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!
Solving customer problems by shipping product the same day is a common occurrence at EXAIR. Here is another example.
As companies grow and add more personnel, the details of projects and solutions can get lost if not recorded well. Newer employees may not have knowledge of solution specifics, and unknown details can be hard to discover, especially in larger organizations. An example of this happened recently when one of our customers contacted me about the Cabinet Cooler shown in the image above.
The NEMA 12 Cabinet Cooler was working flawlessly and had been for some time. As temperatures rose, however, other machines in this facility began to experience overheating conditions leading to machine downtime, decreased throughput, and increased stress on operations personnel.
Figuring they’d found the right place, they reached out to me via email and shared their story. And, what they ultimately needed from me was help identifying which Cabinet Coolers they had on hand to mimic the solution in other, identical machines.
Thankfully they provided the image above, which shows a label near the compressed air inlet designating the compressed air consumption (at 100 PSIG). (See below)
Based on this label and the dimensions of the Cabinet Cooler, I was able to identify this as our model 4025 NEMA 12 Cabinet Cooler, which is part of the larger, complete system model 4325. After providing the model number, price, and availability, this customer was able to order the needed Cabinet Coolers which were shipped the same day.
Shipping solutions from stock is an everyday thing here at EXAIR. If you’re in need of a solution for cooling, cleaning, conveying, removing static, or coating contact an EXAIR Application Engineer. We can help you solve your problem – TODAY!
Recently, I visited an overseas company that produced tractor axles. They had a variety of CNC mills. Inside the facility, the ambient temperatures were extremely high, above 45 deg. C. For electronics and electrical equipment, this is the worst type of condition. For every 10 deg. C above the operational temperature limit, the life of an electrical component is cut in half. To reduce premature equipment failures, it is important to keep these components cool.
In this facility, they customer had seven CNC mills machining different axles. Each machine had a control panel that contained VFDs (Variable Frequency Drives) to control the X, Y, and Z axis. The components inside were cooled by a Freon-based A/C unit mounted in the door. But, every year during the hot months of summer, they would have one or two of the A/C compressors overheat and fail. Without the necessary cooling, the VFDs inside the panels would trip from the high temperature alarm and shut down the CNC machine.
Besides the need for constant preventive maintenance, the A/C themselves are very susceptible to high ambient temperatures. The fan that blows the air across the condenser to cool the Freon is now blowing much warmer air. The cooling capacity is affected negatively which means that the A/C compressor has to run longer in hotter conditions. With lack of proper maintenance and a high ambient heat load, A/C panel coolers will fail, shutting down the entire system. Speaking with the Production Manager, he stated that after a failure, it could take up to a week to get a service repairman and the replacement installed. He understood that time is money, and he was losing much money every day that his CNC mill was inoperable. He needed a better way to keep his machines operating, even during the hottest days of summer.
EXAIR has a solution to keep the electronics cool in these type of conditions for these types of applications. It is the EXAIR High Temperature Cabinet Coolers. The High Temperature Cabinet Cooler System is set up to deliver cooling power even under hot applications up to 200° F (93°C). To get the appropriate cooling capacity for his panels, the Production Manager filled out a Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide. From his information, I calculated and recommended the model HT4340-240. It has a cooling capacity of 2,800 BTU/hr in a very compact, dust-tight NEMA 12 design. This system included a thermostat and a 240Vac solenoid to turn the compressed air off when the set point is reached during cooler temperatures or off-hours. EXAIR can also offer thermostats with solenoid voltage options of 115Vac and 24Vdc for ease of installation. Cabinet Coolers do not require any maintenance or Freon, and they do not have any moving parts to wear; making them very reliable and long lasting. Once the customer received the model HT4340-240, they had it installed in about three hours, not a week. The CNC mill was back in operation and machining parts.
Cabinet Cooler Systems can withstand very demanding applications like the one above. With proper selection and guidance, you can make sure that your equipment will be able to handle the hot days of summer. EXAIR can size a Cabinet Cooler for you by simply filling out the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide and sending it to an Application Engineer. We look forward to helping you with your heat related issues.
The image above shows an electrical panel located over a belt press machine. Belt press machines can be used in a variety of mechanical separation applications, from juice manufacturing to de-watering of grains, and even algae extraction. The use in this application, however, was to assist in the removal of liquid from styrene via multiple “wedge zones” which force the styrene between an upper and lower belt, applying increasing pressure and forcing the liquid from the styrene roll.
The Plant Manager of the facility which uses this cabinet contacted EXAIR in search of a solution to provide cooling for this enclosure, and wanted to know if we could also provide some means to provide a constant ventilation as well. We discussed the merits of the Cabinet Cooler in terms of cooling power, and also discussed our Non-Hazardous Purge Cabinet Cooler systems which provide a constant feed of 1 SCFM of compressed air into an enclosure. This slight airflow into the cabinet provides a slight positive pressure which further helps to prevent any dust from entering the cabinet. For older cabinets with potentially weakened seals, these systems can provide an added level of protection against harmful dust in the ambient environment.
