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.
Are you concerned about high temperatures this summer causing problems on your control panels? EXAIR’sElectronic Temperature Control (ETC) can be used with an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler to maintain precise control of the temperature inside of the cabinet. The ETC is available in both 110 and 240 VAC and is compatible with all Cabinet Cooler Systems.
After taking a few quick measurements, fill out the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide and an Application Engineer will be in touch with you to provide the most suitable system for your conditions. Don’t wait until the heat becomes a major problem, get yourself a Cabinet Cooler installed today and stop worrying about those high ambient temperatures!!
So it was 19°F (-7°C) when I walked outside this morning. The layer of ice on my windshield was thin, but particularly stubborn, and I muttered under my breath. I have no business complaining about the cold…see, I moved to Ohio (on purpose) from Florida, in 1991. In November, to be exact. I still remember where I surrendered my “complain-about-the-cold” card:
Why am I writing a blog about solutions to heat problems when, even though I do have a really nice pair of gloves, my fingers still aren’t even really thawed from ice removal duty this morning? Well, I’ve got three reasons:
1. Outside temperature doesn’t necessarily have any bearing at all on the temperature inside. Sure; there’s a reason we call July and August “Cabinet Cooler Season” – summer heat will do a number on sensitive electronic & control panels in spaces with no climate controls, but the problem goes away as winter approaches. In fact, there’s even such as thing as a cabinet HEATER, if the equipment in question is exposed to the elements. Sometimes, though, heat is an issue year ’round…think blast furnaces, boiler rooms, foundries, chemical plants. If your process generates heat, it’ll affect a control panel in the dead of winter just the same as on the dog days of summer. We can quickly and easily specify the right Cabinet Cooler System for you with just a few key pieces of data…here’s a link to our Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide if you want to find out.
2. It’s not winter all over the world. Here in the Midwest United States, I full well realize we’re just gearing up for windshield scraping, snow shoveling, slipping-on-the-ice (some people call it skating and do it intentionally) season. But right now, our friends in the Southern Hemisphere are getting ready for heat waves, sunscreen, and (hopefully) air conditioning. So, in essence, they’re moving towards what we call “Cabinet Cooler Season.”
3. Our Cabinet Cooler Systems are so great, the 316SS Cabinet Cooler Systems with Electronic Temperature Control are actually up for Plant Engineering’s Product of the Year Award. Because of their 316SS construction, they’re optimally suited for installation in harsh or demanding locations. The Electronic Temperature Control offers continuous indication of internal temperature, and the ability to change the thermostat setpoint with the push of a button. If you’re a current user, and you agree that they’re great, we’d appreciate your vote. If not, I’m reluctant to encourage you to vote for it, but I suppose I can’t stop you from taking my word for it…
If you’d like to talk about protecting sensitive electronics from the heat, or from the environment, or both, I’d love to hear from you…give me a call.
For over 34 years, EXAIR has been the industry leader in providing Intelligent Compressed Air Products to the industrial marketplace. While much of our focus is to ensure our products are engineered to provide optimal performance, we are also dedicated to manufacturing products that meet a wide range of standards and directives to promote safety in relation to plant personnel.
For instance, all of our compressed air operated products meet or exceed OSHA Standards 29 CFR 1910.242(b), requiring that the outlet pressure of an open pipe, nozzle, air gun, etc., when used for cleaning purposes, must remain below 30 PSI when dead-ended against the skin, as well as Standard 29 CFR 1910.95(a) as a way to protect workers from job related injuries related to dangerous sound levels of 90 dBA and higher.
Many of our products are also CE Compliant, meeting the mandatory requirements for products intended to be sold in the European Economic Area or “EEA”. For example our Electronic Flow Control and Electronic Temperature Control (ETC) meet the EU (European Union) Low Voltage Directive 2006/95/EC.
EXAIR electrically powered devices, like our Static Eliminators and Digital Flowmeters for example, comply with the “Restriction of Hazardous Substances” or RoHS Directive 2011/65/EU, including the amendment outlined in the European Commission decision L 214/65.
We are also committed to providing material that supports the conflict mineral free rule to help aid in the relief of illegal trade of exotic materials, like tungsten, gold, tin and tantalum in the DRC region. Using the CMRT 4.20 template, we document our supply resources to ensure we provide conflict free products, as outlined in Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Lastly, the European Union introduced the REACH program – Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals, as a method to register chemical substances being imported into the EU to protect people and the environment, per Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 Title I, Article 3. Also noted in the program, Title II, Article 7, they state that any product with a substance intended to be released under normal operating conditions, must be registered for quantities totaling more than 1 metric ton per year. Since EXAIR products do not intentionally release or contain any such substances, registration to meet the program is not required.
