Rittal

Essential tips for Temperature Management in the Food Industry

Guest contributor:  Karl Lycett, Product Manager for Climate Control, Rittal

Food processing is a sector that demands very high standards of efficiency to meet daily production throughput targets.  Any unexpected breakdown of critical components which stops production lines can have a major impact, not just in terms of loss of output, but also unplanned maintenance.

Electrical componentry is protected by an enclosure which is designed to protect the equipment from the ambient environment and create a secure atmosphere in which the climate is maintained within the required parameters.

As the temperature rises due to the summer months or random heat waves throughout the year, these parameters can be breached. In turn, the overall life of the componentry within the enclosures can reduce and the probability of an unexpected system failure increases drastically.

Care needs to be taken when implementing climate control equipment to ensure it is suitable to handle the rigours of the environment in which it is situated.

Below are some key aspects to consider when reviewing your climate control solutions.

Is your solution right for the environment?

The type of product being processed on-site and/or the location of the equipment within the facility are likely to heavily influence your climate control solution.

  1. If the ambient temperature of your facility remains lower, year-round, than the desired enclosure internal enclosure temperature then fan-and-filter units and air-to-air heat exchangers can be very effective. They use the ambient air to remove heat energy from the enclosure, releasing it back into the environment.If the ambient temperature rises above the desired internal temperature then units with active cooling circuits must be used. Wall/roof-mounted cooling units and air-to-water heat exchangers include a refrigerant to remove the excess heat from enclosures and maintain the desired conditions.

    Already in 2018 we have seen unexpected jumps in average temperatures across the country, and this will only increase as we move into the summer months. These jumps, as I’ve indicated, are what put cooling equipment under the most strain, therefore reviewing existing equipment sooner rather than later can reduce the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns.

  1. Dusty or acidic contamination (e.g. flour or yeast/vinegar extracts) can interfere with switchgear and cause short circuits or a reduction in service life.

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Applying filter mats to fan and filter units will help, but if the environment is extremely contaminated you might be better off installing a cooling unit to ensure that the internal and external air-paths are exclusive thus ensuring contaminated air isn’t drawn into the enclosure.

Cleaning/Maintenance Regime

Establishing a regular inspection and cleaning of cooling equipment is very good practice.  For example, vacuum cleaning units with filter mats to remove any dust and debris which might choke the fan. The will mean the unit works harder for longer and also reduces its cooling capacity.

Cooling units must also be kept clean to maintain the highest standards of hygiene. Some will be cleaned daily with pressure washers and jet steam cleaners in which case use units which meet the required ingress protection rating desired for your site and purchase additional cowls or covers as needed.

Increasing Energy Efficiency = Reduced Costs

Many food production facilities work around the clock and with energy prices rising globally, it’s vital to get early warning of any potential issue which could impact on productivity or costs.

For example, unlike speed-controlled cooling devices, such as the new Rittal Blue e+ cooling units, conventional units start when the temperature inside the enclosure gets above set point (normally 35°C) and finish when the shutdown temperature of  30°C is achieved (at a typical hysteresis of 5K).  If the device does not reach the shutdown temperature it will continue to operate at full output, using large amounts of energy.  This is one good indicator that the unit is inadequate for the job and that too little cooling air may be getting to electrical components.

The best course of action in all instances is to undertake a survey of your existing cooling equipment utilising the points above.

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Rittal is happy to offer you a free RiAssure Cooling Inspection in which one of our trained representatives visits your site to provide you with honest, clear advice on your existing equipment and its suitability within the chosen environment/process.

We will then provide you with a short report which includes feedback on the next best steps forward for your installation, whether it is implementing a maintenance contract to prolong the life of existing equipment or the replacement of units that are undersized to improve performance and increase the energy efficiency of your site.

Learn more:  https://www.rittal.com/us-en/content/en/start/

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CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is an authorized  Rittal distributor in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Indiana.

In addition to distribution, we design and fabricate complete engineered systems, including hydraulic power units, electrical control panels, pneumatic panels & aluminum framing. Our advanced components and system solutions are found in a wide variety of industrial applications such as wind energy, solar energy, process control and more.

