Warmer temperatures are quickly approaching, which may seem like a welcome change for personal reasons, but in a processing line, the increased temperatures can wreak havoc on sensitive components found in an electrical control panel.
EXAIR Corporation will be hosting a FREE webinar titled “Intelligent Solutions for Electrical Enclosure Cooling” on May 23, 2018 at 2:00 PM EDT.
By attending this interactive session, you will learn the difference between the 3 most common NEMA ratings for electrical control panels found in an industrial setting, NEMA Type 12, 4 and 4X. We’ll provide examples of traditional, yet unreliable, methods of cooling and the concerns associated with using these types of devices.
Next we will explain how ignoring heat related issues can cause machines to shut down due to failed electrical components, resulting in lost production and increased maintenance costs, negatively affecting a company’s bottom line.
In closing, we’ll show how using an engineered, compressed air operated solution can reduce downtime by providing a low cost, maintenance-free way to cool and purge control panels with no moving parts.
A food and beverage company contacted EXAIR, as they were having some issues with their air conditioning panel coolers. The units were located near ovens and the ambient temperatures were elevated. During the summer months, the additional rise in temperature caused the air conditioning systems to under-perform. The electronics were overheating and shutting down, causing production stoppage. They needed a better way to keep the internal circuits cool during the hotter months.
The cooling capacities of the air conditioning panel coolers were over-sized to compensate for the high ambient conditions. With the finicky nature of Freon systems, 8,000 BTU/hr units were required. With the additional heat from summer, they had to continuously monitor and maintain the condenser units to keep them from running too hot. This caused unneeded strain to their maintenance department, as it took time away from their normal duties. They decided to contact EXAIR to see if our Cabinet Coolers could help in this situation.
Under normal conditions, refrigeration systems still have to be maintained by replacing filters, cleaning condensers, and checking compressors to prevent any failure. Under elevated ambient conditions, it is very difficult to keep the Freon cool enough to operate adequately and the refrigeration compressor from over-heating. EXAIR Cabinet Coolers do not use Freon or compressors to cool. They use the power of a Vortex Tube which only needs compressed air to generate cold air. With no moving parts to wear or unsafe chemicals to leak, they can keep the electrical components cool inside a panel for a very long time.
For sizing the EXAIR Cabinet Coolers, I needed some additional details. I sent them the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide to help me determine the correct cooling capacity. The information was as follows:
Height: 2200mm (87 inches)
Width: 800mm (31 inches)
Depth: 800mm (31 inches)
Internal heat load: 100 watts
Maximum Ambient: 70 deg. C (158 deg. F)
Required Internal Temp: 35 deg. C (95 deg. F)
NEMA Rating: NEMA 4X
Solenoid Voltage: 24Vdc
As an added note: they requested 316SS for anti-corrosion to be used for the Food and Beverage industry.
From my calculations, the ambient temperature was generating roughly 2,100 BTU/hr of heat on the external surface of the electrical cabinet. The internal heat load was 100 watts or 341 BTU/hr. Combining the values, the total heat load was 2,441 BTU/hr. For the air conditioning units, they had to over-size the units to 8.000 BTU/hr of cooling capacity to remove 2,441 BTU/hr of heat. This large difference is because of the high ambient conditions. The EXAIR Cabinet Coolers do not have Freon to keep cool; so, the need to over-size is not necessary. For the above electrical panels, I recommended a model HT4840SS-316-24VDC Cabinet Cooler System. The cooling capacity is 2.800 BTU/hr, and it will keep the electrical components cool to 35 deg. C (95 deg. F) even during the hotter months of summer.
