What to Look When Choosing a Cabinet Cooling System for Digital Signage


Digital signs are a major part of the modern world. They direct the regular flow of traffic, let drivers know when the conditions ahead are about to change, and allow marketers to change their messaging at will. 

The consequences of equipment failure make it essential to select a cooling solution that is both reliable and properly suited for the application at hand. Although losing power to a flashy billboard may not be a disaster, critical messaging on road signs is a different story.

Cabinet Cooling Systems for Digital Signage

As the technology for digital signs has evolved, the demands of cabinet cooling systems have changed accordingly. Larger bandwidths and increased power consumption result in more heat generation, which must be considered when selecting an enclosure air conditioner. Solar heat gain in outdoor applications is also a factor that must not be overlooked when evaluating cabinet cooling systems. 

Some of the factors to consider when selecting an enclosure air conditioner for digital signage include:

  • Sealed system – Airborne contaminants in the surrounding environment can enter an electrical enclosure and settle on the components inside if the system is not sealed. The same is true of rain and snow that is carried by the wind. Most outdoor applications require a NEMA Type 4 enclosure that is designed to be weatherproof. A Type 4X enclosure has added protection against corrosion and is the best option near bodies of salt water.

  • Condensate drainage – Many applications cannot tolerate an enclosure cooling system that drains to the outdoors. Consider a roadside sign that is placed in a median in winter. If the condensate is allowed to drain, it can flow into the road and freeze into an unsafe icy patch. Look for a cabinet cooling system with a reliable condensate evaporation package to avoid potential drainage problems.

  • Security – Depending on the location, digital signage may be subject to tampering. If this is the case for your application, make sure your cooling solution has controls located inside the cabinet and a locking system that prevents unauthorized personnel from opening it.

  • MaintenanceMany air conditioners are equipped with condenser filters to support maximum cooling efficiency.  If the digital sign is located in remote location, an optional extended capacity filter is a good idea.

  • Remote Control and MonitorLook for an air conditioner with a digital controller that can communicate with a PLC or a personal computer over a local area network. This will allow you to monitor the temperature inside the cabinet and the operation of the air conditioner, and change settings as needed.   

The first step when selecting a cabinet cooling system for digital signage is determining the required cooling capacity. This calculation takes into account the heat produced by the components inside and the ambient conditions, including solar heat gain in outdoor environments. Because the conditions can vary dramatically in an outdoor application, it is important to have this calculation performed by an experienced professional.

Thermal Edge is here to help you with all of your electrical enclosure cooling needs. The BTUH calculator on our web site will accurately calculate the required cooling capacity for your application.  Contact us today to get started; the earlier we are involved in the process, the more likely you are to have the best solution.