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John O | October 2018

Reviewing the latest industry developments in cabinet cooling technology

By Josh Perry, Editor


A recent article from Advanced Thermal Solutions, Inc. (ATS), a leading-edge thermal engineering and manufacturing company based in Norwood, Mass., explores recent trends in cabinet cooling technology and how the industry is ensuring that critical electronics stay cool.


Cabinet cooling is critical to protect electronics from excess heat and these new technologies are being used to provide thermal management. (Wikimedia Commons)


As the article explained, “The trends toward compact, multi-function electronic controls, variable speed drives, programmable logic controllers, and tightly-packed processors and server racks can also cause thermal problems. Excess heat can adversely affect digital displays, controls, breakers, ICs and PCBs. In most cases this heat can’t be prevented, so it must be removed to ensure the proper function and service life of components and boards.”


The three main trends that the article describes are air conditioners, vortex cabinet coolers, and heat exchangers. Each of the trends is in reaction to the industry’s continued focus on together spaces, higher performances and lower costs.


New air conditioners are using traditional vapor compression and refrigeration technology as well as thermoelectric systems. Manufacturers, such as IceQube, Hoffman, and TECA, are designing solutions that provide the necessary levels of thermal performance but also can fit into cabinet systems that have high densities of components.


“Vortex enclosure cooling systems work by maintaining a slight pressurization in the cabinet to keep electrical and electronic components clean and dry,” the article continued. “Most vortex systems are thermostatically-controlled to keep cabinet temperatures within a specified temperature range.”


Exair and ITW Vortec are two of the highlighted manufacturers using vortex enclosures and their solutions are unaffected by vibrations and don’t require the piping that standard air conditioners use.


Heat exchangers are common solutions for cabinet cooling because they can be manufactured to fit into new designs and air-to-air models provide cooling without moving parts. Liquid-to-air heat exchangers are added when air cooling can’t reach the necessary thermal levels.


“Each of these methods has its own methodology, such as the choice of air or liquid cooling, to provide options for meeting cooling requirements,” the article concluded. “A thorough awareness of options, application requirements, and resources should lead to the best cabinet cooling solutions.”


Read the full article at https://www.qats.com/cms/2018/09/24/industry-developments-cabinet-cooling-solutions.

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