With the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems, we can offer a variety of different options to accommodate different applications. For the food and beverage company above, the HT4840SS-316-24VDC was needed to meet the NEMA 4X rating of the panel and the 316SS construction for washdowns and corrosion resistance. The “HT” at the beginning of the model number is for the High Temperature option. This allows the Cabinet Cooler to operate in high ambient conditions between 52 deg. C to 93 deg. C (125 deg. F to 200 deg. F respectively). The system comes with a filter, cold air distribution kit, a thermostat and a solenoid valve. The thermostat is preset at 35 deg. C (95 deg. F) and operates the a 24Vdc solenoid valve to reduce compressed air consumption. EXAIR stocks many different sizes and options to help reduce any downtime. So, when an A/C system quits or an electrical panel faults out due to overheating, EXAIR can ship one out quickly to get the system up and running again.
If you have electrical panels over-heating or air conditioning units under-performing, you should try an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler. You can fill out the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide and an Application Engineer can determine the best model to keep your operations running; even during the summer months.
The IP Code, otherwise known as ‘Ingress Protection’, ratings are defined in the international standard EN 60529 (or European IEC 60529.) Similar to NEMA ratings by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the IP ratings are used define the level of sealing effectiveness of enclosures against penetration from foreign matter and water/moisture. The ratings for an enclosure are determined by actual testing.
The IP number is composed of the letters ‘IP’, two numbers and possibly one or two letters. The first number refers to the protection level against solids, and the second number to the liquid protection level. The higher the number, the greater the protection level. The optional letter codes relate to protection of persons against access to hazards within the cabinet, and any other special notice.
Below tables show the possible protection ratings and the description-
Example – IP54 – IP – Code Letters, 1st Numeral is 5, 2nd Numeral is 4
An enclosure with an IP rating of this designation, IP54 –
5 – Equipment within enclosure is protected from ingress dust of a limited quantity, such that no interference of performance is caused
4 – Equipment within enclosure should have no harmful effects due to water splashed against the enclosure from any angle
Here at EXAIR we work with IP ratings everyday. The Cabinet Cooler System line of products are made to keep electrical enclosures cool inside, while maintaining the integrity of the enclosure IP Code rating.
If you would like to talk about IP or NEMA ratings and the Cabinet Cooler Systems 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.
With a Thermostat-Controlled Cabinet Cooler System, EXAIR uses a thermostat and solenoid valve to control the temperature inside an electrical panel. They help to reduce the compressed air usage during cooler temperatures or off-peak hours. Here is a video to demonstrate how to wire the thermostat and solenoid valve to a power source.
I recently had the pleasure of working with a customer in UAE that manufactures tobacco products. They were duplicating an existing line due to an increase in demand and needed another Cabinet Cooler. The previous unit, HT4325-24VDC, had been installed approximately 20 years ago and was still functioning without any issues. This was long before he had started working with the company and they were unable to locate any order history with EXAIR to determine the appropriate model size to order.
They installed the cooler and auto-drain filter that comes with the kit. The only maintenance they’ve had to complete for the system is periodically changing the filter element. The Cabinet Cooler has no moving parts to wear out and requires little to no maintenance so long as it is supplied with clean, dry compressed air.
EXAIR’s UL Listed, CE Compliant Cabinet Coolers are available with Nema 12 (IP54) or Nema 4/4X (IP66) ratings. They’re capable of delivering 275 Btu/hr – 5,600 Btu/hr of cooling capacity and can be thermostatically controlled to reduce compressed air consumption. The rugged nature of EXAIR’s Cabinet Coolers makes them an ideal solution for dirty industrial environments. No longer will you experience shutdowns or downtime due to an overheated cabinet, maintenance required for A/C units, or contamination inside of your enclosure. By purging the cabinet with cool, clean air the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler keeps your cabinet cool while also preventing any dirt, dust, or debris from the ambient environment from wreaking havoc on your sensitive electronics.
The thermostatically controlled systems are pre-set to 95°F, but can easily be adjusted. Check out the video below for a brief instruction of how to adjust the thermostat if you require a different temperature inside the cabinet.