If you have any questions about any of these Standards or Directives or about which EXAIR products comply, please feel free to contact an application engineer for assistance. We’d be happy to help!
Industrial facilities incorporate a variety of processes and procedures to meet customer demands. The ability to convert incoming resources into the desired output hinges upon proper up-time inside of the facility. Whether producing raw materials, performing value-adding services, or manufacturing consumer goods, downtime and failed systems inside of an industrial facility mean lost throughput, lost profit, and increased cost.
As temperatures begin to rise across the US, heat related equipment failures become more prevalent. Industrial facilities need a way to alleviate the problems caused by these increased temperatures and to mitigate the risk of failing electrical devices due to heat.
EXAIR Cabinet Coolers provide this solution using nothing but compressed air.
EXAIR Cabinet Coolers convert a source of compressed air into a very cold stream of air, capable of cooling a sealed enclosure. They are mounted directly to the enclosure, feeding in air as low as 18°F (-8°C) to bring the internal temperature of the cabinet down to acceptable levels. While the cold air generated by the Cabinet Cooler is fed into the enclosure, hot air is simultaneously removed, maintaining relative humidity inside the enclosure at 45%.
Rated for use in NEMA 12 (IP54), NEMA 4, and NEMA 4X (IP66) environments, EXAIR Cabinet Coolers are available in aluminum, 303 stainless steel, and 316 stainless steel. No matter the material of construction, EXAIR Cabinet Coolers can provide 275 – 5,600 BTU/hr. of cooling capacity in industrial applications with ambient temperatures up to 125°F (52°C). For hotter environments up to 200°F (93°C), High Temperature Cabinet Coolers are available.
In extremely dirty environments, Non-Hazardous Purge systems provide a continuous stream of air (1 CFM) into the enclosure, maintaining a positive pressure and preventing any dust intrusion.
Each system type and material are available to ship from stock*, allowing fast delivery to your facility and quickly solving an overheating condition of your devices.
Fans and traditional air conditioners can effectively remove heat, but they provide no separation between the sensitive components inside of an enclosure and the dirty industrial environment outside. Simply installing a fan or AC unit can allow dust, oil, and other ambient contaminants into the enclosure, leading the failure of the expensive equipment inside. And, these solutions degrade over a finite lifespan (the Cabinet Cooler does not), they require routine maintenance (the Cabinet Cooler does not), and they need more time to install (Cabinet Cooler installation is fast and simple). Curious how easy it is to install an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler? Check out this video and see just how easy it really is.
For those applications without enough spacing to mount a Cabinet Cooler on top of the enclosure, Side Mount Kits are available. These kits are also available from stock and are just as easy to install:
All EXAIR Cabinet Coolers are available with thermostat controls to regulate internal cabinet temperatures and compressed air consumption. EXAIR thermostats feature a bimetallic contact strip to open and close the electrical circuit in response to air temperatures. These thermostats quickly respond to changes in air temperature and are specifically suited for their intended use. Preset for 95°F (35°C), a suitable temperature for most electronic devices, these thermostats are fully adjustable for specific application needs.
In the event a more sophisticated thermostat control is needed, Electronic Temperature Control units can be implemented. These standalone units utilize a thermocouple to determine internal cabinet temperatures which display onto a digital readout. Push-button controls on the digital readout board allow for easy modification of the internal cabinet temperature set-point. When the desired internal temperature is reached, the Cabinet Cooler will turn off automatically.
Is it really that easy? Can a Cabinet Cooler provide real cooling for sensitive devices and last for years without any maintenance? Well, here’s an example:
An automotive radiator manufacturer experienced a problem with an overheated motor drive, causing one of their production lines to come to a stop. The root cause of the failure was a leaking refrigerant-based air conditioner, which failed and allowed water into the enclosure housing the motor controls. When the water entered the enclosure, it shorted the motor drive and caused the production line stoppage. The new drive cost over $20,000 and a month of down time to purchase, receive, and install.
Following this failure, the customer searched for a more suitable cooling solution and installed an EXAIR model 4330 NEMA 12 2,000 BTU/hr. Cabinet Cooler System. With an included thermostat control, this system provided proper cooling for the application without any need for required maintenance or potential to leak water into the enclosure.
Fast forward six years and this same customer reached out to EXAIR for another application. During the conversation they mentioned the Cabinet Cooler they purchased many years before was still in operation, still providing proper cooling for the enclosure, and that no maintenance had been performed (Cabinet Coolers do not require routine maintenance). Even in the dirty industrial environment of this manufacturing facility, the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler continued to function flawlessly.
