Components housed in electrical enclosures are especially at risk to the dangers of condensation.We have all experienced a foggy morning when the dew covers the earth like a glistening blanket. This natural phenomenon occurs when warm, humid, daytime air yields to cooler nighttime temperatures. The temperature at which water vapor in the air condenses into a liquid is called the dew point. When the dew point is reached, the cooler air cannot hold the moisture it carries, and releases it through condensation. Since water is heavier than air, it settles to the ground, and forms on any surface that is cooler than the dew point.
Effects of Condensation
During normal operation, the ambient temperature combined with the heat produced from working components will typically keep the component temperatures above the dew point. While the need for cooling during peak operation is still necessary in most cases, during off-peak hours when equipment is shut down and ambient temperatures drop, the threat of condensation is greatly increased. With each day, the cycle of condensation and evaporation of moisture will begin to corrode sensitive electronics, and ultimately compromise the equipment.
What is the solution?
With the use of enclosure heaters, heat can be introduced to keep temperatures above the dew point. This is the case for both open and closed-loop applications. Enclosure heaters are economical, offer a low start-up cost, take up minimal space and are offered in a wide range of capacities. A number of styles are available, including fan heaters and PTC heaters.