Increase Enclosure Air Conditioner Filter Capacity 400% in Dusty Environments


Enclosure air conditioners rely on an adequate flow of air over the condenser coils to cool and condense hot refrigerant gas prior to its expansion through the evaporator. If the air flow is restricted because of blocked air filters, the condenser temperature increases, reducing the efficiency of the air conditioner. In extreme cases this leads to excessively high condenser temperatures and pressures, causing the compressor to trip.

The direct effect of a blocked air filter is poor electrical enclosure cooling, leading to high enclosure temperatures. Here’s how fitting a high capacity air filter will eliminate your overheating issues.

Dusty Environments

Standard air filters are intended for use in normal ambient environments that do not contain an excessive amount of dust. Under such conditions, the standard air filters fitted to Thermal Edge air conditioners are more than adequate and only need to be occasionally changed or cleaned.

However, in very dusty environments, such as those found in cement plants and other material handling plants, the pores of the standard filter quickly clog up. Although the filter size and capacity are adequate for normal use, once the filter becomes clogged with dirt, air flow is severely restricted.

Effect of Air Flow on Condenser Temperature

Refrigerant gas leaving the compressor is superheated. Initially, it’s cooled by the condensate evaporation bath, and by the time it reaches the condenser its temperature would normally be between 20 to 40 °F above ambient temperature.

As the gas flows through the condenser, it gives up any remaining superheat and condenses. During the condensation process, latent heat is released to the condenser. Depending upon environmental conditions, the condensed refrigerant liquid would normally be further cooled to a temperature close to the ambient air temperature.

With a restricted air flow, the condenser temperature rises because the latent heat is not removed and the condensation process takes place at a higher pressure, reducing the overall efficiency of the refrigeration process. This reduces the effective cooling capacity of the air conditioner.

400% Filters

To counter this effect, a 2-inch thick stainless steel filter will help to protect the cooling system. In Thermal Edge units, the filter’s mesh is pleated inside the filter housing to present four times the surface area of the standard filter. The 250-micron mesh has openings that are only ten-thousandths of an inch in diameter, thus preventing all but the finest dusts from passing through the filter element.

The filter is fitted in an open frame or a louvered frame that protects the filter from damage. Either type of frame is available with a slide out capability that permits the easy removal of the filter, or a security feature that requires the removal of four screws to remove the filter..

Tough and Durable

The increased surface area means the filter has a significantly longer service life than the standard filter and the tough stainless steel mesh resists abrasive dusts. Additionally, the mesh is corrosion-resistant so it may be used in locations where corrosive vapors are present. The filter can withstand water and may be used on NEMA 4X enclosures that are washed down by hose.

These filters are fully washable, and provided reasonable care is exercised, the filter is expected to last a long time.

400% Filters Maintain Air Conditioner Performance

Thermal Edge’s optional 2-inch stainless steel filter provides excellent protection against dirt, dust, and grime and is recommended for use in all situations where airborne contamination is high. The filter requires less frequent cleaning or replacement with heavy dust loads, and it’s compatible with most Thermal Edge air conditioner models.

If you are experiencing filter contamination leading to poor performance of your enclosure air conditioner, speak to our technical experts and they can show how to overcome the problem with the 2-inch filter.