How To Safeguard & Maintain Control Panels In The Summer Heat

How To Safeguard & Maintain Control Panels In The Summer Heat

The intense summer heat can cause the electrical components within control panels to overheat.

Heat can be a significant issue for electrical components. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures leads to a shortened lifespan, decreased reliability, increased maintenance requirements, equipment failures, downtime, fire, and potential explosions. Therefore, keeping the components in your control panels (and all your electrical equipment) operating within their optimal temperature range is essential.

When electricity flows, it creates heat. The intensity of that radiant heat depends on device function, but it creates some level of heat regardless. If the ambient temperature is high and the heat generated by the components isn’t vented or cooled, overheating can occur.

Measures to Reduce Heat Within an Enclosure

Install the Control Panel in a Shaded Area

When considering the installation of a control panel, try to mount it, so it is out of direct sunlight. On hot summer days, the temperature difference between direct sunlight and a shaded area can be substantial, so plan accordingly. Mounting the panel under a roof to keep it away from direct sunlight will help regulate the internal temperature. Additionally, painting the enclosure a light color (gray or cream) will also reduce the heat absorbed by the sun.

Maintain Adequate Ventilation

After selecting a suitable spot to install the panel, you need to consider ventilation. Installing vents on your control panel is critical for removing the hot air from the enclosure. The convection process will occur if the enclosure is adequately vented, allowing the hot air to escape from the enclosure to the cooler area outside, which draws in more cool air. 

Cooling fans also help speed up the convection by forcing warm air out of the enclosure and drawing in the fresh air. However, this only works if the outside ambient temperature is lower than the temperature inside the enclosure.

Keeping the Panel in an Airconditioned Enclosure

When the outside temperature is not lower than the temperature within the enclosure, then air conditioning is required. Installing the enclosure in an air-conditioned room or installing an air-conditioning unit in the panel will regulate the interior temperature and ensure that everything operates within its ideal temperature range.

Learn more about Industrial Control Panels!

Essential Control Panel Maintenance Tips

Once your panel is installed and functioning, follow these maintenance tips to keep the panel temperature as low as possible:

  • Keep vents and filters clean to allow air to flow freely in and out of the enclosure.
  • Some components have cooling fans themselves; keep those clean.
  • Keep an eye on the internal temperatures of the enclosure and compare them with suggested temperature ratings on each component. If it’s getting too hot, take action.
  • Replace worn-out components that are causing excessive heat.

If you have any further questions about using or maintaining control panels, get in touch with the experts at Crossroad Energy Solutions, Inc. in Calgary, AB. We would be happy to help!