Cabinet Coolers 101

We here at EXAIR always know when summer is approaching, as phone calls and orders for the Cabinet Cooler Systems start to kick into high gear.  After those first few hot days in late spring, it is common for panels and electrical enclosures to overheat due to faulty air conditioning units, fans that are not working, or lack of a cooling system in general.

Time for us to sharpen our pencils and be ready to help! Our Cabinet Coolers are in stock and ready to solve your overheating problems with same day shipping on orders we receive by 3pm. If you need assistance choosing your Cabinet Cooler Solution, Contact an Application Engineer today!

The Cabinet Cooler System is a low cost, reliable way to cool and purge electronic control panels.  We recently hosted a Webinar on the systems, and it is available for review (click picture below)  webinar-on-demand

EXAIR Cabinet Coolers incorporate the vortex tube technology to produce cold air from compressed air, all with no moving parts.

Below shows the basics of how the Cabinet Cooler is able to provide cooling to an enclosure.  Compressed air enters the vortex tube based system, and (2) streams of air are created, one hot and one cold. The hot air is muffled and exhausted through the vortex tube exhaust.  The cold air is discharged into the cabinet through the Cold Air Distribution Kit and routed throughout the enclosure. The cold air absorbs heat from the cabinet, and the hotter air rises to the top of the cabinet where it exits to atmosphere under a slight pressure. Only the cool, clean, dry air enters the cabinet – no dirty, hot humid outside air is ever allowed into the cabinet!

HowCCWorks
How the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System Works

EXAIR offers Cabinet Cooler Systems for cabinets and enclosures to maintain a NEMA rating of NEMA 12 (dust tight, oil-tight), NEMA 4 (dust tight, oil-tight, splash resistant, indoor/outdoor service) and NEMA 4X (same as NEMA 4, but constructed of stainless steel for food service and corrosive environments.

Cabinet Cooler Systems can be configured to run in a Continuous Operation or with Thermostat control. Thermostat control is the most efficient way to operate a Cabinet Cooler.  They save air by activating the cooler only when the internal temperature reaches the preset level, and are the best option when fluctuating heat loads are caused by environmental or seasonal changes. The thermostat is preset at 95°F (35°C) and is easily adjusted.

Another option is the ETC Electronic Temperature Control, a digital temperature control unit for precise setting and monitoring of enclosure conditions. An LED readout displays the internal temperature, and the use of quick response thermocouple provides real time, accurate measurements. The controller has easy to use buttons to raise or lower the desired cabinet temperature set-point.

48xx-ETC120
EXAIR NEMA 4X 316SS Cabinet Cooler System with Electronic Temperature Control installed on control panel in a pharmaceutical plant.

 

Other Special Cabinet Cooler considerations are:

  • High Temperature –  for ambient temperatures of 125°F to 200 °F – for use near furnaces, ovens, etc.
  • Non-Hazardous Purge – ideal for dirty areas where contaminants might normally pass through small holes or conduits. A small amount of air (1 SCFM) is passed through the cooler when the solenoid is in the closed position, providing a slight positive pressure within the cabinet.
  • Type 316 Stainless Steel – suitable for food service, pharmaceutical, and harsh and corrosive environments.

If you have any questions about Cabinet Coolers 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.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

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Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

Cabinet Cooler Side Mount Kits Solve the Limited Space Problem

Last week I wrote about the Thermostat Options for Smart Cooling utilizing the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems.  You can see read that blog post here.  Today we will touch base on the Side Mount Kits as an option to expand the flexibility for the installation and operation.

Sometimes there isn’t room above an electrical panel to fit the Cabinet Cooler, even though it takes just 5″ to 7.25″ of space above. In these cases, the Side Mount Kit is available to handle any of the Cabinet Cooler sizes and NEMA ratings. EXAIR offers (6) models of Side Mount Kits –

