Air-conditioners for control cabinets
Devices located in control cabinets release significant amount of heat as a result of their operation. This might be amplified by small volumes of the cabinets. Situation like these may lead to overheating of the systems and their improper operation. What to do when a piece of equipment generates too much heat energy? Equip the cabinet with proper ventilation or air-conditioner.
What is an air-conditioner for a control cabinet?
Air-conditioners for control cabinets are devices installed inside the cabinets. They consist of a cooling system and a fan that distributes cool air inside the cabinet. They operate like household air-conditioners. A question might be asked does the airflow to the cabinet interior carry any contamination, dust, etc. that may interfere with the equipment operation. Often, a good air-conditioner designed for a control cabinet is equipped with a filter. It is to stop any contamination that might damage the systems inside the cabinets. Without a doubt, air-conditions provide dual benefits, firstly they cool air and secondly they purify it from dust and other contamination.
When an air-conditioner should be installed inside a cabinet?
In some cases, it is enough to provide good fan in a cabinet that will not be connected to an air-conditioner, but it will serve a function of an autonomous cooling device. In other cases, professional air-conditioners dedicated for control cabinets will be necessary. These are situations and conditions that should encourage to invest in control cabinets air-conditioners:
– very high ambient temperature e.g. as a result of the cabinet location in a production hall, where machines generate heat,
– significant amount of heat generated inside the cabinet,
– ambient air does not guarantee effective and safe exchange, e.g. because it is highly contaminated or humidity is too high,
– necessity to protect a given control cabinet,
– traditional exhaust fan is not efficient enough within a given cabinet; this may be caused by high heat generation.
In case of any doubts, investor may ask the control cabinet air-conditioners supplier for advice whether such solution is necessary in his / her case or fits his / her needs. Therefore, you are sure that this will be an efficient cooling method.
Where an air-conditioner should be located in a cabinet?
There are many opinions as to the location of an air-conditioner inside a cabinet. Air stream should not be directed directly to the devices is the most important hint. This may be dangerous and lead to interruptions of work. When it comes to air-conditioner positioning, fan grate should be placed at the bottom of the cabinet. Cold air is delivered through the said grate and it gradually heats up while flowing up the cabinet (cold air is heavier and flows down while warm air rises). In such a case, air outlet grate is provided at the top. Cool air from the fan raises and gradually heats up and cools the machines inside the cabinet. Then, warm air is removed and cooled down. There are opinions that cold air should be supplied to the cabinet from the top in order to fall down and cool the equipment. Of course, this depends on the type of devices, cabinet size and individual conditions. In case of doubts, consult with a company that installs the control cabinet air-conditioners. An important thing to remember is the space inside the cabinet. If you want to install an air-conditioner, the space requirement may be greater comparing to a case when no air-conditioner is installed.
What to look for when selecting control cabinet air-conditioner?
The air-conditioner selection procedure should be based on a few or a dozen of factors. When selecting an air-conditioner, pay attention to:
– type of the control cabinet, its size and material it is made of,
– temperature to achieve inside the cabinet and its variations,
– temperature inside the cabinet without air-conditioner and its variations,
– temperature around the cabinet and its variations,
– cabinet operation method and access to it.
Air-conditioner selection should mostly depend on the necessary cooling power. If more cooling power is necessary, then compressor-based air-conditioners are recommended. Otherwise, thermoelectrical air-conditioners are enough that are significantly smaller and resistant to external conditions. Do not forget that each and every air-conditioner should be selected to individual arrangement of cabinet devices.
To sum up, control cabinet air-conditioners provide devices inside the cabinet with proper temperature and prevent their overheating. They also filter air supplied to the cabinet and maintain fixed conditions without any temperature variations hazards.