Thermal management is gaining recognition as a ‘best practice’ for customers who are confronting the reality of overheating in their power and control panels. The arrival of warmer weather combined with heat producing electronics such as VFDs creates overheating problems in control panels causing a number of problems with VFDs, power supplies and other electronics.
- Elevated ambient air temperatures combined with increasingly higher heat loads from power and control devices leads to overheating
- Overheating sets up greater risk of electronics failure, and non-parametric performance including occasional drop outs
- The question many ask is ‘what is the process to assess risk, then take appropriate actions to address the underlying issues’?
EECO field personnel report that the above conditions are common across a range of customer applications especially in industries such as blast furnaces and foundries, heat treating, welding, paint ovens – in short anywhere heat producing equipment is in use. In some of those industries as many as 75% of the panels surveyed are operating at elevated temperatures increasing the risk of equipment performance issues. Nationally, the average for panels operating above accepted temperatures is around 30%.
We often are asked how to begin a thermal management program to understand and address underlying issues. Five of our best practices are summarized in our Best Practices for Thermal Management Infographic (below).
The infographic gives you a snapshot view of best practices that will help you address and take appropriate action to resolve these issues, including some helpful values such as suggested maximum panel temperature, how to assess your panels and one of the best ideas we know of and endorse. That is, briefly, to maintain enclosure integrity. This best practice is particularly important where contaminants are present. It does little good to reduce internal panel temperatures if that means exposing electronics to dust and other contaminants.
You can download the 5 Best Practices infographic HERE.