Modular Enclosure Accessories Improve Customization and Scalability

Guest Contributor: Rittal Enclosures

5 accessories to enhance TS 8 enclosure functionality  

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With 12 million units sold around the globe, the TS 8 modular enclosure is established as the worldwide-standard. As businesses grow and enclosure needs evolve, many customers are turning to a variety of accessories to scale their solutions. 

These five accessories for lighting, power distribution, viewing and operating, climate control, and assembly are the most popular customizations design engineers and facilities managers are utilizing to maximize their investments. 

1 – For Lighting: LED Compact Lighting System

The Rittal LED Compact Lighting System is a safe, energy-efficient, extra-low-voltage interior lighting solution that delivers full coverage to all corners of the enclosure.  

Enterprise-ready and suitable for voltages ranging from 100–240 V (AC) and 24 V (DC), the LED system can be installed tool-free with clips that connect to a latch-in hook pattern—though optional screw fastening is also available. Magnetic installation is another option, for free positioning within the enclosure. Whichever assembly option you choose, motion detectors or door-operated switches for hands-free illumination are also available.  

2 – For Power Distribution: RiLine Busbar System 

In many regions around the world, busbar systems are the predominant solution for managing power needs now, and in the future. For engineers not familiar with the technology, the RiLine copper busbar system provides reliable power distribution and requires less panel modification, contact points, and wiring work. Busbar systems save space and time for panel builders and offer more contact hazard protection than other cable management options. 

3 – For Viewing Windows and Operating Panels: WKDH Deep Hinged Window Kit 

The Deep-Hinged Window Kit is ideal for installing a viewing window where access to components mounted behind it is required. It is designed to protect HMI displays and components mounted on enclosure panels from wash-downs, rain, snow, sleet, dirt, and dust. The window depth allows for extra-deep pushbuttons (~2”/50mm) and comes with a full-size drill template for easy mounting.  

4 – For Climate Control: TopTherm Filter Fans 

Simply and efficiently manage air flow in your enclosure with filter fans designed for tool-free, snap-in mounting and installation. The TopTherm filter fan’s new diagonal fan technology creates greater pressure stability and constant airflow when installed, even with a contaminated filter mat. This new technology also allows air currents to spread diagonally from the fan, promoting even circulation throughout an enclosure. 

5 – For Base Assembly: Flex-Block Base/Plinth System 

Save assembly time with high-strength plastic corner pieces that clip together base/plinth components. With this system, enclosure transport is uncomplicated, both empty and fully-configured, by removing the base/plinth trim panel. Plus, cable management is straightforward and efficient, saving space for enclosure configuration.

Modular Enclosure Buyers GuideRittal Is Engineered Better 

Whatever your enclosure needs, Rittal has an extensive line of accessories to optimize enclosure functions. Download the Modular Enclosure Buyer’s Guide to see how Rittal products are better than the competition!

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CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is an authorized  Rittal distributor in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Indiana.

In addition to distribution, we design and fabricate complete engineered systems, including hydraulic power units, electrical control panels, pneumatic panels & aluminum framing. Our advanced components and system solutions are found in a wide variety of industrial applications such as wind energy, solar energy, process control and more.

Balancing the Value of Air-to-Air and Air-to-Water Heat Exchangers

Guest contributor: Eric Corzine, Product Manager Climate Control, Rittal

Heat exchangers provide highly efficient cooling for electrical components. As energy costs increase, they are getting more consideration by system designers. Before making a design decision between air-to-air and air-to-water heat exchangers,  it is important to weigh installation considerations and use-cases. Here, we have provided an overview of each technology to help you determine which can best impact your equipment and your bottom line.

Air-to-Airsirair

Air-to-air heat exchangers are the most common type of exchangers. They work by utilizing the difference between the hotter internal temperature of an enclosure and the cooler, ambient air temperature. Engineers can implement air-to-air exchangers in a variety of industrial environments, including food and beverage, waste and wastewater, and automotive.

