The Risks of High Internal Electrical Enclosure Heat Load

electrical-enclosures-high-internal-heatIn most cases, the primary source of heat in an electrical enclosure is the components inside. Sometimes solar heat gain or an extremely high ambient temperature can also contribute to high internal enclosure temperatures, but most of the time it’s the components themselves that are their own worst enemies.

The internal heat load of an electrical enclosure is calculated by adding up all the maximum heat dissipation specifications for every component in the enclosure. Given the large number of components in most enclosures, that number can add up quite quickly. When the internal heat load generates temperatures higher than the temperature at which the components can safely operate, potential problems can arise.

Dangers of High Internal Heat Loads

As the heat increases in an electrical enclosure, the potential dangers also increase. Some of the risks of allowing an internal heat load to get too high include:

  • Equipment damage – When the temperature is too high for certain components, they can become damaged and require repair.
  • Equipment failure – In some cases, heat might cause your equipment to fail altogether, which often means you must have it replaced.
  • Shortened equipment life – When components have to work harder because of high heat, and when parts become more quickly worn, the lifetime of your equipment may be shortened without you even realizing it. Get a better return on your investments by installing an appropriately sized cooling system.
  • Fire – In extreme cases, excess heat can lead to fire in an electrical enclosure, which can potentially cause damage to other components in the enclosure and to surrounding equipment.

Of course, none of these potential problems can be solved for free. Equipment repair or replacement is not only expensive in terms of parts and labor, but also in terms of production or service downtime and lost revenues.

The best solution to avoid the potential problems created by high internal enclosure heat loads is a properly sized cooling system. Depending on the ambient temperature, you might install a filtered fan, heat exchanger, or air conditioner to reduce the internal temperature of your electrical enclosure. This will not only help prevent component failure, but will also help lengthen equipment life and keep your operations running more smoothly.

If you need to determine the internal heat load of an electrical enclosure, or if you know you are ready to implement a cooling solution, work with the professionals at Thermal Edge. We’ll help you select the best system for your application. Contact us today to get your free quote.