  • Model 4909 – For NEMA 12 Cabinet Coolers up to 550 BTU.hr (139 Kcal/hr), Aluminum construction
  • Model 4910 – For NEMA 12 Cabinet Coolers , 650 BTU//hr (165 Kcal/hr) and higher, Aluminum construction
  • Model 4906 – For NEMA 4 and 4X Cabinet Coolers up to 550 BTU/hr (139 Kcal/hr), Type 303 Stainless Steel
  • Model 4907 – For NEMA 4 and 4X Cabinet Coolers, 650 BTU/hr (165 Kcal/hr) and higher, Type 303 Stainless Steel
  • Model 4906-316 – For NEMA 4 and 4X Cabinet Coolers up to 550 BTU/hr (139 Kcal/hr), Type 316 Stainless Steel
  • Model 4907-316 – For NEMA 4 and 4X Cabinet Coolers, 650 BTU/hr (165 Kcal/hr) and higher, Type 316 Stainless Steel

side_mounts_new

The NEMA 4 and 4X Cabinet Coolers must be mounted vertically for the unit to properly resist the ingress of liquids and maintain the integrity of the cabinet NEMA rating.

The Side Mount Kits install into a standard electrical knockout (1-1/2 NPS) for easy installation.

If you have any questions about the Side Mount Kits, Cabinet Coolers and/or Thermostat Options 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.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

Send me an email
Find us on the Web 
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Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

Smart Cooling – Cabinet Cooler Thermostat Options

If you watched the Webinar we hosted recently (if not, Watch It here) then you know that the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System is an intelligent solution for electrical enclosure cooling.  The use of a Thermostat Control system is a key component to a system that provides the needed cooling while keeping compressed air usage to a minimum. There are several choices available, and I will cover those for you today.

The thermostat control systems are the most effective way to operate a Cabinet Cooler. They work by activating the the cooler only when the internal temperature of the enclosure reaches a preset, critical level. Thermostat controlled cooler systems are the best option when a cabinet will experience fluctuating heat loads, caused by operational, environmental, and seasonal changes.

Cabinet Cooler Systems that are ordered from the factory with thermostat control include a solenoid valve and thermostat.  The solenoid valve is available in 110-120VAC, 50/60 Hz, 240VAC, 50/60 Hz, and 24VDC and is UL Listed and CE and RoHS compliant. The thermostat is rated for 24V-240V AC or DC, 50/60 Hz and is UL Recognized and CSA Certified.

Solenoids
Solenoid Valves – 24 VDC, 110 VAC, and 240 VAC Available

 

The thermostat is factory set at 95°F (35°C). It will typically hold an internal cabinet temperature to +/- 2°F (1°C). The thermostat can be adjusted up or down if a different internal temperature is desired by turning the slotted temperature adjusting sleeve, with a 1/16 turn being approximately a 5°F change.

9017_thermoPRINT
Thermostat

 

The solenoid and thermostat components are rated to match and maintain the Cabinet Cooler System and cabinet NEMA rating, and can be NEMA 12, NEMA 4 or NEMA 4X. A Thermostat Control can be added to an existing Continuous Operation Cabinet Cooler System, please consult the factory for help in selecting the right kit.

4825SS
NEMA Type 4X Cabinet Cooler System, which includes the Solenoid Valve and Thermostat

If you have any questions about the Cabinet Coolers and Thermostat Options 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.

Brian Bergmann
Application Engineer

Send me an email
Find us on the Web 
Like us on Facebook
Twitter: @EXAIR_BB

Calculate Heat Loads from the Sun for Outdoor Control Panels

I am always happy to see the sun rise each morning. But, electrical panels that are exposed to the sun are not.  Solar heat adds significant BTU’s to the overall heat load in an electrical panel.

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A customer had a VFD to control a 300HP blower motor for a dust collection system. The VFD was getting an over-temp error and shutting down the system.  He contacted EXAIR to get a Cabinet Cooler to keep the VFD cool.  We went through our normal questions to determine the heat load, i.e. the size of the cabinet, the temperature inside, the temperature outside, the maximum external temperature and the desired temperature.  As we went through the questions, he stated that the cabinet was located outside.  This is not an issue for our Cabinet Coolers as EXAIR has NEMA 4 and 4X (IP66) Cabinet Coolers.  It did stem another question; was it under cover?  He mentioned that it was not.

