Why Enclosure Air to Air Heat Exchangers Are Best for Hazardous Locations

enclosure-air-to-air-heat-exchanger-hazardous-locationWhen electrical enclosures are located in hazardous areas, special care must be taken to ensure that the delicate components inside are protected from both heat and the surrounding environment. The environment itself must also be protected from electrical arcing that might ignite airborne contaminants. Limiting exposure to personnel in hazardous environments is also a priority, so any cooling system that is used should require little or no maintenance.

The best way to ensure that both people and equipment are protected is with closed-loop cooling electrical enclosure systems like air to air heat exchangers.

Hazardous Locations

Hazardous locations might present the following risks to electrical equipment and personnel:

  • Flammable liquids or gasses
  • Combustible particles in the air

In addition to the potentially hazardous materials in the ambient air, electrical components are also at risk of corrosion, condensation, and sudden temperature changes. Some of the applications where hazardous locations might be present include:

  • Refineries
  • Dry cleaning facilities
  • Aircraft hangars
  • Grain elevators and silos
  • Coal processing plants
  • Manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, candy, fireworks, and plastics

These are just a few examples of industries that work with combustible particles and/or flammable materials. Many other types of industries have hazardous locations in which electrical components must be protected.

Using Air to Air Heat Exchangers

Air to air heat exchangers provide electrical enclosure cooling in a closed-loop system. This is important because it does not allow air from the surrounding environment to enter the enclosure. The closed-loop system also ensures that electrical components cannot react with external materials to cause fires or explosions due to electrical arcing.

Heat pipe technology transfers heat from inside the enclosure to the air outside without exposing electrical components to potentially hazardous elements. Because they require very little maintenance and do not have exposed moving parts, heat pipes are an excellent choice for hazardous location operations. Unlike a filtered fan system, no filter changes are required, making continuous operation possible without regularly exposing maintenance personnel to the hazardous environment.

Thermal Edge provides air to air heat exchangers without on/off switches for hazardous locations. The motors also have sealed overload protection to prevent electrical arcing. If you’re not sure what type of electrical enclosure cooling system is right for your application, we can help you make an appropriate selection based on the ambient environment, the heat load of the enclosure, and the required cooling capacity of the system. Contact us today to learn more or to get your free quote.

In what types of hazardous locations do you have electrical enclosures?