Avoid 4 Common Electrical Cabinet Cooling System Mistakes

Right and wrong - How to Avoid 4 Common Electrical Cabinet Cooling System Mistakes

Electrical cabinet cooling systems are critical components of electrical enclosures that enable equipment to work within their allowable temperature range and prevent them from failing. Any mistakes made in the selection and sizing process of these cooling systems can keep them from operating optimally and therefore delivering improper or insufficient cooling to your electrical equipment. Here are some common mistakes made with electrical cabinet cooling systems and how to avoid them:

1. Wrong Choice of Electrical Cabinet Cooling Systems

A cabinet fan cannot provide the cooling capacity for an application that demands a closed-loop cooling system. An enclosure air conditioner may be overkill for an application that can be cooled with just a cabinet fan. The selection of the right electrical cabinet cooling system can be the difference between an ideally cooled enclosure that lowers your operating, service and maintenance costs, and an improperly cooled enclosure that hikes up your energy bills. The ambient temperature, locational parameters and the heat dissipated by your equipment need to be factored in during the system selection process. For first-time buyers, it is prudent to consult a cooling system manufacturer and learn about different options for your application that are best suited for your equipment and your finances.

2. Neglecting the Effect of Equipment Layout in Filtered Fan Selection

Filtered fans are the simplest and most economic of all electrical cabinet cooling systems. However, improper sizing of these fans can be quite an expensive mistake for your business. At first glance, the process of choosing an enclosure fan may seem straightforward, but it requires detailed analysis. Since enclosure fans rely on ambient air for cooling the equipment, care has to be taken to ensure that the airflow provides convective heat transfer to all hot regions within the enclosure. The filters and the layout of equipment in the enclosure can determine the CFM of the cooling fan. A CFD simulation of the enclosure can provide an insight into the areas that are not exposed to convective heat transfer. Placing internal circulating fans, reducing the system resistance, and increasing the CFM can usually eliminate thermal hotspots (regions not cooled by convective heat transfer due to poor airflow) in the enclosure.

3. Environmental Factors Ignored While Calculating the Cooling Capacity of Air Conditioners

Selecting and sizing an enclosure air conditioner has to be a carefully planned process. Throwing caution to the wind and guessing the size of your air conditioner can be devastating to your equipment. An undersized air conditioner provides improper cooling, runs all the time, and increases the risk of your equipment failing. An oversized air conditioner can fail to maintain a consistent enclosure temperature. Therefore, the total heat load in your enclosure has to be calculated, based on which, the air conditioner cooling capacity can be chosen. During this process, it is very important to consider the solar heat gain, heat transfer into the enclosure due to ambient temperature, and the effect of other heat sources such as blast furnaces or other industrial equipment in the vicinity of the enclosure, in addition to the heat dissipated by the equipment.

4. Ignoring the Need for Options or Accessories for Cooling Systems

Enclosure air conditioners are very efficient electrical cabinet cooling systems but even their stock designs are not capable of fulfilling the requirements of all applications. Some applications need specialized options. For instance, hazardous duty air conditioners are designed for use in petrochemical plants and coal mines where the ambient air could be flammable. In flour mills, cement plants, wood and paper processing plants, the environmental air is highly polluted. Protecting the air conditioner from the ill effects of pollutants requires the use of extended capacity filters that can withstand corrosion. It is important to evaluate the environmental conditions to ensure that your equipment is well protected.

Selecting an efficient electrical cabinet cooling system can be crucial to your business. It can reduce operating costs and protect your equipment. To learn more about electrical cabinet cooling system options that reduce costs and protect equipment, contact the technical sales team at Thermal Edge. Our experts will work with you through the whole process of selecting the right system for your application, sizing the system and determining the need for options that may better serve your equipment.