Why Custom Often Isn’t Necessary for an Electrical Enclosure Cooling System


why-custom-often-isnt-necessary-for-an-electrical-enclosure-cooling-systemThe market for custom cabinet or enclosure air conditioners is growing as applications become more unique, such as pole mounted heavily loaded electrical cabinets, mobile equipment, and electrical control panels in dusty areas with intense solar radiation.

The use of customized cabinet cooling systems sometimes leads to a number of issues including reliability.  The assumption that a customized electrical cabinet needs a custom cabinet cooling solution is not necessarily correct.

Downsides of Custom Cabinet Cooling Systems

Custom cooling systems are designed to suit specific, one-off applications and each solution is inherently different. This one-off manufacturing approach may have several shortcomings:

  • Reliability: An enclosure air conditioner needs to be reliable as failure means the enclosure it is protecting will overheat. A one-off design is usually less reliable than standardized off-the-shelf designs that have been rigorously tested.

  • Higher cost: The cost to manufacture a customized unit is considerably higher than a standardized unit.

  • Lead time: Custom solutions invariably have longer lead times.

  • Replacement time: Replacement of a customized unit takes time due to the lead time needed to manufacture a replacement; this could lead to plant downtime.

Using a Standard System

Although there are some situations when a custom cabinet cooling system is the only viable solution, in most cases standard off-the-shelf systems are available that will suit the particular application. Advantages of choosing a standard solution include:

  • High reliability due to standardized design: Companies such as Thermal Edge devote considerable resources to refine their designs and ensure they are fit for purpose. Using standardized manufacturing techniques, they identify and eliminate design problems to ensure high reliability.

  • Adaptability: Standardized designs exist that cater to almost the full range of environmental conditions likely to be found, including hazardous areas, corrosive situations, and harsh ambient conditions.

  • Compact designs: Thermal Edge’s range of models includes extremely compact designs with different configurations, giving designers the freedom to select units that suit their requirements.

  • Condensate disposal: Removal of condensate is an important aspect of the design of an enclosure air conditioner. The traditional solution of draining water from the air conditioner is undesirable as it usually collects on the floor adjacent to the enclosure and poses a safety risk to personnel. Thermal Edge’s standard solution of evaporating condensate removes this risk.

Is Custom Necessary?

In most cases, a standard off-the-shelf cabinet cooling system can be used, avoiding the higher cost, longer lead times, and potential reliability issues of custom solutions. Before selecting your next enclosure cooling system, contact Thermal Edge’s Support Team and see how their standardized solutions can meet your unique application needs.