Keeping electrical equipment cool should be one of the priorities of any company. Since its useful life depends on this, as well as the operation of the business. If overheating occurs in electrical cabinets, the direct consequences will be premature replacements, maintenance costs, and unexpected production stoppages.
Overheating is a phenomenon that consists of an increase in temperature in an electrical circuit, or in a section of it. In addition to the potential damage to circuit components, this can cause an explosion, fire, or injury.
3 causes of overheating in electrical cabinets
You should also bear in mind that the damage caused by overheating is, in general, irreversible. Therefore, it is important to know what its causes are in order to avoid them.
1. Increase in electrical resistance depending on the material due to bad contacts
It is a heating by joule effect as a consequence of an increase in resistivity. It can occur either due to poor connections or loss of conductor cross-section.
When resistance increases, an increase in temperature is generated in a specific point or area. Which is also higher than the temperatures of the remaining areas. Bad contacts can be caused by poorly tightened hardware, corrosion or dirt on the contacts, or loss of section.
2. Overload in electrical conductors and components
It occurs when the intensity that the electrical conductors and components withstand is located above the nominal values for which they were manufactured, so that in these conditions, the temperature of the surfaces becomes excessive.
When the temperature is too high, an overload occurs. This same effect can be produced by aging of the electronic part, by tripping of the thermal relays, or by increasing the temperature of the external walls.
3. Poor ventilation
In addition to the above causes, overheating in electrical cabinets can be due to poor ventilation. When the heat dissipated by the electronic and electrical components of the board is greater than the passive heat dissipation capacity of the enclosure, excessive temperature rise can occur.
Overheating in electrical cabinets can be prevented if the company ensures that the electrical panel is well designed and that all its components will operate in less severe temperature conditions than expected. It can also be prevented by choosing a cabinet with adequate ventilation conditions for the environment where it will be installed.
How to determine overheating in self-supporting cabinets for datacom?
To prevent possible irreversible damage associated with the aforementioned warm-ups, proactively ask yourself the following questions:
Does the cabinet allow natural air flow?
Enclosures for servers and network systems must have slots or small holes in their doors that allow air to circulate inside them effectively. For this, its size and the equipment that will be installed must be taken into consideration, and comply with the minimum requirements for open spaces.
Some of the options that contribute to natural airflow efficiency in electrical cabinets are:
- Air conditioning systems
- Ducts and chimneys
- Liquid cooling systems
Does the configuration allow for good cabinet performance?
The layout of the racks used in data centers is also a key factor that directly affects the operation of the systems. These must be designed to supply an air conditioning system according to the density of the equipment and the requirements of the servers.
It is important that they offer flexible solutions for custom configuration. These should consider thermal management and ease of access to equipment for maintenance. It is also essential to maintain access control and estimate future expansion possibilities.
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