Air-to-air exchangers can utilize existing airflow patterns, through convection or forced air, and do not require additional accessories or equipment. The technology can utilize the airflow within an enclosure or can connect to existing ductwork and HVAC systems.

There are some limitations to air-to-air heat exchangers, particularly in the climates they could be installed. For instance, if the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures is to great then the effectiveness of the exchangers can be significantly reduced. Recent technology upgrades, however, have made air-to-air exchangers functional even in climates that reach temperatures of -13°F.

These factors make air-to-air heat exchangers useful in applications where plumbing for liquid cooling would be difficult to install, and where existing air flow patterns and equipment layout allow for effective cooling. Often, this means situations with moderate thermal loads. HVAC engineers can install them quickly as well, which reduces setup time and costs. However, they are still less efficient compared to air-to-water exchangers because air is not as effective at transferring heat as water.

Air-to-Waterairwaterdownload (6)

Air-to-water heat exchangers use the same principle of temperature differential to provide heating or cooling, however, they alter the temperature of air by forcing it across water coils.

Because of the efficient heat transfer capabilities of water, they can help reduce energy use and utility costs significantly. This is especially useful in situations with large thermal loads, such as IT mainframe applications or an automotive manufacturing environment where water is already available.

One of the drawbacks of air-to-water heat exchangers is the need to pipe water to the unit. The technology requires plumbing and a reliable water supply or recirculation system, which often means pumps, valves, and other accessories.

These plumbing concerns often mean higher installation costs, so engineers need to balance the initial cost with the expected savings over the lifetime of the exchanger. Overall, air-to-water exchangers are useful for high-demand, energy intensive applications.

Making the Right Choice

It is important to consider the right exchanger for your specific climate control situation. The ultimate decision will balance installation and operational costs, target cooling capacity and thermal loads.

Air-to-air exchangers can get up and running quickly and engineers can integrate them into many different kinds of applications easily. Air-to-water exchangers deliver better efficiency and can suit more energy-demanding applications, but they require plumbing and water supplies, which may not always be available. The ultimate choice, then, should consider these factors and engineers should thoroughly research both types of exchangers to understand which one will best suit their application.

Learn more about climate control at Rittal.com 

About Us

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CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is an authorized  Rittal distributor in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Indiana.

In addition to distribution, we design and fabricate complete engineered systems, including hydraulic power units, electrical control panels, pneumatic panels & aluminum framing. Our advanced components and system solutions are found in a wide variety of industrial applications such as wind energy, solar energy, process control and more.

Industrial Enclosures Protect Components in Harsh Environments

Guest contributor: Steve Sullivan, Rittal Training Manager

Industrial enclosures face harsh conditions. From blazing to frigid temperatures, to dust, oil, dirt, airborne corrosives and liquids. Industrial engineers know that the manufacturing environment poses a multitude of challenges to the integrity of the control panel infrastructure.

 Environmental protection of the control panel infrastructure is never simple. Determining factors in the selection of an industrial enclosure can include the most extreme conditions. The key to selecting the superior enclosure is evaluating the harshest environment possible, and specifying an enclosure that can withstand any setting.

Foreign substances

Environment elements that can affect the performance of the control panel include the picture-2
penetration of foreign substances (water, dust, dirt, oils, etc.). The delicate electronic equipment housed inside the enclosure can fail with even minimal exposure to external substances.

The Rittal TS 8 combats the ingress of these substances with a four-point latching system and a foamed-in-place gasket system. This forms a continuous barrier around the enclosure skin ensuring a gap-free seal. This creates a superior seal and memory retention to block out the challenges of any environment.

Temperature

The control panel infrastructure faces temperature challenges on two fronts. First, internal temperature is affected by the heat generated from the operation of control panel devices. The external or ambient temperature also affects the enclosure and the operating control panels.

Fully compatible with the TS 8 is Rittal’s line of cooling solutions for both enclosure based and room based thermal management. With 30% to 50% of energy costs attributed to cooling systems, Rittal designs maximum cooling efficiency into each solution: CRAC, in line/in row, chillers, pipe installations, water distribution cabinets or water heat exchangers.

