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 (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 (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 (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 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.