The ideal time to decide what type of cabinet cooling system you want is during the design stage. This is the best time to make considerations such as cooling methods, heat load, cabinet layout and equipment choice. It’s also the stage at which environmental constraints and cabinet location implications can be evaluated.
The right cabinet cooling system depends on a number of factors. To make the right choice, the following tips could help.
1. Select Cabinet Shape and Size
Whatever cabinet cooling system you go for should be guided by the shape and layout of the equipment. Where fan cooling is used, gadgets that produce heat should be placed at the bottom since it is cooler there. If you choose a side-mounted cooling system, heat-producing gadgets should be placed next to the cool air inlet. Short and wide cabinets are recommended for fan cooling, while tall but narrow cabinets are ideal for side-mounted cooling systems. Enclosures with a large surface area are better at conducting heat than small enclosures.
2. Assess the Heat Load
To calculate the heat load of a cabinet cooling system, add the heat produced by each gadget or equipment. You can also calculate the heat produced by power converters such as rectifiers, transformers, converters, etc by subtracting the device from one (1-Efficiency) and multiplying the result by input voltage multiplied by the input current. Should the cabinet be stationed outdoors, solar heat will affect the overall heat load. Heat intensity can, however, be minimized by shielding the cabinet from sun rays.
3. Factor Ambient Conditions
Another consideration for choosing the right cabinet cooling system is the ambient weather. Determine what the maximum ambient temperature is. For outdoor installations, you can access this information from the local climate data. For indoors, identify heat sources and wherever possible have the air temperature measured. Other factors to consider when determining ambient conditions include establishing whether the location is too dirty or dusty. Risk of corrosion, humidity, and dew point are other factors that could determine the choice of a cooling system.
4. Choose Enclosure Temperature
The maximum enclosure temperature should be less than that of the most delicate equipment. Take a conservative approach to raise the safety margin by selecting an enclosure temperature lower than the highest temperature. For a majority of electrical equipment, 95 °F is ideal.
5. Calculate Enclosure Temperatures
You can calculate the capacity of a cabinet cooling system. The online calculator, ETM (Enclosure Temperature Management), is more accurate and easier to use than manual calculations.
6. Choose the Right Type of Cabinet Cooling Systems
You can choose from a closed loop or open loop cooling, both of which are air-to-air heat exchangers. Open loop cooling uses filtered fans to circulate outside air into the enclosure. For closed loop cooling, the enclosure circuit features a separate cooling circuit. If the heat load is too high, or the ambient temperature is higher than that within the enclosure, you might want to use an enclosure air conditioner. During the cold weather, you can use an air conditioner with a heater option to keep condensation out.
Choosing the right cabinet cooling system requires a thorough understanding of ambient and enclosure temperatures. You can avoid most enclosure cooling complications by designing cabinet cooling systems that meet your specific needs. The design layout, size and shape determine the type of cabinet cooling system you should go for.
The right cabinet cooling system depends on among other factors ambient temperature, equipment heat, enclosure temperatures, and cabinet shape and size. Whatever your equipment cooling needs are will determine the type of cabinet cooling system you should invest in.