High Temperature Vortex Tube for Sensor Cooling

Last year I worked with a power company that was having issues with Position Feedback Sensors overheating causing erroneous readings and early failures.  The sensors were located above a steam turbine, and the ambient temperatures reached 128°F with spikes to 140-150°F.  The customer had called in looking for a way to keep the sensors cool, using minimal compressed air, and in a robust package.  After reviewing the details, we recommended the High Temperature Vortex Tube, model HT3210.  While using just 10 SCFM of 100 PSIG compressed air, the HT3210 provides 8 SCFM of cold air at a temperature drop of 54°F from the supply air temperature.  Bathing the sensor with this cool air keeps prevents it from heating up and has eliminated the bad readings and prevented the early failures.

The customer recently implemented the same fix for another set of sensors.

Plant Photo
Power Generation Process, with (3) Position Feedback Sensors
Sensor
Position Feedback Sensor

The High Temperature Vortex Tube is a special Vortex Tube offering from EXAIR that utilizes a brass generator and hi-temp seal for use in ambient temperatures up to 200°F.  Simply supply clean, dry compressed air, and get cold air starting at 50-54°F lower than the supply air temperature.  With sizes ranging from 2 to 150 SCFM, there is a Vortex Tube that will meet most applications.

Vortex tube
High Temperature Vortex Tube

If you have questions about the Vortex Tubes, or would like to talk about 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.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Cabinet Cooler Systems Simple, Quick, and Easy

In this corner EXAIR Cabinet Cooler
In this corner:  EXAIR Cabinet Cooler

 

When compared to air-to-air heat exchangers and refrigerant based air conditioners, Cabinet Cooler systems win hands down.

Companies generally do not have issues with their control panels until the heat of summer. As the ambient conditions get warmer, the temperatures inside electrical panels also rise.  Sensitive electronics start to malfunction and shut down.  A telecommunication company was having the same issues.  They operated an ultra-broadband access service.  When the temperature alarms triggered, the system would shut down and reset.  This on and off cycling concerned the engineers in damaging and reducing the life of the electronics inside the telecommunications control box.

They contacted EXAIR as a possible supplier to retrofit their cabinets in critical areas. They started the conversation with a list of some stringent requirements.  They indicated that they were looking at other options like a refrigerant panel and an air-to-air heat exchanger.  The challenge was on…

Conditions:

Power Consumption: 350 Watts

Maximum Ambient Temp: 150 Deg. F (65 Deg. C)

Cabinet Location: Very limited space

Requirements:

  1. Retrofitting capability and ease of installation to existing cabinets
    1. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler: Excellent. 22mm knockout hole, about 30 minutes to install and weighs 0.5Lbs (0.2Kg).
    2. Refrigerant Type: Poor. Large panel cut outs, roughly 4 hours of installation, and weighs about 30Lbs (13.6Kg)
    3. Heat Exchanger: Poor. Large panel cut outs, roughly 2 hours of installation, and weighs 16Lbs. (7.3Kg)
  2. Fit into tight spaces
    1. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler: Excellent. For this application, it is 5.2” (131mm) high and 1.17” (30mm) diameter.
    2. Refrigerant Type: Poor. 22” (560mm) X 12” (305mm) X 8.5” (216mm). But also need additional room for air flow.
    3. Heat Exchanger: Good. Roughly 11” (279mm) X 16.5” (419mm) X 3.5” (89mm). But also need additional room for air flow.
  3. Able to handle high ambient condition
    1. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler: Excellent. We have a HT version for conditions up to 200 Deg. F (93 Deg. C).
    2. Refrigerant Type: Poor. Limited to about 125 Deg. F (52 Deg. C) maximum.
    3. Heat Exchanger: Good. Limited to 160 Deg. F (71 Deg. C) maximum
  4. Keep internal temperature at or below 95 Deg. F (35 Deg. C)
    1. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler: Excellent. With the high ambient temperature, it has very little effect on the cooling capacity.
    2. Refrigerant Type: Poor. The refrigerant will not work with the high ambient unless a water-cooled condenser is used. Added cost.
    3. Heat Exchanger: Poor. This unit will not be able to keep the temperature below ambient temperatures.
  5. Low maintenance (or maintenance free)
    1. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler: Excellent. No moving parts!!! With filtered compressed air, just put it into the panel and let it run. No PM required.
    2. Refrigerant Type: Poor. Minimum quarterly cleaning of condenser, changing the condenser filter, do electrical checks on compressor and fans, and refrigerant leak checks.
    3. Heat Exchanger: Good. Electrical checks on fans.
  6. Long life span
    1. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler: Excellent. 5 year warranty with units lasting over 10 years.
    2. Refrigerant Type: Poor. With high ambient conditions, the compressors and fans can short cycle causing premature failure.
    3. Heat Exchanger: Good. The fans can quit allowing electronics to heat up.
  7. Low cost (!!!) (This had 3 exclamation marks)
    1. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler: Excellent. Base unit less than $300.00
    2. Refrigerant Type: Poor. Base unit is near $1,500.00
    3. Heat Exchanger: Good. Base unit is near $1,000.00

Overall, in this scenario, there is no comparison. The EXAIR Cabinet Cooler can be mounted in minutes and start supplying cool air to the electrical components.  With no maintenance required and no moving parts, you can get many years of service.  Simple, quick, and easy made EXAIR Cabinet Cooler the correct choice.  All Cabinet Cooler systems are available with a UL Listed NEMA 12, NEMA 4, or NEMA 4X rating. They are CE compliant and available in 316SS for highly corrosive applications. If you have electrical heating issues like the telecommunication company, you can contact one of our Application Engineers for help.

