Vortex Cooling Unit ITSENCLOSURES IceStation Enclosure Cooling

Cooling for NEMA 4X Enclosures

When deploying enclosures in an environment with extreme temperatures, thermal management is critical. It is necessary for maintaining the optimum performance of electronics and for keeping a computer system protected from elevated levels of heat. Since a NEMA 4X enclosure requires a watertight seal, a unique set of challenges must be overcome when installing a NEMA 4X computer or printer enclosure. NEMA 4X enclosures are unable to utilize an open cooling system, meaning the cabinet requires a closed loop system that uses forced convection. With a closed loop system, no seal is broken. The enclosure market has several closed loop solutions that will keep your enclosure cool to protect your vital electronics.

Three common types of cooling for NEMA 4X computer enclosures:

Heat Exchanger
A heat exchanger can be used to transfer heat from the inside of the cabinet to the outside to ensure internal electronic components are operating at safe levels. It is important to note that a heat exchanger is an ideal cooling solution ONLY when the electronics can operate safely above the external ambient temperature. Heat exchangers are advantageous when humidity is not a major concern, and a low heat load is generated by the electronics installed inside of the enclosure.

Vortex Cooling Unit ITSENCLOSURES IceStation Enclosure CoolingVortex Cooler
Vortex cooling units produce cool air by using clean/dry compressed air through a tube or hose. These units do not have refrigerants or moving parts, so they are especially valuable in demanding, harsh environments – such as hazardous areas. A vortex cooling unit is operated by a thermostat, which is powered from the inside of the enclosure. The installation location can vary on an enclosure: top, sides, or rear.

Air Conditioners
A NEMA 4X rated air conditioner can be installed in an environment where the electronics – inside of the enclosure – need to be cooled at or below the ambient external temperature. An air conditioner is beneficial in high humidity areas. To properly cool electronics, air conditioners use refrigerants and forced air. It goes without saying, but an A/C requires frequent filter maintenance to run at its maximum capacity. The filter should be changed and/or cleaned at least once a month or more often in dirty or dusty areas.

Prior to deploying a NEMA 4X computer or printer enclosure, perform research and conduct a thorough examination of the installation environment. Compile a list of ALL electronics which will be installed inside of the enclosure. The list should include the average heat load and operating temperatures. This information is helpful in determining the NEMA 4X cooling system that will best fit the desired application.

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