Let’s Size A Cabinet Cooler System!

I can’t remember the last time I put an exclamation point in the title of my blog, but it was probably the last time I got to talk about doing math. Or write about heat transfer.  Insert your favorite engineer joke here…I’m sure I have it coming.

We’re in the dog days of summer (in the Northern Hemisphere) for sure…or, as we call it, “Cabinet Cooler Season.”  If you’re having heat related problems with a control panel, give us a call; we can help.  If you’d like to know what we’re going to talk about, read on.

Heat can cause real problems for electrical and electronic components, in a hurry…we all know that.  Fortunately, we can also specify the right Cabinet Cooler System for you in a hurry too.  And since we keep them all in stock, we can get it to you in a hurry as well.

You can access our Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide online, here.  You can fill in the blanks and submit it, or you can call in your data.  We do it over the phone all the time, and it only takes a minute.  Here’s what we’re going to ask for, and why:

Enclosure dimensions.  We need the length, width, and height of your enclosure to calculate the heat transfer surface, and the volume of the enclosure.

Current Internal Air Temperature.  How hot is it inside your enclosure?  This is the starting point for figuring out the internal heat load…how much heat the components inside the box is generating.  This needs to be the air temperature – don’t use a heat gun, or you’re going to give me the surface temperature of something that may or may not be close to what I need.  Just put a thermometer in there for a few minutes.

Current External Air Temperature.  How hot is it in the area where the enclosure is located?  We’re going to compare this to the internal air temperature…the difference between the two is actually proportional to the heat load.  Also, if there’s anything cooling the enclosure right now (like circulating fans; more on those in a minute,) this reading is key to figuring out how much heat they’re removing.

Maximum External Air Temperature.  How hot does it get in the area on, say, the hottest day of summer?  We’ll need this to calculate the external heat load…how much heat the enclosure picks up from its surroundings.

Maximum Internal Temperature Desired.  Most electrical and electronic component manufacturers publish a maximum operating temperature of 104F (40C) – it’s kind of an “industry standard.”  Based on this, a lot of us in the enclosure cooling business set our products’ thermostats to 95F (35C) – if we’re maintaining the air temperature a decent amount cooler than the components are allowed to get, history and practice has shown that we’re going to provide more than adequate protection.  If your enclosure houses something with more sensitive temperature limitations, though, we can work with that too…that’s the only time you’re going to want to put something other than 95F (35C) in this field.

Cabinet Rating.  This is all about the environment…we offer three levels of protection, per NEMA standards:

NEMA 12 – oil tight, dust tight, indoor duty.

NEMA 4 – oil tight, dust tight, splash resistant, indoor/outdoor duty.

NEMA 4X – oil tight, dust tight, splash resistant, corrosion resistant, indoor outdoor duty.

The NEMA rating does not affect the cooling capacity at all.

Other:  If the enclosure is mounted to the side of a machine, or a wall in the plant, you really don’t need to put anything here.  If it’s outside and exposed to direct sunlight, tell us what the surface finish (i.e., polished metal, painted grey, etc.) is so that we can account for solar loading too.  If anything else is unusual or peculiar about the application, let us know that too.

My Cabinet Is…Not Vented, Vented, Wall Mounted, Free Standing, Fan(s).  We’ll use what you tell us here to verify heat transfer surface (a wall mounted cabinet’s back surface isn’t a radiative surface, for example.)  Also, I mentioned fan cooling before, so without further ado…

Fan diameter or SCFM.  If there are fans circulating air into (and/or out of) the enclosure, they’re providing a finite amount of cooling right now.  Proper installation of a Cabinet Cooler System is going to require their removal.  Running a Cabinet Cooler System on a vented enclosure is just like running your air conditioner with the windows open.  So, if we know the size (or the SCFM…sometimes there’s a label on those fans, and we LOVE those folks who do that) then we can use that, and the temperatures you gave us above, to take the fan cooling into account.

Once we have all this information, it’s down to the math. Like I said, we do this all the time (especially during “Cabinet Cooler Season”) – give me a call.  Your heat problem isn’t waiting; why should you?

Before I go…here’s a nice little video, walking you through the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide.  Yes, I just made you read the book before watching the movie…feel free to tell me which one you liked better.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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EXAIR Cabinet Coolers are Ideal for Keeping Electronics Cool

Here in Southwest Ohio, high temperatures have consistently been in the low-to-mid 90s for the last couple weeks. Temperatures that high mean it’s time to stay inside and crank up the A/C or head to the nearest swimming pool.

