EXAIR Vortex Tube Cools Control Board Inside a Camera Housing

An EXAIR Vortex Tube supplying cold air into a camera lens housing.

An application we see from time to time involves the cooling of camera lenses as they “watch” for various materials in automated processes.  The process usually involves some sort of part detection, checking object specifics for adherence to quality standards, or searching for items in need of rejection.  These process are often fully automated, requiring the camera to process a continuous stream of information and to be housed in the same environment as the materials being monitored.

At a waste sorting facility in France, an end user was experiencing an overheating of their camera.  The result of the overheating condition was unwanted downtime while the internal camera electronics cooled and could not be used.  This meant that an expensive, complex, and efficient piece of equipment was out of service, creating a bottleneck in the waste sorting process.

To solve this overheating condition, the end user worked through the EXAIR distributor in France, Kermaz Pneumatic, to find a solution with an EXAIR Vortex Tube.  The Vortex Tube was installed so that cold air was created and supplied directly into the camera lens housing.  The end result was a reduction in heat at the camera lens, allowing the machine to function at full capacity without stoppage, effectively removing the process bottleneck.

If you have a similar application and think EXAIR may be able to help, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer

EXAIR Cabinet Coolers Nominated for Product of the Year

We have just found out that four of our new problem solving products have been nominated for Plant Engineering’s Product of the Year (Please Vote for us HERE).  The first candidate I would like to showcase is in the Automation & Controls category.  The Electronic Temperature Control for Dual Cabinet Cooler Systems effectively turn the compressed air supply to the Cabinet Coolers on and off as needed to maintain a constant temperature inside of a hot enclosure. Using the air intermittently to maintain a specific temperature is the most efficient way to operate.

Please Vote!
Please Vote!

The ETC Dual Cabinet Cooler Systems work in conjunction with EXAIR’s UL listed Cabinet Cooler Systems which provide cooling for your electrical enclosures without the use of refrigerant based coolants or fans.   The Cabinet Cooler Systems utilize a compressed air driven Vortex Tube which uses compressed air. This cold compressed air is exhausted into the enclosure which results in a cool working environment for your electronics. Warm air from inside the enclosure is vented safely back out of the cabinet through built in exhausts and the compressed air is only utilized when the internal air temperature reaches the digitally set temperature on the ETC.

How the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System Works
How the EXAIR Cabinet Cooler System Works

Another added benefit of the ETC on the Cabinet Cooler system is the real time readout of the internal air temperature of your enclosures.  This is on top of the push button set point which will give you a +/-2°F ambient temperature inside of your enclosure.

EXAIR ETC Dual Cabinet Cooler System
EXAIR ETC Dual Cabinet Cooler System

The ETC Dual Cabinet Cooler Systems are designed for larger heat loads ranging from 3,400 BTU/hr. to 5,600 BTU/hr.   The units are available in NEMA 12, NEMA 4, and NEMA 4X ratings.   This means whether you are in a fairly clean environment or a dirty, hot, muggy environment, EXAIR has you covered.

If you would like to discuss either the ETC or the Cabinet Cooler Systems, please contact an Application Engineer.   If you would like to vote for our products, please check out the Plant Engineering Product of the Year page here.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager

Heat Causes the Same Problems Worldwide

For us in the US, cold spells and static problems are rampant.  We have nor’easters hitting the East Coast and passing over the Midwest, blankets of cold, dry air, and a host of production processes that are effected by the seasonal temperature changes.

And, for the inches of snow in the Northern hemisphere, our Southern hemisphere counterparts are experiencing their summer heat waves.  Recently, I received a request from one of our Southern hemisphere distributors with a summer-specific overheating condition.

Devices Inside an Electrical Panel
Internal components of overheating enclosure

The problem was during the summer months, when ambient temperatures creep upward and spike occasionally, the electrical devices within the panel (shown above) would overheat.  The overheat condition would trip out the electronics and drives.  So, what did the end user do?

Current cooling solution for cabinet
On-site solution before implementing High Temperature Cabinet Cooler solution

They left the panel door open just a bit to vent the heat.  And, in doing so they allow anything in the surrounding area to enter the enclosure, posing risk to the sensitive electronics inside.

In this case, the root cause of the problem was traced to spiking ambient temperatures.  And with the spike in temperature, a normal Cabinet Cooler system was not going to be sufficient, so a High Temperature Cabinet Cooler system was recommended.  (High Temperature Cabinet Cooler systems can accommodate for increased ambient and compressed air temperatures.)

Although this application came from a country in the throes of summer, the same condition can be present in any facility.  If you have an enclosure with an overheat condition, contact an EXAIR Application Engineer for a solution.

Lee Evans
Application Engineer

Cabinet Cooler Systems Vs. Refrigerant AC and Heat Exchangers

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