NEMA 4 Cabinet Cooler
NEMA 4 Cabinet Cooler

Generally in calculating cooling capacities with our Cabinet Coolers, we size the units by adding the ambient heat load and the electrical heat load. With the panel exposed to the sun, this adds another component to the total heat load.  To get an estimation on the amount of solar heat, color becomes a big factor as the darker colors will draw more heat.  Here is a good approximation to follow:

Solar heating by color
Solar heating by color

In this application, the customer had a gray panel, a common color. With an exposed surface area of 16 ft^2 (1.47 M^2), we would have to increase the heat load by 16 ft^2 * 7 Watts/ft^2 = 112 Watts.  This equates to 112 Watts * 3.41 BTU/hr/Watt = 382 BTU/hr of added heat.  (Or 112 Watts * 0.86 Kcal/hr/Watts = 96 Kcal/hr).

If an electrical panel is outside and cannot be shaded from the sun, we can still protect the sensitive components inside.  With the proper sized Cabinet Cooler, your equipment will remain running cool.  If you need help to determine the correct Cabinet Cooler, inside or out, you can either contact an Application Engineers at 800-903-9247 or fill out our Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide.

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

 

“The sun” image courtesy of Lima Andruška, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0

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

 

An Explanation of NEMA 12, 4 and 4X Enclosure Ratings

EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are rated to NEMA 12, 4, and 4X. But what does that actually mean?

NEMA stands for National Electrical Manufactures Association. This organization, founded in 1926, sets standards for the manufacture of safe and effective electrical products. It is an ANSI-accredited standards developer and, as such, has much credibility in the industries it serves. Many companies require or encourage the use of NEMA-rated equipment. Not having it may limit a company’s access to certain markets. In that testing, if required, is not too involved, achieving a rated unit is actually quite doable and, in the long run, worth it for safety-sake. NEMA-rated enclosures are about controlling a substance’s ability to either enter or exit an enclosure protecting electronics. Keeping you, and the electronics, safe is what this is all about. NEMA ratings are 1 through 13 with EXAIR’s cabinet cooler systems meeting NEMA 12, 4, and 4X.

So, what are NEMA 12, 4, and 4X? Simply stated:

  • NEMA 12 = resistant to dirt and oil
  • NEMA 4 = splash resistant
  • NEMA 4X = splash and corrosion resistant
    • To be rated NEMA 12, the enclosure must be built in such a way to prevent solid contaminants like air-born dust, dropping dirt, fibers, fly-off shavings, and lint from getting inside. It must also prevent dripping or slightly splashing water and oil and non-corrosive coolants from seeping, spraying, or being splashed into it.
    • NEMA 4 must be resistant to splashed or sprayed water and rain, sleet, or snow and not be damaged by ice forming on the outside. It must also prevent entry of solid contaminants like dust and dirt.
    • NEMA 4X is identical to NEMA 4 with the addition that the enclosure must be corrosion resistant.

How does this apply to EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems?

With our UL listed NEMA rated Cabinet Coolers, we can cool your cabinet and maintain its original enclosure integrity to protect your electronics just as needed. Our NEMA 12 cabinet cooler system is ideal for general industrial environments. Our NEMA 4 cabinet cooler system incorporates a low pressure relief valve for both the vortex tube and the cabinet air exhaust that closes and seals when the cooler is not operating to maintain the integrity of the NEMA 4 enclosure. Our NEMA 4X cabinet cooler system has the same low pressure relief valve as the NEMA 4 and is made of stainless steel, allowing for protection in corrosive and/or wash-down environments.

To further enhance their effectiveness, EXAIR offers thermostat controls to turn the units on and off as needed, which conserves compressed air. They are available with a simple thermostat (120V and 240V), an electronic temperature control or ETC thermostat (120V and 240V) which is adjustable from outside the enclosure and provides feedback of the internal temperature. Other models include a non-hazardous purge thermostat control, continuous operation, and high temperature versions that comply with NEMA 12, 4, and 4X ratings. We can meet cooling capacities (Btu/hr) at 100psig ranging from 275 to 5600. To assist in determining which system will work in your cabinet, a sizing guide is even available on our website.

Cabinet Cooler Family
EXAIR’s Cabinet Cooler Systems

If you have a cabinet that needs cooling and it is rated to NEMA 12, 4, or 4X, let us know how we can help. Chances are pretty good we can provide the cabinet cooling system you need.

John Pinchek
Application Engineer
johnpinchek@exair.com
@EXAIR_JP

Video: How To Install A Cold Air Distribution Kit

The video below shows how to install an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler’s Cold Air Distribution Kit

Lee Evans
Application Engineer
LeeEvans@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_LE