How to Find the Most Efficient Enclosure Air Conditioner

Finding the most efficient enclosure air conditioner for your industrial application is crucial to maximizing performance and lowering long term operational costs.

Finding the most efficient enclosure air conditioner for your industrial application is crucial to maximizing performance and lowering long term operational costs.

Taking time to thoroughly evaluate all options before purchasing an air conditioner for your enclosure can save money in the long run by reducing utility costs and extending the life and reliability of your electrical components.

The cooling efficiency of an enclosure air conditioner is influenced by both internal and external factors. Internal factors encompass components used in air conditioner design such as a highly efficient rotary compressor and the expansion device type. External factors are environmental conditions at the operation’s location where dust and temperatures impact efficiency. As the ambient temperature increases, the BTU/H cooling capacity of the air conditioner decreases.

Additional Factors Influencing Cooling Efficiency

The following guidelines will assist in the decision making process before purchasing the most efficient enclosure air conditioner for your application:

Sizing an Air Conditioner and Enclosure for Efficiency

Once the heat load has been calculated and the maximum ambient temperature is known, a properly sized air conditioner can be chosen for your particular application. An efficient air conditioner dehumidfies the enclosure, offering long term protection for your costly electrical components.

Undersized enclosure air conditioners may run continuously and fail to adequately cool your electrical components to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Constant air conditioner load can shorten the compressor’s life span resulting in increased operating expenses.
Oversized enclosure air conditioners have a higher initial cost and may struggle to maintain consistent temperature levels inside the enclosure due to frequent on-off cycling, potentially damaging sensitive electrical components. An on-off cycling air conditioner runs less efficiently and can also shorten the life of the compressor.

The Value of a Thermal Expansion Valve (TXV)

To help battle fluctuating temperatures, selecting an air conditioner equipped with a thermal expansion valve as opposed to one with only a capillary tube has advantages. A thermal expansion valve can adjust the refrigerant flow to accommodate a broad ambient temperature range allowing the unit to operate more efficiently in changing conditions.

Using Condensation to Reduce Energy Costs

An enclosure air conditioner equipped with an efficient condensate evaporation system offers two valuable benefits.  Normally occurring condensation is channeled from the evaporator coil to a collection pan at the base of the unit keeping all the condensate in one place avoiding the potential for hazardous leakage inside the enclosure.

A properly designed cooling system positions the hot gas refrigerant line in such a way to evaporate the collected condensate which is then vented to the environment with the condenser fan. At the same time, the hot gas is cooled prior to entering the condenser coil, allowing the compressor to work less hard and increasing overall efficiency.

Proper Air-Flow for Better Long-Term Performance

Enclosure air conditioners require adequate air-flow over the condenser coil in order to run efficiently. A restricted condenser filter causes the air flow temperature to rise, reducing the effective cooling capacity of the air conditioner.

Having an enclosure air conditioner with a thoughtfully designed interior is crucial for easy maintenance.  Air filters should be easily accessible and have adequate capacity for the application. In very dusty environments a standard filter may quickly clog up but having an optional larger pleated filter will extend the service life keeping the condenser coil and fan blade cleaner for maximum efficiency.

Additional Features to Help Increase Efficiency

Before selecting an enclosure air conditioner, consider including options that will increase the efficiency of your package. A door kill switch turns the air conditioner off when the enclosure door is opened preventing continuous operation during maintenance.

Specifying remote alarm options will immediately notify you of any cooling failures which could lead to electrical component malfunctions.

Following these guidelines will help make finding the most efficient cooling system for your application easier, ensuring long term reliability and savings.

Choosing an Efficient Enclosure Air Conditioner

By using an efficient enclosure air conditioner, electrical components inside the cabinet will be operating at or below the manufacturer’s temperature specifications while using less energy and lowering long term operating costs. Always be sure to choose the right enclosure air conditioner for your application.

For more information about how to find an efficient enclosure air conditioner, contact the knowledgeable sales team at Thermal-Edge.