After sending a Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide and determining the proper model number (NHP4825), the customer asked about lead time. They said that the machine was intermittently shutting down and they needed something FAST. I informed them that EXAIR Cabinet Coolers ship from stock and we can even ship UPS Next Day Air if need be.
Knowledgeable engineering support coupled with a shoe-in solution and on-the-shelf availability got this application under control quickly. If you’re having a similar experience with your electrical control panels, contact EXAIR’s Application Engineering department for a similar solution experience.
At EXAIR we’ve been providing enclosure cooling solutions for decades, and in many cases those cooling solutions have remained in place for decades as well. In the time we’ve been in the market with industrial enclosure cooling solutions we’ve encountered a number of alternative means for enclosure cooling. One of those methods is an air-to-air heat exchanger.
An air-to-air heat exchanger uses the temperature differential between the ambient air surrounding an enclosure and the hot air inside an enclosure to create a cooling effect. A closed loop system exchanges the heat inside the enclosure with the outside air in an effort to maintain a set internal temperature. The heat exchange of most air-to-air unit relies on a heat pipe, a heat-transfer device which converts an internal refrigerant liquid into vapor by placing one end of the pipe in contact with the hot environment. The heated vapor travels to the other end of the pipe which is in contact with a cooler environment. The vapor condenses back into a liquid (releasing latent heat) and returning to the hot end of the pipe and the cycle repeats. All in all, a clever solution.
But, this type of a solution does give some cause for concern, especially when considering their use in an industrial environment. Here are the key points to keep in mind when comparing an air-to-air cooler to an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler.
Required temperature differential based on ambient air temp
An air-to-air heat exchange relies on the ΔT between the ambient air temperature and the internal enclosure air temperature to produce cooling. If this ΔT is low, or the ambient temperature rises, cooling is diminished. This means that as the temperatures in your facility begin to rise, air-to-air heat exchangers become less and less effective. Larger air-to-air heat exchangers can be used, but these may be even larger than the enclosure itself.
EXAIR Cabinet Coolers rely on the ΔT between the cold air temperature from the Cabinet Cooler (normally ~20°F) and the desired internal enclosure temperature (normally 95°F). The cold air temperature from the Cabinet Cooler is unaffected by increases in ambient temperatures. The large ΔT and high volume cold air flow produced by a Cabinet Cooler results in more cooling capacity. And, we can increase cooling capacity from a Cabinet Cooler without increasing its physical footprint, which is already much, much smaller than an air-to-air type of unit.
Cooling in high temperature environments
Due to their nature of operation, an air-to-air heat exchanger must have an ambient temperature which is lower than the desired internal temperature of the enclosure. If the ambient air has a higher temperature, air-to-air units provide zero cooling.
Cabinet Coolers, on the other hand, can be used in hot, high temperature environments up to 200°F (93°C).
Cooling in dirty environments
Dirt in the ambient environment will impact cooling performance with an air-to-air heat exchanger. In order for the air-to-air unit to effectively remove heat, the heat pipe must have access to ambient air. With any exposure to the ambient environment comes the possibility for the ambient end of the heat pipe to become covered in ambient contaminants such as dust. This dust will create an insulation barrier between the heat pipe and the ambient air, decreasing the ability for the heat pipe to condense the vapors within. Because of this, most air-to-air devices use filters to separate the heat pipe from the ambient environment. But, when these filters become clogged, access to ambient temperatures are reduced, and cooling capacity of the air-to-air unit reduces as well.
Cabinet Coolers have no problem operating in dirty environments. In fact, it is one of their strengths. Without any moving parts to wear out or any need to contact ambient air for cooling purposes, a dirty environment poses no problems. In fact, check out this blog post (and this one) about EXAIR Cabinet Coolers operating maintenance free for years in dirty environments.
Size and time required to install
Air-to-air heat exchangers vary in size, but even the smallest units can have large dimensions. Many applications have limited space on the enclosure, and a large, bulky solution can be prohibitive. Couple this with the time and modification required to the enclosure to install a large air-to-air unit, and the “solution” may end up bringing additional problems.
Another key aspect of the Cabinet Cooler is its size. Small, compact, and easy to mount on the top or side of an enclosure, Cabinet Coolers install in minutes to remove overheating problems. Check out this video to see how simple Cabinet Coolers are to install.
Rising ambient temperatures translate to less natural heat transfer into the ambient environment. As temperatures rise and overheating electrical components becomes a concern, remember EXAIR Cabinet Coolers as a viable solution. If you have any questions about how an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler can solve problems in your facility, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.
If you’ve got an electrical enclosure that needs heat protection, you’ve got a good number of options at your disposal. Frankly, if any one of them were the “be-all and end-all” solution, the rest of us would be looking for something else to do. Fact is, there are certain situations where one particular method makes more sense than the others, and other situations where one method just won’t work but several others will.
