NEMA/UL and IP ratings

From right to left: Small NEMA 12, Large NEMA 12, Large NEMA 4X

EXAIR manufactures Cabinet Coolers to keep your electrical components inside cool.  This will help to stop any costly shutdowns or premature electrical failures due to overheating.  The EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System is a simple device that generates cold air with no moving parts, condensers, or freon.  They are maintenance-free with a long-life cycle; and installation is quick and easy.  But when mounting the system to your electrical panel, you want to make sure that the Cabinet Cooler meets or exceeds the integrity standard for that environment.  There are standards that categorize electrical panels to protect workers, shield the environment, and contain the electrical components. 

Electrical panels come in all shapes, sizes and colors; and can be used in a variety of environments; indoor, outdoor, and even hazardous locations.  Depending on the place and setting, you will need to determine the minimum requirements for the integrity of your electrical panel.  For example, you do not want to use an “indoor only” electrical enclosure for outside areas.  Also, you would not want a standard enclosure to be used in a hazardous area, as it can be very dangerous.  The major organizations that create these electrical standards are NEMA, UL, and IP.  In this blog, I will cover these organizations and how they rate them.

NEMA, or National Electrical Manufacturer Association, and UL, or Underwriters Laboratory, are generally used in North America.  The difference between these two organizations is that the NEMA ratings are self-certifying while the UL requires testing by qualified inspectors, independent of the manufacturer, for compliance.  They use numbers and in some instances letters to indicate the type of environment that the enclosure can operate. EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are UL listed; so, they have been tested and verified.  Currently, there are over 20 different NEMA/UL classifications.  Here is a description by WIKA that shows the different categories for both NEMA and IP.

IP, or Ingress Protection, is an international standard commonly used in Europe and is established by the International Electrotechnical Commission, or IEC.  This organization also allows for self-certification.  They use two digits to define levels of integrity for electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies and moisture. The first digit ranges from 1 to 6 which specifies the protection rating from solids.  The second digit, which ranges from 1 to 8, specifies the protection rating for ingress of water.  The higher the number, the better the protection.  The combination of these two numbers will give the protection level of the enclosure against dust and water.  There is an equivalence with the NEMA ratings to the IP ratings, but it is up to the preference of the user to verify the protection requirement. 

EXAIR offers three main NEMA types for our Cabinet Cooler Systems which are the most commonly found within facilities. We also offer an additional two types that are designated strictly for Hazardous Locations and are separately certified by UL to meet those standards.

NEMA 12

NEMA 12 (IP54) Cabinet Coolers are rated for dust tight and oil tight. NEMA 12 cabinet coolers are ideal for general industrial environments where no liquids or corrosives are present and are located inside.

NEMA 4

NEMA 4 (IP66) Cabinet Coolers are rated for dust tight, oil tight, splash resistant and indoor/outdoor service. These Cabinet Coolers incorporate a low-pressure relief valve to allow the internal hot air to escape as well as to close and seal when the cooler is not in operation.  This allows for this Cabinet Cooler to maintain the integrity of a NEMA 4 enclosure.

NEMA 4X

NEMA 4X (IP66) Cabinet Coolers offer the same protection as the NEMA 4 but are constructed of stainless steel for food service and corrosive environments.

HazLoc Cabinet Cooler Systems

HazLoc Cabinet Coolers are designed for hazardous locations and are mounted to NEMA 7, 8, and 9 enclosures.  EXAIR catalogs these Cabinet Coolers as NEMA 4 (IP66) or NEMA 4X (IP66) as mentioned above.  But their registration by UL classified is for Class I, Class II, and Class III hazardous areas.  The reason that they do not match the NEMA rating of the hazardous panels is because they require an X-type or Z-type purge system.  In combination, they will not sacrifice the integrity of hazardous electrical panels. 

EXAIR has Cabinet Coolers in stock with a variety of cooling capacities from 275 BTU/hr to 5,600 BTU/hr (69 Kcal/hr to 1,411 Kcal/hr).  We also offer them in 316SS, high temperature versions, and non-hazardous purge.  We do have a Cabinet Cooler System Calculator to help determine the best product for your application.  If you have any additional questions, an Application Engineer at EXAIR can assist you.   

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

Cabinet Coolers Material Selection Focus: 316 Stainless Steel

Industrial environments call for equipment to be constructed of many different materials in order to stand the test of time and to meet standards set by governing agencies. Within certain environments, 316 stainless steel rules the world and there is due cause for it. In given areas, there may be chemical incompatibilities, temperature limits, or even material incompatibilities between parts within a process and the process itself.  This is why the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems are available in 316 stainless steel.

The NEMA Type 4X Cabinet Cooler Systems are standard in 303 stainless steel while 316 stainless steel is also available from stock and can meet or exceed the standards set forth by NEMA Type 4X environments to stand the test of time whether it be chemical/caustic washdowns that generate the need, product material compatibility, or due to being outside.  These systems are offered in both thermostatically controlled with choice of 120 VAC, 230 VAC, or 24 VDC solenoid valve or continuous operation and can all ship same-day on orders received by 3 PM ET for domestic orders.

We also offer Hazardous Location NEMA Type 4X Cabinet Cooler Systems in both 303 and 316 stainless steel to cover even more stringent classified areas that demand UL Classified certifications.   These meet certifications for Class I Div 1, Groups A, B, C and D, Class II Div 1, Groups E, F and G, as well as all Class III environments.  These systems are also offered in the same thermostat control voltages as well as a continuous operation.

The point is, if you have an overheating control panel or electrical panel, we will have a solution that can keep your production running, all you have to do is contact us.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

 

 

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.

sl17_Nema4
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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