When exploring industrial solutions, required routine maintenance is a common concern. The cost of replacement components and time required to perform necessary maintenance weigh heavily on decision makers. Fortunately, EXAIR Cabinet Coolers do not require any maintenance, and with clean, dry compressed air their lifespan can be 20 years or more. There are no moving parts to wear out or routine maintenance services to be performed.
If you’re in need of a suitable cooling solution for an industrial enclosure, consider an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler. They’re smaller than traditional AC units, faster to install, and require little-to-no-maintenance. Feel free to contact an EXAIR Application Engineer with any questions, or fill out our online Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide to have an Application Engineer contact you.
Using compressed air in the plant is common for many types of processes. Typical uses are drying, cooling, cleaning and conveying. Compressed air does have a cost to consider, and there are many ways to keep the usage and the costs as low as possible. The first step is to use an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product, which has been engineered to provide the most performance while using the least amount of compressed air. The next step is to control the use of the air, to only have it on when needed.
EXAIR offers the EFC – Electronic Flow Control. It offers the most comprehensive method to maximize the efficiency of compressed air usage. It combines a photoelectric sensor with a timing control that operates a solenoid valve to turn on and off the air as required. With 8 different program types, an on/off mode that works with any process can be programmed ensuring that the minimum amount of compressed air is used. You can use the online EFC Savings Calculator to see how quickly the savings add up!
Another method would be to use a solenoid valve with some other method of control. Depending on the process, the solenoid could be energized via a machine control output, or as simple as an electrical push button station. EXAIR offers solenoid valves in a variety of flow rates (from 40 to 350 SCFM) and voltages (24 VDC, 120 VAC and 240 VAC) to match the air flow requirements of the products we provide, while integrating into the facility and available supply voltages.
For control of the Cabinet Cooler Systems, the ETC – Electronic Temperature Control, uses a thermocouple to measure cabinet temperature and cycle the system on and off to maintain a precise cabinet temperature, and provides a digital readout of the internal temperatures and on the fly adjustment. Also available is the Thermostat Control models, which utilize an adjustable bimetallic thermostat to control the solenoid valve, also cycling the unit on and off as needed to maintain a set cabinet temperature.
There are several manual methods that can be used to control the compressed air. A simple valve can be used to turn the air off when not needed, whether at the end of the work day, at break time, or whenever the air isn’t required. We offer several options, from a foot controlled valve, to a magnetic base with on/off valve, to a simple quarter turn ball valve.
To discuss your processes and how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can control the air supply and save you money, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our other Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
A Btu, or British Thermal Unit, is a traditional unit of energy and is a measure of the heat content of fuels.
Originally, the Btu was the amount of energy needed to increase the temperature of 1 pound of liquid water by 1 degree Fahrenheit. The term became common among engineers in the late 1800’s.
A single Btu is insignificant in terms of the amount of energy used by a single household or by an entire country. In 2013, the United States used about 98 quadrillion (written out, 1 quadrillion is a 1 followed by 15 zeros) Btu of energy.
One Btu is approximately equal to the energy released by burning a match.
Interesting Energy Conversion Factors
Physical units and Btu (averages,¹ 2012)
1 kilowatt hour = 3,412 Btu
1 cubic foot = 1,025 Btu
Motor gasoline (10% ethanol)
1 gallon = 120,524 Btu
1 gallon = 138,690 Btu
1 gallon = 138,690 Btu
1 gallon = 91,333 Btu
1 cord = 20,000,000 Btu (Estimated)
1Weighted averages across different contexts of each fuel such as imports, exports, production, and consumption. Source: www.eia.gov/EnergyExplained by the U.S . Energy Information Administration
EXAIR manufactures the Cabinet Cooler System. The Cabinet Cooler System is a low cost, reliable way to cool and purge electronic control panels. They incorporate a vortex tube to produce cold air from compressed air – with no moving parts! EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are available for NEMA 12, 4, and 4X type enclosures. For the most efficient way to operate Cabinet cooler, a thermostat control system would be utilized. The standard thermostat control systems include an adjustable thermostat factory set at 95F. Also, available is the ETC Electronic Temperature Control, providing precise control with easy adjustability and a digital readout.
In the United States, the power of HVAC (Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning) systems is often expressed in BTU/hr.
The EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are available with cooling capacities ranging from 275 to 5,600 Btu/hr. To cool the down the equivalent of 98 quadrillion Btu’s of energy used by the US in 2013, it would take 17.5 trillion of our largest Cabinet Cooler Systems!
If you would like to find out how many Btu’s of cooling your electrical cabinet needs, please fill out and send in the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide and we can let you know.