Temperature control as well as reduction of heat are so important, even though they are the most overlooked aspects when it comes to the processing of designing enclosures. Any design should put into consideration thermal control mechanisms in the early stages of designing electrical enclosures. This will save you a lot of trouble when it comes to temperature-related issues in the near future. You have to put into consideration all the external aspects which might limit the natural airflow via the enclosure hence causing overheating.
How electrical components are affected by temperature
In case the temperature within the enclosure rises, it will also cause harm to the electrical components that are found within the enclosure. The minimal operating temperature for many of the electrical equipment ranges from 40ºC to 50ºC. When the internal temperature of most of the components rises, their lifespan will eventually drop.
Overheating can lead to leakage within the microprocessors of the integrated circuits. But this cannot lead to permanent damage. Normally industrial control units as well as components that are installed with capacitors are vulnerable to experiencing a shortened lifespan due to overheating.
Why do industrial control panels overheat?
There is a relationship between the temperature of control panel enclosures and the rate of heat generated within the panel as well as the rate of heat which is removed. When there is an increase in the usage of electronic as well as microprocessor-controlled electrical control gear increases, there is a high possibility that the control systems will produce extreme heat.
This will also be supported by an increase in the application of electronic gadgets that also generate extreme heat waste too. Also in case, there is extreme equipment within the control panel as well as negligible space, then the enclosure frequently heats up.
What is the effect of inadequate cooling?
There is a varying ability to operate properly when it comes to electrical control equipment when temperatures are high. Normally, the manufacturers rate the equipment for operation at high temperatures but you are advised that you should never exceed the set limit so as to prevent the equipment from suffering. Its lifespan will be shortened and precision components such as power supplies, controllers as well as precision measuring devices might suffer unwanted setpoint drift. Some of the microprocessor-controlled gadgets pose the possibility to malfunction when exposed to extreme temperatures. But once the temperature drops, everything may get back to normal.
Methods that will help you to maintain your enclosure’s temperature
- Passive cooling method
This consists of a convection method. Heat always moves from higher concentration to lower concentration, therefore enclosures have to be designed in such a way that they have vents that are strategically placed allowing hot air to escape and be replaced with cooler air. This method proves to work well when it comes to maintaining the temperature of electrical enclosures. However, its effectiveness depends on the enclosure location as it works if the exterior air stays permanently at a lower temperature as compared to the interior air. You will have to place air filters upon the vents so as to prevent dirt or dust from entering the enclosure interior.
- The active cooling method
This method can be implemented using two ways:
- The forced convection
In case the passive convection cannot work, you can install fans as well as blowers so that they can make the job done. This method is based upon the same principle that guides the convection where the fans push the air at a high speed via the enclosure, thus improving the cooling mechanism. Despite the fact that filters can be used in protecting the enclosures from being contaminated, but they are not capable of protecting the enclosure against extreme humidity variations.
- Heat exchangers/air conditioning
In case convection falls behind when cooling the enclosure or there are issues such as humidity, then you can turn to a closed-loop cooling method. There are heat exchangers that are known for having effective capabilities of cooling the air in colder environments in which humidity can affect the enclosure design. Air conditioners perform at their best when they have electrical enclosures installed in hot environmental areas.
- Other cooling methods
These methods consist of ventilation fans that work to remove heat from the enclosure. This is the best option in case the ambient temperature is below the required enclosure temperature. What you have to know is that fans are only able to remove heat. They cannot actively make the enclosure cool. In case you are using fans, you have to ensure that they are always installed with filters.
You can contact the Ecocircuitbreaker team so as to understand better on how you could maintain your electrical enclosures safe and cool. We have been in the industrial supplying electrical construction materials for many decades. Just contact us or visit our website for more information.