In industrial and commercial settings, these situations will often present conditions where there is indeed an ideal solution. Today, we’ll explore the ones where the choice comes down to a compressed air-operated EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System or refrigerant-based panel cooling. Let’s consider:
Environment– Now, we’re all going to make sure we protect our gear from the elements, as much as is humanly possible. Your company’s computer server is likely a lot closer to the climate controlled office spaces than the welding or grinding stations. But what happens when sensitive electronics need to be in close proximity to the machinery they’re controlling? And that machinery isn’t in climate controlled office spaces?
Even if an A/C type panel cooler would fit on this box, it would be problematic:
See all that dust on the ducts? And the belt? And the rails? And the…well, everywhere? Yeah; would be in the filters, condenser coils, the compressor motor bearings and eventually, inside the panel.
They make condensate. The big thing about air conditioners is that they lower the humidity…and that water has to go somewhere. Even if a small drain line is easy enough to run, what happens when it gets clogged (that dust is going to find its way here too, by the way)?
They’re sensitive to vibration. Every fastener, every brazed joint, every electrical connection, risks cyclical failure if they’re shaken about.
EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are impervious to all of these conditions:
The only air they use comes straight from your compressed air supply. We even provide Automatic Drain Filter Separators to make sure this is clean & dry.
There are no moving parts. Vibration is not a problem.
We offer different levels environmental considerations to meet most any challenge:
*NEMA 12 (dust tight, oil tight) are ideal for general industrial environments.
*NEMA 4 (splash resistant) keep liquids out too, and are indoor/outdoor rated.
*NEMA 4X (corrosion resistant) also keep liquids out, and are stainless steel construction. They’re also available in 316SS construction for the most exacting, harshest, and critical environments such as food service, pharmaceutical, or highly corrosive atmospheres.
*High Temperature Cabinet Cooler Systems are specified for installation in areas where ambient temperatures exceed 120°F (52°C.)
Location – Sometimes, there’s just not room to mount an air conditioner. The compressor, and, especially, the condenser coils have to take up a finite amount of space, by design.
EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems have a small footprint…a NEMA 12 550 Btu/hr system, for example, installs through a ½ NPS knockout, is under 6” tall, and just over 1” in diameter.
Reliability – We talk to callers all the time about the frustration of:
Having to replace a burned out Variable Frequency Drive because their panel cooler failed.
Constantly resetting controls that have tripped due to an overheat condition because they missed, or don’t have time for, their panel cooler’s maintenance.
Down time and lost production while waiting for replacement parts…or a whole new panel cooler.
Even in less aggressive environments, filters and coils can slowly accumulate dirty buildup, which reduces the unit’s cooling power. Then, a heat wave hits early in the season, and your machine trips out (if you’re lucky) or burns out (if you’re not) -either way, that part or process you were in the middle of is scrap, and you’re back to step one.
EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are not affected by this – in fact, a system with thermostat control may just sit there dormant through the winter, and “spring” (pun intended) into action when that first heat wave rolls through. And it’ll be just as powerful as that last hot day, the previous autumn.
Availability – Let’s say you installed some new equipment recently, and its first exposure to the heat of summer created one of the frustrating situations above. An air conditioner-type panel cooler will require:
“Invasive surgery” on your enclosure. Most of these require a sizeable rectangular hole for installation.
These systems can pull 5 amps or more, which might mean a dedicated circuit breaker & wiring.
Many are built-to-order, so you might have to wait, depending on their assembly schedule. And they might be busy, because if the heat just started causing you problems, you’re probably not the only one.
Once it’s received, installed, and wired up, you may still have to wait for the compressor’s oil (special oil for use with refrigerant) to settle before you start it up the first time.
EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are stock products. We ship same day, across the country, with orders received by 3pm EST. They install in minutes, and most of the preparation can be done today, so you’re ready to install when it comes in tomorrow – which isn’t a big deal…most Cabinet Cooler Systems weigh only 5lbs or less, so expedited shipping isn’t near as painful to your wallet as a big box full of electric motor, copper coil, and refrigerant.
Environment (friendly, that is) – No matter how well they’re built, a refrigerant system is going to leak sooner or later. And every whiff through an aging seal, or sudden loss through a failed tube, will contribute to the ozone depletion that today’s strict controls and high attention to CFC’s are trying to prevent.
Our Cabinet Cooler Systems are solely compressed air operated…the only thing they exhaust is the air from inside the enclosure.
Durability – Refrigerant leaks. Electric motors wear out. Coils corrode. Filters clog. A GOOD warranty on an air conditioning type panel cooler is two years. And it won’t cover environmental effects.
All EXAIR Compressed Air Products have a Five Year Built To Last Warranty. But if you supply your Cabinet Cooler System with clean, dry air, it’s going to run darn near indefinitely, maintenance free.
Don’t trust your critical electronics to anything less than the assurance provided by an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System. If you’d like to find out which one(s) are right for your needs, give me a call.
Many EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are available with thermostat control, Model 9017 thermostat is used to monitor temperature in the panel as part of a typical thermostat controlled system. Below is a video on how to physically mount model 9017 thermostat into your panel as part of the overall installation process for NEMA 12 or NEMA 4/4X Cabinet Cooler Systems. Wiring the thermostat will be covered in a separate video.