Heat Pipe Technology in Enclosure Cooling: Why You Need It

Heat_Pipe_Technology_in_Enclosure_Cooling-_Why_You_Need_ItAir to air heat exchangers use an innovative heat pipe technology that is simple, effective, and reliable. It’s ideal for situations where cooling is required for sealed enclosures when alternative methods of cooling, such as filtered fans or air conditioning, are not desirable or practical.

The heat pipe, the heart of an air to air heat exchanger, uses the evaporation of a refrigerant liquid to transfer heat from the bottom to the top of the heat pipe, where the heat is discharged to the ambient air. Aluminum fins are attached to the pipe to improve the conduction of heat; a vertically mounted tube simplifies the design, increases capacity, and ensures reliability. The only power required is for two air circulation fans: one to circulate cool air to the electrical enclosure and the other to remove hot air from the top of the heat pipe and discharge this heat to the environment.

Here are several reasons why you should consider heat pipe technology.

Greater Cooling Efficiency than Filtered Fans

Cooling fans rely on the heat absorbing capacity of ambient air blown through an electrical enclosure. The heat removal capacity is limited by the volume of air that can be blown through the cabinet and the ambient air temperature. An air to air heat exchanger achieves the same effect with much lower air volumes.

Closed Loop Cooling

Unlike filtered fans, an air to air heat exchanger uses closed loop cooling technology and allows the use of a sealed electrical enclosure. This obviates the need for filters and ensures that no dirt gets into the electrical enclosure.

Low Energy Consumption

The heat pipe itself requires no external power, and all that’s required is power for the two relatively small circulation fans. Energy consumption is low, and the air to air heat exchanger is ideal for use with enclosures that have limited power supply capacity, such as communication enclosures. If used in remote areas, the economical fans can be readily powered by solar power. Various supply voltages are available.


An air to air heat exchanger is compact and well suited for fitting to small electrical enclosures. Models are available that are only 16.5 inches high by 11 inches wide by 3.5 inches deep.


Heat pipe technology is relatively quiet with the only sound coming from the extremely efficient circulation fans. This feature makes them ideal for environments where noise is an issue. Air to air heat exchangers are considerably quieter than enclosure air conditioners and a lot quieter than ventilation fans sized to have the equivalent heat removal capacity.

Maintenance Free

Heat pipe technology is virtually maintenance free as there are no moving parts except for the circulation fans. The only maintenance that is required is the occasional removal of any dirt and dust that accumulates on the aluminum fins of the heat pipe.

Unlike filtered fans and air conditioners, there’s no need to fit filters to the air circulation fans so there’s no risk of losing capacity due to clogged filters.

NEMA 4 and 4X Weather and Corrosion Protection

In addition to the standard NEMA type 12 sealed enclosure models, air to air heat exchangers are available that are designed for use in harsh environments. These include NEMA type 4 enclosures that are weatherproof and wash-down protected and NEMA type 4X models that are designed for use in polluted and corrosive environments. NEMA type 4X models have corrosion-resistant stainless steel housings.

Find Out More

Thermal Edge air to air heat exchangers provide many of the benefits of enclosure air conditioners at a fraction of the cost, and they outperform filter fan systems. If heat pipe technology will solve your enclosure cooling problems, contact our Sales Team for additional information.