If you have control panels that are shutting down to excess heat, give us a call. With our Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide, we’ll just need a few quick measurements and we can easily size the appropriate system for your needs.
On first glance, the enclosure shown above looks to be fairly large for use with an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler. Our individual Cabinet Coolers have a maximum cooling capacity of 2,800 BTU/hr. (~820W), but we do provide dual Cabinet Cooler systems with capacities up to 5,600 BTU/hr. (~1642W). So, although there are heat loads which are too large for use with an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler, we always perform heat load calculations for any potential application because until you run the numbers, you don’t really know.
In this case, however, the customer already knew the required cooling capacity (~3,000 BTU/hr. or 880W) thanks to an existing refrigerant based system already installed (see arrows above). This existing system was doing a great job of keeping the enclosure cool when it was working properly, but it was also prone to maintenance and breakdowns. The facility maintenance technicians had replaced filters as required on their preventative maintenance programs, but the A/C unit still required replacement multiple times. This would lead the maintenance team to open all the doors of the enclosure in an effort to remove heat, but this allowed dust and dirt to enter the cabinet and compromise the electronics inside.
Eventually, the maintenance, required repair, and exposure of sensitive electronics led this customer to search for an alternative solution, and they found the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler. Once we determined the required cooling capacity and a suitable unit (model 4750 NEMA 4 Dual Cabinet Cooler System with 3,400 BTU/hr. (~1,000W) of cooling power), the discussion turned to installation and maintenance and we had a conversation something like this:
Customer: How much time do we need to hook up the Cabinet Cooler?
EXAIR: Well, you don’t have to. You just install the thermostat and the system does the rest. It’ll maintain whatever temperature setpoint you chose and comes preset to 95°F (35°C).
Customer: What is the lead time?
EXAIR: They’re in stock and ship same day.
After working through the application and questions from the customer, we were able to provide a sustainable, readily available solution that was a marked improvement from the maintenance prone refrigerant based system. Our Cabinet Cooler allows for easy installation, no maintenance, and years of trouble-free operation. If you have an overheating enclosure contact an EXAIR Application Engineer. We’ll be happy to help you find a suitable solution.
A customer contacted me recently looking to duplicate a setup of EXAIR Cabinet Coolers that they had installed a few years ago. They were tucked away in the corner of the warehouse up near the ceiling. Their maintenance guy had recently retired and no one knew what to purchase. They placed a quick call to EXAIR, after speaking to him and having him snap a photo of the setup, we were able to discern that he had an HT4370 High Temperature Dual Cabinet Cooler System.
They were really under the gun as a similar cabinet elsewhere in the facility was malfunctioning, forcing them to shut down production and open up the cabinet to allow it to cool down periodically. Not only were they losing production time, but exposing the cabinet to the dirty conditions present in most manufacturing facilities can pose additional risks. Lucky for them, we were able to quickly identify the Cabinet Cooler system and get one on order the same day. With same day shipment for stock items on orders received by 3:00 pm EST, they were able to get another one in their hands the following day.
The cool air from the Cabinet Cooler also maintains a positive pressure inside of the enclosure, keeping the dirty air from the environment from wreaking havoc inside. The Cabinet Cooler installs quickly through a standard electrical knockout. The kit includes everything you need to get up and running: the Cabinet Cooler, solenoid valve (available in 110 VAC, 240 VAC, or 24 VDC), Auto-Drain Filter w/ mounting bracket, cold air distribution kit, and a mechanical thermostat pre-set to 95°F. For applications that do not have space for mounting at the top of the cabinet, we also have a Side Mount Kit available.
EXAIR’s High Temperature Dual Cabinet Coolers are available for applications where the ambient conditions are 125°F-200°F. With cooling capacities of up to 5,600 Btu/hr, these Cabinet Coolers will operate virtually maintenance free when supplied with clean, dry air. Not sure which system is right for you? Fill out the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide and an EXAIR Application Engineer will be in touch with you shortly!