For the electronic control panels in your facility you’ll want to take a different approach. Traditional refrigerant-based air conditioners for electronic panels can be installed, but they’ll require long installation periods, maintenance and higher purchase prices. Refrigerant-based systems must be constantly monitored to replace filters, clean condensers, and checking the compressors to prevent any failure. As for tossing your control panel into a swimming pool to cool off, well I’ll let you be the judge of why that’s a bad idea 😉.

DualCCETC
EXAIR’s Dual Cabinet Cooler With Electronic Temperature Controller

The best solution for keeping your electronics cool is an EXAIR Cabinet Cooler. With nothing more than a supply of compressed air to operate, the Cabinet Cooler installs in minutes through a standard electrical knockout. It has no moving parts to wear out, and when supplied with filtered compressed air the Cabinet Cooler requires absolutely NO maintenance. For higher temperature applications in extreme ambient conditions, we also have High Temperature Cabinet Coolers available.

Just last month we hosted a Webinar discussing Cabinet Coolers as the Intelligent Solution for Compressed Air Cooling. If you happened to miss it, you’re not too late!! Click here for a replay of the Webinar on the EXAIR website.

webinar-on-demand

To  which size Cabinet Cooler is right for you, complete the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide online. One of the EXAIR Application Engineers will then be able to determine the cooling capacity required based on the conditions of your cabinet. In less than 24 hours, you’ll have a response from us with the recommended model. With all Cabinet Cooler Systems available from stock, you can get one shipped out to you right away!

CCSizingGuide2016
You can submit your data via email or fax, or you can call an EXAIR Application Engineer for immediate assistance.

IF you need a faster turn-around than that – call us or chat online and we will get the process started immediately. These products are in stock and ready to ship same day to solve your problem. Don’t wait until it’s too late, EXAIR’s Cabinet Cooler is THE solution for maintaining the temperature inside of your electronic enclosures.

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

What Is A NEMA Rating?

With the Summer heat upon us here in Ohio the inquiries for our Cabinet Cooler Systems are increasing by the day.  A question we always ask customers with Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guides is, “What NEMA Type is your enclosure?”  There are quite a few times where no one truly knows what a NEMA rating is. So what exactly is a NEMA rating?

NEMA is the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, one of the many standards they publish is the NEMA rating standard for electrical enclosures up to 1000 Volts.  This standard is where NEMA Types such as 12, 4, and 4X come from (you will also see an international standard reference as “IP”, more on that later).  It categorizes the enclosures by their ability to protect the internal components from things such as corrosion, dust, oil, even external air quality. These standards are reviewed every five years and the last review was done in 2013.  The reviews are generally based on improving safety, clarity of the standard, and testing methods.

So what NEMA ratings does EXAIR offer?  For our Cabinet Cooler Systems, EXAIR offers three very common NEMA types to try an offer a selection to fit the needs that we most commonly encounter.  The NEMA types and their descriptions are below.   For a full list of the Non-hazardous location NEMA enclosure types, click on this link.

EXAIR NEMA 12 Cabinet Cooler System w/ Side Mount Kit

Type 12 (IP54): General purpose, indoor use.  Protects against falling dirt and circulating dust, lint, fibers, and flyings.  Protects against ingress of dripping and splashing water. Rust-resistant Type 12 enclosures do not include knockouts.

 

EXAIR NEMA Type 4 Cabinet Cooler System
EXAIR NEMA Type 4 Cabinet Cooler System

Types 4, 4X (IP66): Water-tight, dust-tight, sleet-resistant.  Resistant to windblown dust.  Indoor or outdoor use.  Also provides protection against splashing and hose-directed water.  The “X” designation indicates corrosion-resistance.

EXAIR's High Temp Cabinet Cooler Systems

The EXAIR Cabinet Cooler Systems also reference an equivalent IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), IP code.   This is a code from the IEC system which specifies the ingress protection which classifies and rates the degree of protection provided against intrusion (body parts such as hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures. They are a two digit number that represents the level of protection against physical objects and he ingress of water.   Coorelation between NEMA ratings and IP codes is not always possible.  EXAIR has ensured that we also meet the equivalent IP codes shown in the NEMA descriptions above.

If you have a hot enclosure and you are not sure how much cooling is needed or what the NEMA type is, contact us.  We will gladly help you gather the information needed to calculate the heat load requirements and help determine the correct NEMA rating.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

What If Your Cabinet Is In An Extremely Hot Area?

