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  • Writer's pictureCraig Drabyk

Control Panel Ventilation and Cooling

Ventilation and cooling are important considerations when designing a control panel cabinet or cabinet enclosure. Because a control panel cabinet is enclosed and contains equipment that generates heat – VFDs, starters, contactors, relays, PLCs, etc. – temperatures can rise to critical levels, and a hostile external environment can further contribute to excessive heat. Overheating conditions can also develop as more equipment is added over time and panels become overcrowded. The resulting high temperatures can cause tripped overloads, damaged circuit boards, erroneous readings, component failure (PLCs and VFDs begin to fail at about 105F), and shortened life span.

Many manufacturers have built-in cooling systems for equipment that generates heat (VFDs, etc.) but custom cabinets may need to have cooling provided, and there are several types available. DX and Venturi systems are sometimes used, but vortex cooling systems are most common. This low-cost method both purges and cools the enclosures using a vortex tube that creates cold air from ordinary compressed air. Different grades of vortex coolers are available depending on the conditions and demands of the environment.

About Omni

Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Services, Inc. is a premier instrumentation and electrical contractor, providing superior total care solutions since 1986. Services include instrument installation, tubing installation, instrument calibration, control loop testing, startup and commissioning, power and lighting, process control wiring, BMS wiring, telecommunications and data wiring, fire alarm wiring, security wiring, process network wiring, and control panel fabrication. Omni Instrumentation & Electrical Services, Inc., is certified in Foundation Fieldbus, Profibus, DeviceNet and ASI-Bus installation.

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