The delicate dew point balance between the load temperature and the ambient temperature is maintained, preventing damaging condensation of the control panels.

Washdown

When washdown of enclosures is required, the control panels must be protected. Exposed to harsh chemical cleansers, high pressure and/or heated water and frequent cleaning can break down some sealing systems. Rittal’s impervious seal guards the vital control panel components from the most stringent cleaning procedures.

Corrosive Elements

Whether an enclosure is in an indoor or outdoor environment, corrosion can be a factor in the breakdown of the enclosure’s durability. Outdoor factors such as sun, snow, salt or chemicals can damage the exterior of some enclosures. Acids, solvents, alkalis, oils and industrial chemicals can threaten an enclosure housed on the factory floor.

Rittal engineers designed a three-step painting process to combat any environmental abuse. Similar to the process used in the automotive industry, an electrophoretic dip-coat primer is applied, followed by a two-part primer nano-coat and final powder coat. This provides a finished external barrier on the TS 8 for any climate, interior or exterior.

Enclosure material construction

A variety of materials have been used for industrial enclosures. The stainless steel 316 construction of the Rittal TS 8 has been proven to be impervious to the most corrosive environments and superior to lesser steel or powder coated materials. Stainless steel 316, combined with the three-step finish has proven durability in the most extreme conditions.

The environmental protection offered by the Rittal TS 8 has been field tested in more than 10 million installations, in industries like oil and gas, mining, pulp and paper, food and beverage and life sciences. For more information on the TS 8 and all of Rittal’s flexible industrial solutions, download our Fact Book today to start your change for the better.

About Us

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CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is an authorized  Rittal distributor in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Indiana.

In addition to distribution, we design and fabricate complete engineered systems, including hydraulic power units, electrical control panels, pneumatic panels & aluminum framing. Our advanced components and system solutions are found in a wide variety of industrial applications such as wind energy, solar energy, process control and more.

Improving Arc Flash Prevention and Safety

Guest contributor: Steve Sullivan, Rittal

Working among the electrical components in an enclosure comes with inherent risks. The power in any one enclosure can range from 2kw up to 200kw depending on the power density. One of the most common and dangerous risk is an arc flash (or flashover).

When an explosive release of energy erupts from a phase-to-phase or phase-to-ground arc fault the results range from devastating to deadly. This air to ground electrical explosion is a critical concern for engineers and managers who are charged with the safety of their employees.

The Destructive Force of an Arc Flash

The dangers from an arc flash are all too well known. Five to 10 of these accidents occur every day in the United States. When metal expands and vaporizes at the fault, it causes extreme heating of the air, upwards of 10,000°C/18,032°F. The concussive pressure wave can knock personnel off their feet, the ultraviolet light flash can cause blindness, the sound blast, deafness and the molten metal and heat can cause second and third degree burns. The specific death toll has been estimated to be up to 1-2 people per day worldwide.

An arc flash can be the result of unsafe work procedures, accidental contact or more systemic problems such as corrosion of components and connections or insulation failure. Arc flash prevention should be incorporated into any application from the beginning of the design process.

Minimizing Arc Flash Exposure

Design and retrofit approaches can limit exposure by using components installed outside the enclosure to permit qualified personnel in personal protective equipment (PPE) to service equipment inside without opening the enclosure door. Interface flaps and window kits permit data retrieval, equipment monitoring or routine maintenance to be performed from outside. Collapsible fold down shelves be raised for use with laptops and monitoring equipment. External data pockets can hold wiring diagrams, operation manuals and other documents.

Rittal and Arc Flash Protection

Sometimes components must be accessed from inside the enclosure. Rittal’s arc flash solution is designed to keep high and low voltage equipment within the confines of their own respective enclosures. Low voltage enclosures house equipment that is used for programming, data acquisition and system adjustment.

High voltage components are isolated within their own disconnect enclosure, while line side power is segregated within the power isolation enclosure. A partition wall acts as a barrier to high voltage line side power. Rittal’s interlocking door system ensures that the high voltage enclosure cannot be opened while the disconnect switch is in “ON” position.

