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Thermal Management for Enclosures
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Saturday, October 22, 2016
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Design Guide
Heat producing components currently widely used in electronic and industrial equipment enclosures present the problem of dissipating the heat generated before damage can occur to heat-sensitive parts. In many cases, the problem can be solved by ventilation, using simple air moving devices. However, in more and more applications the available ambient air is too warm or too contaminated to be used for the safe dissipation of the unwanted heat. Under those conditions, the life expectancy and performance of sensitive components may be adversely affected, often causing equipment malfunctions, slowdowns or failures.
In forced convection cooling of enclosures, cooler ambient air is drawn or forced through the components in an enclosure and discharged. When electronic/electrical enclosures are sealed to keep out moisture, dust, dirt and other contaminants, the heat generated by the components is trapped and closed-loop cooling (air conditioner or heat exchanger) is needed to maintain the optimum environment for the components.
This Design Guide is intended as a design aid to be used as a problem-prevention and problem-solving tool, with an extensive array of equipment and specifications so that the best-suited items can be selected as the solutions for virtually every type of enclosure ventilation or cooling requirement. Refer to the Glossary/Technical Comments section for support with technical terms and additional design information.
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The KOOLTRONIC philosophy is to specify the smallest, least complex cooling device that will satisfy the requirements of the application.
  Forced Ventilation Air Cooling  
In clean, non-hazardous environments with acceptable ambient temperatures, a simple forced-air cooling system utilizing ambient air is usually adequate. Combined with a low-cost air filter, such devices generally meet the heat removal needs of typical electronic and electrical equipment.
Closed-Loop Cooling
In harsh environments involving high temperatures, heavy particulates, oil, or chemicals capable of damaging components, ambient air must be kept out of the enclosure. Sealed enclosures are generally used, with closed-loop cooling consisting of two separate circulation systems in a single unit. One system, sealed against the ambient air, cools and recirculates the clean cool air throughout the enclosure. The second system uses ambient air or water to remove and discharge the heat.
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