Electrical enclosures, protecting electronic equipment from hostile elements, are built for exposure, but how do you go about safe exposure while also ensuring durability of the cabinet and protection of the electrical equipment?
First, it is important to understand the dangers of exposure. Generally, enclosures are meant to protect against extreme heat and/or cold, plus other various contaminates that depend on the location (ie. sewage contaminates at a sewage treatment facility). There are also factors such as vibration, shock, or thermal expansion and/or contraction to contend with.
Contaminates can be dealt with by installing a quality enclosure from the beginning and routinely cleaning, but two larger issues come with excessive heat and excessive cold.
Excessive cold causes:
- Component deterioration
- Inconsistent contact resistances
- Creepage currents
- Reduced insulation
Excessive heat causes:
- Decrease life span
- Nuisance faults (such as overload tripping)
- Fuse and circuit-breaker malfunctions
All of the above effects of excessive elemental exposure ultimately will lead to system failure and corrosion.
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Therefore, prevention is key and can be applied through proper maintenance. Depending on the environment that the enclosure resides, maintenance may be a very frequent task or a less rigorous routine. If the area is prone to heat waves, then planning for shade is a necessary step. If the area is prone to frigid temperatures, making sure there is proper insulation would be ideal.
Maintenance tasks on electrical enclosures can include changing air filters and filter maintenance, replacing damaged or worn parts, and basic cleaning. Setting a proper and detailed maintenance schedule from day one of installation will help ensure a long lifespan for not only the equipment, but also the enclosure itself, saving money and time in the long run.
For more information on maintaining electrical enclosures, feel free to visit the following websites:
Easter-Owens offers over 55 years of internationally recognized metal fabrication experience and services. They specialize in power distribution equipment, custom metal buildings, industrial control panels, electrical enclosures, and security electronics. Their company prides itself on providing high-quality material, even with short lead times, along with personal customer service. For more information or to speak with a representative, feel free to contact us Easter-Owens directly.