As the weather starts to warm up we have already started getting calls about customers that are preparing for Summer time by installing Cabinet Cooler Systems on their enclosures.   This is not a lengthy process, in fact, we can hold races in the office to see who can do the calculations the fastest.  If we have a few simple pieces of information, we can even do the calculations and have a recommendation for the correct Cabinet Cooler System for your cabinet while you are on the phone with us.  What kind of information might we need you ask, just take a look at the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide below.  The only tools you will need are a tape measure and a thermometer.

EXAIR's Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide
EXAIR’s Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide

So what happens if your ambient external air temperature is above 125°F?  For EXAIR, that is not a problem.  We offer a full line of High Temperature Cabinet Cooler Systems.  These are ideal for those really hot environments that may be near a furnace, boiler, or other hot process.  The best part is, we will know whether this is needed without you even having to ask for it.  All we need is the information on the Sizing Guide.

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EXAIR’s Dual High Temp Cabinet Cooler System Stands Up To Extreme Conditions

 

Whether your enclosure is in an everyday machine shop, out building with pumps and sensors, or right next to a steel mill, EXAIR will provide the best possible solution to keep the internals safe. Don’t let the summertime heat sneak up on you and cause you problems all you have to do is contact myself, or any one of my team members and we will help as quickly as possible.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

What’s an EXAIR?

Sometimes taking customer’s phone calls remind me of an Abbott and Costello bit (but I have to be Costello). Conversations can feel a bit like twenty questions. Instead of opening with mineral, vegetable, or animal, customers call in wanting more information on an “EXAIR”.  For our brand manager and marketing department, it is a clear sign that what they are doing is working, but to me can be a bit confusing.

Before you start thinking I don’t know my product, please remember an “EXAIR” can be quite few things. We make the broadest variety of problem solving end-use compressed air products for industry which equates to many possibilities of what an “EXAIR” may be. Is it an Air Nozzle, an Air Knife, an Air Wipe, an Air Amplifier, an Atomizing Spray Nozzle, a Safety Air Gun, a Static Eliminator, a Vacuum Generator, a Line Vac, an Industrial Vacuum, a Vortex Tube, a Cold Gun, or a Cabinet Cooler?   Unfortunately, with no moving parts to wear out, our products sometimes will outlast their labels, so the customers don’t have anymore information. Then, I have to ask what the product does.

So I ask the customer, “does the EXAIR blow off, vacuum, clean, dry, cool, convey, evacuate, coat, divert, dust, float, open, lift, purge, or spray?”

And then I wait for the customer’s detailed and eloquent response…”It works”, they sometimes say. But most of the time they respond with all of the details or enough to determine what product they have. In, in the end, an “EXAIR” is generally a Cabinet Cooler or a Vortex Tube (though it may be any of the above selection) – and we won’t complain that our company name can be so closely associated with our products.

We have so many products because compressed air is so versatile and useful.  We have taken our expertise in compressed air and used it to solve numerous problems for our customers. This is not as easy, as it sounds.  First, you need to know how well our compressed air products can perform. Second, you need to know what kind of performance the customer needs to get the job done. For instance when working on a Cabinet Cooler sizing exercise: A customer has a control box that is 24″ tall by  36″ wide by 12″ deep.  This box is reaching temperatures that cause the electronics to fail. Generally, this temperature is going to be between 110 degrees Fahrenheit to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature in the plant was 95 degrees Fahrenheit, when it failed.  The customer would now like a Cabinet Cooler System to protect his enclosure from future temperature failures.

To calculate the heat load of the electronics, first we need to calculate the surface area in square feet. In the example above that would be 22 square feet. Second, we need to calculate the temperature differential between the outside and the inside of the cabinet.  The maximum temperature differential is 130 F – 95 F, which is 35 degree differential. With the temperature differential chart from our website, we can calculate the BTU/HR per square foot.

Temperature Conversion Table

For our example, it would be 13.8 BTU/HR/ft^2. Multiply this by our surface area. Our Cabinet Cooler needs to cool at least 303.6 BTU/HR. Our 4308 Cabinet Cooler System would be a good cabinet cooler for this enclosure. It can cool 550 BTU/Hr. It is rated for a NEMA 12 enclosure to prevent dust and oil from entering the cabinet.

To help the customer, you have to first ask the right questions. Most of these questions are listed on the Cabinet Cooler Sizing Guide on our website. What is the internal air temperature in the cabinet? What is the ambient air temperature? Are their any fans in the cabinet? What is the NEMA rating for the Cabinet? Sometimes it is best to speak with an Application Engineer to know for sure you have your bases covered.

Dave Woerner
Application Engineer
DaveWoerner@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_DW