When Is the Ambient Temperature Too Hot to Rely on Air to Air Heat Exchangers for Enclosure Cooling?



When you are looking for an efficient method for enclosure cooling, a heat exchanger is a good solution for a few different reasons. Not only is a heat exchanger energy efficient, but it allows you to maintain a completely closed loop enclosure cooling solution. The way a heat exchanger operates is by employing a heat pipe principle to exchange heat from an electrical enclosure to the outside. The waste heat is actually the engine that drives the system.

When to Use an Air to Air Heat Exchanger

A few reasons you may want to consider using an air to air heat exchanger include:

  • The potential for contamination is high. Filtered fans, although more cost efficient, introduce dirt and contamination into every electrical enclosure using them

  • Electrical equipment like drives and PLCs are especially susceptible to failure from dirt, dust and other particles, which means you should opt for heat exchangers when working with this equipment

  • Lower cost than air conditioners

  • Energy efficiency – air to air heat exchangers use little more power than a filtered fan system

  • You would like to easily mount a cooling unit on an enclosure.

When Is the Ambient Temperature Too Hot for Air to Air Heat Exchangers?

When applicable, an air to air heat exchanger is a cost and energy efficient cooling method for electrical enclosures. However, heat exchangers, like filtered fans, will only maintain the enclosure temperature at a level above the ambient temperature.  The temperature difference depends on the capacity of the heat exchanger selected.

With this in mind, electrical components have minimum and maximum operating temperatures. Therefore, the heat exchanger capacity should be selected so that the enclosure temperature is no higher than the maximum operating temperature specifications of the electrical components.  For Thermal Edge heat exchangers,  capacities range from 11 Watts/°C to 71.6 Watts/°C. The best way to select the heat exchanger capacity is to use the calculator on the Thermal Edge web site.

Thermal-Edge produces air to air heat exchangers that can deliver optimal enclosure cooling in a closed loop environment. For more information on the cooling solutions we have available for electrical enclosures, contact our sales team for an expert consultation.