Identify & Mitigate Thermal Issues with a Control Cabinet Cooling Audit

As the summer heat sets in, proactive identification of critical hot spots can mean the difference between equipment failure and cool running. Heat’s damaging effects can cause weak links in your control system. Failure to identify these potential issues can lead to an array of obstacles.

With the current social distancing protocol in place across the globe, it can be difficult to keep up with regular inspections and audits as few team members are left to maintain equipment in massive plants and facilities. How can one be proactive about mitigating issues and minimizing downtime?

French Gerleman and our partner nVent HOFFMAN can help to assist you with step-by-step instructions to determine which enclosure and cooling you may need – even virtually!

Identify and mitigate thermal riskEffects of Damaging Heat

It is plain and simple; heat exerts significant stress on electronics. The life expectancy of electronics is cut in half for every 18°F rise over room temperature (72°F). For example, if it is 90°F you can expect the electronic’s life expectancy to be half of what was projected.

When components fail due to heat, the impact can be great:

  • Component costs including warranty claims, material and labor
  • Productivity losses due to plant or line shutdowns including lost labor, scrapped product and opportunity cost
  • Customer satisfaction issues such as missed ship dates and quality concerns

Sources of Damaging Heat

The enclosure’s job is to protect your expensive components, but it can also trap heat that comes from the electronics it houses. The most common culprits include:

  • Drives (VFD) and servos
  • Transformers
  • Power supplies
  • Controllers (PLCs)
  • Soft starters
  • HMIs
  • Relays/contractors
  • Inverters
  • Radio equipment
  • Battery back-ups
  • Server racks
  • Processors

Ironically, many of the components that produce damaging heat are the most susceptible to it. We must the heat being produced and trapped inside in addition to the ambient heat outside the enclosure.

Control Cabinet Cooling Audit

The Benefits of Cooling

While heat can be very detrimental, it can easily be defeated with a cooling solution. It is essential to protect electronics with cooling for optimal performance. Cooling is critical in extending operational life, ensuring smooth performance, maintaining valuable equipment warranties, preventing catastrophic failure, and maintaining productivity.

Cooling & Condensation Solutions

French Gerleman offers a wide range of nVent HOFFMAN closed loop solutions to maintain your application – air conditions, thermoelectric coolers, heat exchangers and air movers. Options for battling condensation are also available to work in conjunction with your cooling solution.

Virtual Control Cabinet Thermal Audit – How It Works

With many facilities limiting guests for the safety of their essential workers, nVent HOFFMAN can help you by virtually auditing your electrical cabinets and enclosures.  Here are the three steps in a virtual audit:

  1. Take a picture of your enclosure(s) and/or cooling solution(s) that are experiencing temperature issues. Complete the Thermal Audit Form (you can request it from your French Gerleman Account Manager) including the photo, description, and/or part number.
  2. Have a follow-up discussion with an nVent HOFFMAN Cooling Specialist to review additional details about your equipment and the electrical controls and components the enclosure(s) protect.
  3. nVent HOFFMAN will review the data submitted and generate a tailored report with recommendations based on your specific application.

Take advantage of this free audit to proactively mitigate issues and minimize downtime. With temperatures rising, don’t let heat damage key components in electrical cabinets and enclosures. For more information on the importance of a Control Cabinet Cooling Audit or to request your Thermal Audit Form, contact us or your French Gerleman Account Manager.

French Gerleman & nVent HOFFMAN’s Partnership

As an nVent HOFFMAN Meridian Partner, French Gerleman provides you access to in-stock products, modification services, custom products and certified support that our competitors cannot offer.

We are an authorized HOFFMAN on Demand distributor so you can rely on us to have the products you need available now. Need modifications to standard product? As your local HOFFMAN CERTIFIED MODIFICATION CENTER, we offer rapid holes and cutout modifications for your enclosures and back panels.

Visit our website to learn more and see our full nVENT HOFFMAN product offering, including products in stock and ready to ship.

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