What Are NEMA Types And Why Do They Matter for Your Enclosure?

NEMA Type 4X Dual Cabinet Cooler System in 316 Stainless Steel

Electrical enclosures and control cabinets come in all shapes, sizes and colors. They all have the same job, to protect and house critical electronics in order to ensure a machine or piece of equipment can safely operate.  These electronics and enclosures are also located in a variety of environments that differ just as much as the panels themselves.  With that, different requirements and needs to protect the internal components of the cabinet are needed.  A systematic approach to designate the requirements for these panels to meet the needs of different environments was designated by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.  Thus, the NEMA rating was created.

Currently, there are nearly 20 different NEMA classifications that enclosures can be designed for and operate within. EXAIR offers three main NEMA types which are the most commonly found within industrial facilities as well as an additional two that are designated strictly for Hazardous Locations and are separately certified by UL to meet those standards.

NEMA Type 12 Cabinet Cooler System protects an HMI on a machine tool.

NEMA Type 12 enclosures are constructed mainly to be used indoors and to protect personnel in the area from any hazardous equipment such as electrical contacts or transformers. This also helps to protect those electronics from things like foreign matter in the air around the panel and keep any kind of drips of moisture from getting into the electronics. These are found in most general light assembly or industrial environments.

EXAIR NEMA Type 4 Cabinet Cooler System protects against direct water.

NEMA Type 4 enclosures are a few steps up from NEMA Type 12 in the level of protection they give the internal electronics. These are suitable for indoor or outdoor use to protect both personnel and the internal cabinet components from the environment.  They are dust and airtight as well as protect from the ingress of water and ice. These can be found in washdown environments, hot environments, or extremely dirty environments throughout industry.

EXAIR NEMA 4X Cabinet Cooler Systems are made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel for corrosive environments and are also available with Side Mount Kits.

NEMA Type 4X enclosures are similar to NEMA Type 4 as far as that they protect for and the environments they are suited for, the standard also adds a level of corrosion resistance to the panels which permit them for use around certain chemicals and/or outdoors in certain facility environments.

Hazardous Location Cabinet Cooler Systems

The last type to be discussed is the Hazardous Locations that are offered in both NEMA Type 4 and NEMA Type 4X ratings.  These environments are under strict classifications and EXAIR follows the UL Classified certifications for these restricted areas.

If the panel or environment within a given facility is in a different NEMA type than the ones mentioned above it can often be remedied by going to the next highest level.  For instance, NEMA Type 5 rated enclosures could be protected by a NEMA Type 4 and still maintain their integrity.

If you would like to discuss NEMA ratings or what type of panel may be within your facility, please contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems – How Do they Work?

Cabinet Cooler systems eliminate heat related problems by providing a temperature controlled environment inside of electrical enclosures. Typically set to maintain 95F (but also adjustable) a Cabinet Cooler system can withstand harsh, remote environments with little maintenance. They cool heat loads up to 5600 Btu/Hr and are UL listed to maintain your cabinet’s NEMA integrity. 

Compressed air enters the vortex tube powered Cabinet Cooler and is converted into two streams, one hot and one cold. Hot air from the vortex tube is muffled and exhausted through the vortex tube exhaust. The cold air is discharged into the cabinet through the included cold air distribution kit. The displaced hot air in the cabinet rises and exhausts to atmosphere through the cabinet cooler body. The control cabinet is both cooled and purged with cool, clean air. Outside air is never able to enter the control panel.

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How it works! 

EXAIR’s compressed air operated, Cabinet Cooler Systems are a low cost, reliable way to cool and purge electronic control panels. There are no moving parts to wear out and no filters to replace, eliminating the need for constant monitoring.

NEMA Type 12 (IP54) and NEMA 4 and 4X (IP66) models are available that are very compact and mount in just minutes through an ordinary electrical knockout.

Cabinet Cooler Family
EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Sizes 

Available in a wide range of cooling capacities, ranging from 275 Btu/hr. for our smallest system, up to 5,600 Btu/hr. for our largest Dual System.

Thermostat control systems are the most efficient way to operate a Cabinet Cooler as they limit compressed air use by operating only when the temperature inside the enclosure approaches critical levels. Continuous Operating Systems are recommend when constant cooling and constant positive pressure inside the panel is required.

Thermostat controlled Cabinet Cooler Systems are the best option when experiencing fluctuating heat loads caused by environment or seasonal changes. Thermostatically Controlled Systems include a Cabinet Cooler, adjustable thermostat, solenoid valve, cold air distribution kit consisting of tubing and self adhesive clips to duct the cold air inside the panel and a filter separator to remove any water or contaminants from the supply.

Thermostat and ETC

If you would like to discuss our cabinet cooler systems or any of EXAIR’s engineered solutions, I would enjoy hearing from you…give me a call.

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer
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Cabinet Cooler NEMA Ratings Explained

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Temperatures are heating up across the US, when this happens it can wreak havoc on the sensitive electronics in your facility.  If you’re a follower of the EXAIR Blog, you’ve noticed that we’ve spent a great deal of time recently discussing the Cabinet Coolers. From a description of how they work, specific applications, as well as how to determine what size you’ll need, we’ve covered quite a range of topics. Equally important, though, is the NEMA rating of the Cabinet Cooler. I’d like to take a moment to discuss the different NEMA ratings for the Cabinet Coolers that EXAIR has to offer and where each should fit.

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EXAIR’s Model 4008 Nema 12 Cabinet Cooler

NEMA 12 – The NEMA 12 rating is for enclosures that are indoor and provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts as well as prevent any materials from entering the enclosure such as dust, debris, or moisture from light splashing. This standard duty style of Cabinet Cooler is best served indoors on the shop floor where there aren’t any wash-down areas or excessive moisture.

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Model 4880-ETC120

NEMA 4 – A NEMA 4 rated cabinet cooler is designed for either indoor or outdoor use. It, too, provides protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts and prevents dust, dirt, or debris from entering the cabinet. In addition to providing the same levels of protection as the NEMA 12, the NEMA 4 rating also means that the equipment will be protected from water such as rain, sleet, snow, splashing water, and even hose directed water.

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Model 4880SS-316

NEMA 4X – The NEMA 4X carries the same levels of protection as the NEMA 4, but also adds an additional level of protection against corrosion. EXAIR’s NEMA 4X Cabinet Coolers are constructed of either 303 or 316 Stainless Steel.

EXAIR’s Cabinet Coolers are available from stock with cooling capacities ranging from 550 Btu/hr – 5,600 Btu/hr. With a variety of different materials and NEMA ratings, EXAIR has the right Cabinet Cooler ready to ship today to prevent your sensitive electronics from shutting down. Don’t let yourself get frustrated dealing with heat-related issues, get a maintenance-free Cabinet Cooler installed ASAP! Fill out the Cabinet Cooling Sizing Guide and an Application Engineer will be in touch with you within 24 hours with a quote for the most suitable model.

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

EXAIR’s Cabinet Coolers Solve Your Overheating Problems

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!

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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.

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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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