Whether you have a recently installed system or are in the design phase, heat generated within your electrcal enclosure needs to be removed to ensure an efficient and long lifespan of the components being housed. Often, this is a secondary concern and may not be a priority at the onset. Overlooking this or waiting to address this later can prove to be a costly mistake. So, what are the common misconceptions or issues related to not addressing enclosure heat issues from the start?
Here are a few common reasons heat issues aren’t on the forefront:
- You aren’t sure where to start
Figuring out what type of unit and which cooling capacity to apply can seem like guesswork, and possibly an overwhelming task. However, a methodized approach can yield good results when you have a few guidelines to work with. Knowing what the highest temperature your internal components are rated for will give you an idea of what internal temperature you need to maintain. From there, consider factors such as the ambient temperature, internal heat load, solar gain and NEMA type required. Using these unique factors, a determination can be made regarding the proper unit for the application. Additionally, sizing programs specifically designed for enclosure cooling are available and will prove to be invaluable in helping guide you to the right solution. If you are still unsure of the best option, do not hesitate to contact a cooling expert who will be able to point you in the right direction.
- You believe it is better or easier to add cooling later
Considering cooling in the beginning is the best option. While the focus may be on other areas of system development, in the early design stages, cooling should be considered sooner rather than later so it can be designed into the entire application. The reason for this is available space gets used quickly and this often turns into a densely packed enclosure. This could lead to two major issues; the first is lack of proper airflow to allow cool air to reach critical components, and second, finding optimum locations for mounting cooling units becomes a major challenge. Therefore, accounting for this early in the design phase is very beneficial and can avoid certain issues that may have come up in the future.
- There aren’t heat related issues at the moment
Often, especially with outdoor applications, cooler temperatures may provide for trouble free operation, temporarily masking the effects of warmer ambient temperatures. However, in many climates, as the warm weather sets in, these higher temperatures will necessitate the introduction of active, rather than passive solutions. In most situations, an open cabinet door with fans blowing on the sensitive (and often expensive) contents is not a long-term fix. Additionally, in cases where environments are corrosive, this will not be an option regardless of the ambient temperature.
- You think the cost is high
Cooling systems enable most equipment to run at high efficiency and extend useful life. With the high cost of drives, motors and related components, this warrants the investment in cooling, as cooling units are often a fraction of the cost of the entire application or equipment that they are protecting. While avoiding proper cooling may save a few dollars initially, down the road, the problem will simply be transferred to the end user when systems fail and replacement parts are required. Therefore, making this initial investment can avoid costly downtime and other issues that are bound to arise in the future if a cooling system is overlooked.