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

 

Everyone is Talking about the HEAT

While sports fans are consumed with Lebron James joining the Heat, the attention of those of us in manufacturing are focused on heat related problems affecting equipment.

I was contacted by a customer who was having problems with his ink jet printing. Throughout the day, as temperatures climb, the viscosity of the ink changes  requiring frequent adjustments. Then on the night shift the settings have to be reversed. The problem with this method is the need for adjustments are not known until defective product prints are observed. This then requires the operator to make adjustments and take defective product produced prior and during adjustments out of the line.

Using a model 4308 cabinet cooler to maintain a consistent temperature around the ink pot eliminated any need for adjustments due to ambient temperature changes. This saved on labor, eliminated defects, and increase productive up time.

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer
joepanfalone@exair.com

Cabinet Cooler Systems Vs. Refrigerant AC and Heat Exchangers

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EXAIR Cabinet Cooler systems have significant advantages over other cooling options. Our Cabinet Cooler systems are UL  listed for NEMA 12, 4 and 4X integrity and are marked CE for conforming to European Union safety standards. This blog entry will highlight the benefits and compare them to refrigerant based air conditioners and traditional heat exchangers.

Cabinet Cooler systems use Vortex Tube technology, with no moving parts, to create the cold air outlet flow which is pumped into an electronic cabinet. As air is pushed into the cabinet the Cabinet Cooler system also provides its own built-in exhaust so there is no need to vent the cabinet. This creates a positive purge on the cabinet which will keep dirt, dust and debris out of the cabinet.

Refrigerant air conditioning units have many moving parts including a compressor, condenser blower motor and evaporator blowers. All of  these products can and will break down, costing you hundreds of dollars in repairs. Most manufacturers warranty these products for 2 years. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler units are under warranty for 5 years and can last 20!

EXAIR Cabinet Cooler systems are unaffected by vibration which can cause refrigerant leaks and component failures in traditional air conditioners. Please don’t be shocked when you shell out $600.00 for a new compressor – more than  complete NEMA 12 Cabinet Cooler system with solenoid and thermostat!

And don’t forget about the floor drain to capture the condensate from the condenser in an air conditioner, but no worries from a Cabinet Cooler unit there is no troublesome by-product to deal with. You must also regularly keep your vent filters clean so you do not damage the refrigerant cooler, these products are not suitable for harsh or dirty environments like an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler systems.

Here is a cost comparison to an equivalent traditional refrigerant air conditioner. You will see we also have a total cost advantage.
EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems Vs. Refrigerant Air Conditioners

When you receive your EXAIR Cabinet Cooler system all you need to do is open the box and install it into a standard knockout hole; there is no need to let the compressor oil settle or worry about any shipping damage which will void your warranty.  No need to cut the side of your cabinet open for installation.

Heat exchangers, though less expensive are also less effective. Heat exchangers are negatively affected by a rise in temperature. In other words, the more you need them to cool your cabinet in the summer time, the less ability they have to do it as the weather warms! Heat exchangers are significantly de-rated as the outside temperatures rise. Cabinet Cooler systems are not dependent upon ambient temperatures to create cooling.

Heat exchangers also fail when dirt and dust clog the air intake filters. Cabinet Cooler systems again do not use ambient air but compressed air which should be clean and dry. The right quality of air is easily achieved through the use of a compressed air filter which is typically included in a Cabinet Cooler system. Replacement filter elements for a Cabinet Cooler unit should be installed twice a year as a rule, they are inexpensive (<$20) and simple to replace.

Cabinet Cooler systems are not only extremely effective but also operate efficiently by using a thermostat control to turn themselves on and off only as needed. As the seasons change and your cabinet does not get as hot during the winter, the cooler shuts itself off (you won’t even notice it until it turns back on during a hot day). If you do not generate heat in your cabinet due to a shutdown or running one shift, it will again turn itself off. A thermostat control ensures optimum efficiency by turning it off when not in use,  just like STEP 4 in the 6 Steps to Optimization.

In Summary:

  • EXAIR Cabinet Coolers systems are UL listed to maintain the NEMA 12, 4 and 4X integrity of your electronic enclosure. And CE marked for conforming to EU safety standards.
  •  Have no moving parts to break or wear, very durable.
  •  Can create a positive purge on the cabinet to keep dirt and debris from entering the cabinet.
  •  Are not affected by ambient temperature or conditions.
  •  Inexpensive to purchase.

EXAIR Cabinet Coolers systems are an inexpensive solution which will payoff for years to come!

Kirk Edwards
Application Engineer
kirkedwards@exair.com