler Systems. Secondly, Vortex based coolers can create a positive pressure inside a sealed enclosure. This positive pressure can prevent dust from entering that cabinet. Dust inside of cabinet will cover heat sinks, chip sets, and internal fan blades to prevent air movement and insulate hot parts from heat transfer. If you are comparing a vortex based cooler to a fan in a dusty environment, the vortex based cooler will be pushing dust out of the pipe. The fan will be pulling dust in to the enclosure. The dust pulled in by the fan will lower the cooling capacity of the fan and limit the heat transfer from the heat sink or the circuitry of the device.

I wrote a bit more about this first myth than I intended. This may turn in to a ten part series, if I keep going like this.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
@EXAIR_DW
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com

Not Just Another Day At The Ballpark

Sunday was a fabulous day to be at the ballpark. My family scored some great seats, right behind the Reds’ dugout. I got my first (ever) foul ball at a Major League game. Notice I didn’t say “caught” – it bounced off the guy’s hand in front of us, over my oldest son’s outstretched glove, off the empty seat behind him (why those seats were empty, I have no idea), and rolled under my seat.

We also saw our first instant replay review of a play by the umpires. It took every pixel of high definition that the camera had to allow the officials to decisively rule the runner safe at first…it literally came down to how fast the first baseman closed his glove on the ball as he caught it.

Notice the Braille at the bottom.  I'm sure this has NOTHING to do with the debate about Instant Replay.
Notice the Braille at the bottom. I’m sure this has NOTHING to do with the debate about Instant Replay.

The most memorable part of the game, for me, was watching the outcome of two critical decisions by the respective team managers: In the eighth inning, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Josh Lueke was directed to intentionally walk Reds’ slugger Jay Bruce to load the bases. Bruce had doubled in the fifth, so it wasn’t necessarily a bad call. That is, until Reds’ manager Bryan Price quickly called on Chris Heisey to pinch-hit, following Bruce. Heisey fouled off the first pitch, and then parked the second one just over the right field fence. I’ve been at the ballpark for some dramatic home runs, but that was the first time I’d witnessed a grand slam up close and personal.

To be honest, I thought for a second about skipping the game. We got the tickets at the last minute, and I already had burdens on my schedule for Sunday afternoon. In the end, I’m glad I put that other stuff off, because, years from now, I wouldn’t remember that day I mulched the flower bed, cleared the brush from the wood pile, and filed my taxes (two days early, I might add), but that was a one-of-a-kind day at the old ball game.

My mind still goes back to the intentional walk, and subsequent pinch-hitter decision that led to the grand slam…never underestimate the benefits of being able to draw from the skills of a talented team. We do that every day, here in the Application Engineering group at EXAIR. We don’t miss a chance to learn, or teach, when one of us is presented with a challenging application. If you have a need for a compressed air solution, and you ask one of us for help, know that you’re getting the experience and knowledge of the whole team. Try us.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
Web: www.exair.com
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
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