For additional safety, all interlocked doors and master door must be closed in order to re-energize the enclosure. This removes potential for accidental contact with the inline power when the disconnect enclosure is put in a safe power-off position, and locked and tagged out.

Minimizing exposure to line side power can help protect personnel from accidents. A qualified person wearing PPE and following appropriate safe work practices can perform visual inspections and tasks, such as diagnosis, testing, troubleshooting and voltage measurement with the door open even when the main enclosure is energized.

Rittal offers an unlimited choice of low-voltage and high-voltage enclosure combinations. More important than saving down time caused by having to power down the whole system to service, the Rittal arc flash solution helps to decrease the risk personnel being exposed to arc flash-related injuries.

Safety is always your priority, so download Rittal’s Arc Flash and How to Prevent it whitepaper for the first step towards arc flash prevention.

About Us

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CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is an authorized  Rittal distributor in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Indiana.

In addition to distribution, we design and fabricate complete engineered systems, including hydraulic power units, electrical control panels, pneumatic panels & aluminum framing. Our advanced components and system solutions are found in a wide variety of industrial applications such as wind energy, solar energy, process control and more.

 

Considerations for Industrial Enclosure Cooling

Guest contributor, Eric Corzine, Product Manager – Climate Control, Rittal

Data Centers and server racks run hot. Protecting the technology backbone of your company means managing air flow, temperature, energy consumption and cooling technology.

Rittal, the world’s largest enclosure manufacturer and a leader in thermal management of electrical, electronic and IT equipment, offers some important guidelines to ensure your equipment stays in optimum condition. The following tips are based on decades of practical experience in the use of enclosures climate control solution in industrial environments. By ensuring sufficient planning and maintenance guidelines are in place, control cabinets and electronic enclosures can be last longer and be more energy-efficient.

7 Considerations for More Efficient Enclosures

1. Devices and electrical components must be installed in the enclosure in accordance with the manufacturer instructions. Storage space for necessary documents and circuit diagrams should also be taken into account during the planning phase.

2. When arranging the components in the enclosure, verify that the cooling air flows from top to bottom. You can ensure this in the planning stages by properly routing the air flow away from the electronic components. When roof-mounted units are used, particular attention needs to be paid to the air flow from blowers built into electrical components. The use of air duct systems is advisable in the case of roof-mounted cooling units

Proper Enclosure Heat Dissipation

3. There should be sufficient space for air to flow between the parts and electrical components.

4. Air intake openings of climate control components must not be obstructed by electrical devices equipment or cable ducts. With all climate control solutions, the cold air should always be routed close to drive units. This is where the greatest heat losses occur. This arrangement ensures that the cold supply air from the climate control solution optimally cools the drive units without losses.

Air intake design for cooling enclosures

5. Internal temperatures of the enclosure should always be set to +35◦C. There is no technical justification for setting the temperature any lower. If the temperature inside the enclosure is any lower, condensation will be significantly increased.

6. Institute a systematic cleaning cycle. As most climate control components are used in industrial environments external filters of the climate control must be maintained to ensure long-lasting operation.

7. Ensure the correct filters are used for the industry application.

PU Filter for Industrial Enclosure Cooling

In heavily dust-laden atmospheres, PU filters should be used and replaced on a regular basis. Cooling units with Ri Nano coating typically do not need a dust filter.

Metal Filter for Enclosures

If the air is oil-contaminated, use metal filters. These separate the oil condensate from the air and can be cleaned with appropriate detergents

Textile Enclosure Lint Filter

In the textile industry, the use of lint filters is recommended.

Fiber Mat Filter

Chopped fibre mat filters are not suitable for cooling units.

CMAFH Rittal Resources:

Rittal Wallmount Program

Rittal Enclosure and Process Cooling handbook

Rittal Innovations 2016

The Future of Cooling Technology in Industrial Enclosures

by Eric Corzine, Product Manager, Climate Control at Rittal

As industrial processes scale, the threats and challenges of cooling the racks of automation equipment increase exponentially. Sophisticated, sensitive electronics and drives are the backbone of many industrial systems. This equipment is often placed inside enclosures to protect it from environmental influences such as temperature, moisture and contaminants like corrosive vapors and dust. If these are not prevented, electronic components will inevitably fail, eventually leading to the shut-down of entire production systems. The failure of a production system can add up to losses for an operation.

