# Temperature Rise Above

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1 Spec E Thermal Management Heat Dissipation in Electrical Enclosures Thermal Management Heat Dissipation in Electrical Enclosures Heat Dissipation in Sealed Electrical Enclosures The accumulation of heat in an enclosure is potentially damaging to electrical and electronic devices. Overheating can shorten the life expectancy of costly electrical components or lead to catastrophic failure. Enclosure Materials The following discussion applies to gasketed and unventilated enclosures. Higher temperature rises can be expected with unfinished aluminum and unfinished stainless steel enclosures due to their material s less efficient radiant heat transfer. Non-metallic enclosures have similar heat transfer characteristics to painted metallic enclosures, so the graph can be used directly despite the difference in material. Enclosure Surface Area The physical size of the enclosure is the primary factor in determining its ability to dissipate heat. The larger the surface area of the enclosure, the lower the temperature rise due to the heat generated within it. To determine the surface area of an enclosure in square feet, use the following equation: Surface Area = 2[(A x B) + (A x C) + (B x C)] 144 where the enclosure size is A x B x C in inches. This equation includes all six surfaces of the enclosure. If any surface is not available for transferring heat (for example, an enclosure surface mounted against a wall), that surface s area should be subtracted. Note: Enclosure volume cannot be used in place of surface area. Enclosure Heat Input For any temperature rise calculation, the heat generated within the enclosure must be known. This information can be obtained from the supplier of the components mounted in the enclosure. Enclosure Temperature Rise (ΔT) Sealed Enclosure Temperature Rise Research has shown for every 18 F (10 C) rise above normal room temperature F (22-24 C), the reliability of electronic components is cut in half. The temperature rise illustrated by the curves in the Sealed Enclosure Temperature Rise graph is the temperature difference between the air inside a non-ventilated and non-cooled enclosure and the ambient air outside the enclosure. This value is described in the graph as a function of input power in watts per square foot. In order to predict the temperature inside the enclosure, the temperature rise indicated in the graph must be added to the ambient temperature where the enclosure is located. Temperature Rise Above Ambient (ºF) Input Power (Watts/Square Foot) Unfinished Aluminum and Stainless Steel Enclosures Painted Metallic and Non-metallic Enclosures Temperature Rise Above Ambient (ºC) Determining Temperature Rise The temperature rise inside a sealed cabinet without forced ventilation can be approximated as follows. First calculate the surface area of the enclosure and, from the expected heat load and the surface area, determine the heat input power in watts/ft. 2 Then the expected temperature rise can be read from the Sealed Enclosure Temperature Rise graph. Find where the input power intersects the line for the enclosure material and read the approximate expected temperature rise at the left. Example: What is the temperature rise that can be expected from a 48 x 36 x 16 in. painted steel enclosure with 300 W of heat dissipated within it? Solution: Surface Area = 2[(48 x 36) + (48 x 16) + (36 x 16)] 144 = 42 ft. 2 Input Power = = 7.1 W/ft. 2 From the Sealed Enclosure Temperature Rise graph: Temperature Rise = approximately 30 F (16.7 C) Safety Margins The graph provides only an approximation of temperature rise. Actual temperature rise will vary due to enclosure layout, internal fan use, air movement in the vicinity of the enclosure, and other factors. A safety margin should be used in critical applications. A safety margin of 25% is recommended. Outdoor Applications In outdoor applications where an enclosure is exposed to the sun, the temperature inside the enclosure can rise significantly above the estimates calculated. See the Solar Heat Gain section for further technical information. 1 SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE EQUIPMENT PROTECTION SOLUTIONS

2 Thermal Management Heat Dissipation in Electrical Enclosures Circulating Fans The use of circulating fans in an enclosure will improve heat dissipation by as much as 10 percent. Circulating fans are most commonly employed to eliminate hot spots inside an enclosure. The Sealed Enclosure Temperature Rise graph approximates the average temperature rise inside an enclosure. However, the temperature in the vicinity of a critical component can be much higher if it is producing a significant portion of the heat in the enclosure or if it is located near a large heat producing device. An internal circulating fan eliminates the resulting hot spots by mixing the air inside the enclosure. Cooling Options Available Hoffman offers a full line of enclosure cooling products to meet the unique needs of many applications. These products include fans for circulation and ventilation as well as heat exchangers and air conditioners for closed loop cooling. Hoffman Authorized Distributors, Representatives, and factory technical applications support personnel are qualified to assist you in meeting your cooling requirements. Glossary BTU/hr. = British Thermal Units/hour. One BTU is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Watts (W) = The thermal (heat) load in the enclosure is measured in watts. One watt = BTU/hr. CFM = Airflow in cubic feet per minute (ft. 3 /min.) ΔT = Change in temperature (1.8 ΔT F = 1.0 ΔT C) F = Degrees Fahrenheit C = Degrees Celsius Solar Heat Gain When evaluating the thermal management needs of outdoor electrical enclosures, solar heat gain must be considered. Variables that affect the enclosure s internal temperature rise include the amount of solar exposure, enclosure color and material type, highest sustained atmospheric temperature, heat build-up from internal components and heat reflectance from the surrounding environment. EQUIPMENT PROTECTION SOLUTIONS PH FAX HOFFMANONLINE.COM 2

4 Thermal Management Heat Dissipation in Electrical Enclosures The Benefits of Shielding Enclosures The results of the test show the enclosure with top and side shields to have approximately a 46 percent reduction in temperature compared to the unshielded enclosure. The reduction in temperature is approximately 25 percent with the solar top shield only. Hoffman offers top shields as an accessory for Hoffman COMLINE TM Wall-Mount Enclosures. Hoffman can provide side shields as a customer-ordered modification. Shielding Effectiveness Hoffman s research on the effects of solar radiation on enclosures has shown the positive benefits of utilizing shielding to decrease temperature rise. Shielding has been found to be an effective, low-cost method of reducing solar heat gain in outdoor electrical/ electronic applications. A test to compare the shielding effect on internal temperature rise was performed on similar enclosures exposed to the sun. The enclosures are the same color (RAL 7035 light gray) and material. The enclosure on the left is unshielded; the enclosure on the right is shielded on top and applicable sides. Temperature ( F) No Shield Side Shield Top and Side Shield Outside Temperature 3:00 a.m. 7:00 a.m. Noon 4:30 p.m. July 29, 1999 Enclosure Type Temperature (F) Temperature (C) Percent Temperature Reduction Unshielded Top shield only Top and side shields EQUIPMENT PROTECTION SOLUTIONS PH FAX HOFFMANONLINE.COM 4

6 Thermal Management Fan/Blower Selection and Sizing Cooling Product Selection App Designed to assist you in determining the most suitable choices of air conditioners, heat exchangers or fans for your application. Download a free copy of our selection software by visiting our web site: hoffmanonline.com. Click on Cooling chapter. EQUIPMENT PROTECTION SOLUTIONS PH FAX HOFFMANONLINE.COM 6

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