What will the future look like?
The single most important environmental factor to manage in industrial enclosures is temperature.  Relative to each individual component, the heat of electronic components has increased significantly in recent years. At the same time, the density inside control cabinets has increased dramatically, resulting in a 50 – 60% increase in heat in the enclosures.

With the advent of microelectronics and new electronic components, the requirements for professional enclosure construction and heat dissipation have evolved dramatically over the last few years. Modern enclosure climate control systems must take these challenges into account, offering the best technical solution while guaranteeing optimum energy efficiency. If heat is not managed properly and the maximum permitted operating temperature is exceeded, the service life of these components is halved and the failure rate is doubled.

Trouble-free operation and functioning of production lines is heavily dependent on how the heat generated by electrical and electronic components is dissipated from the enclosure to the ambient environment. We distinguish three different types methods of heat transfer:

  • Thermal radiation
  • Thermal conduction
  • Convection

In the case of enclosures and electronic housings, we are mainly concerned with thermal conduction and convection. With thermal radiation, heat is passed from one body to another in the form of radiation energy, without a medium material, and plays a minor role here.

Whether we are dealing with heat conduction or convection depends on whether the enclosure is open (air permeable) or closed (air-tight). With an open enclosure, the heat (heat loss) can be dissipated from the enclosure by means of air circulation, i.e. thermal conduction, from inside to outside and is typically in a controlled environment such as data centers. However, if the enclosure has to remain closed due to harsher conditions, the heat can only be dissipated via the enclosure walls, i.e. through convection. Depending on the amount of heat loss of the components, these methods may not sufficiently cool the equipment and a climate control product may be required.

Identifying the proper cooling device depends upon the differences between the ambient temperature (Tu) and the desired enclosure internal temperature (Ti).

An additional factor to consider when choosing a means to cooling is the environment in which the enclosure is installed and the ingress protection (IP) rating required.  Each climate product has corresponding IP ratings:

Other innovative, hybrid cooling technologies have been developed that rely upon two parallel cooling circuits working together depending on the temperature differential. An integral heat pipe dissipates heat from the enclosure when the ambient temperature is below the setpoint, providing passive cooling. Active climatization is achieved when the compressor’s cooling circuit is engaged and provides cooling via speed-controlled components for demand-based cooling. Combining the two circuits reduces temperature hysteresis and provides more precise cooling. Not only is energy consumption far less than with conventional technology, but the improved temperature stability leads to longer service life of both the components within the enclosure and the cooling unit itself.

The reliability of electrical and electronic components in an enclosure can be put at risk not only by excessively high temperatures, but also by excessively low ones. The enclosure interior must be heated, particularly to prevent moisture and protect against frost. It is also necessary to prevent condensation within the enclosure. The latest generation of enclosure heaters has been developed with the help of extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analyses. The positioning of the heater is of fundamental importance for even temperature distribution inside the enclosure. Placement of the heater in the floor area of the enclosure is recommended in order to achieve an optimum distribution of temperature and hence efficiency. Thanks to positive temperature coefficient (PTC) technology, power consumption is reduced at the maximum heater surface temperature. Together with a thermostat, this results in demand-oriented, energy-saving heating.

Smarter, intuitive, and more efficient designs will need to be a staple no matter what setting the enclosure is in.  Designers will need to take careful consideration in the initial planning stages of projects, ensuring that the appropriate cooling technology is incorporated into designs.

ABOUT US

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CMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is an authorized  Rittal distributor in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Indiana.

In addition to distribution, we design and fabricate complete engineered systems, including hydraulic power units, electrical control panels, pneumatic panels & aluminum framing. Our advanced components and system solutions are found in a wide variety of industrial applications such as wind energy, solar energy, process control and more.