Soaring summer temperatures often spell trouble for electrical control panels, as the heat can cause sensitive equipment to malfunction. Even if UL508A industrial control panels don’t fail, their lifetime can be significantly shortened if they are exposed to high temperatures over long periods of time. Here are a few ways to reduce the chance of overheating electrical controls that may be exposed to high temperatures in the summer.
Identify vulnerable systems
When considering existing systems, find any that might be working overtime to compensate for the high temperatures. Control failure not only incurs business costs but can be life-threatening if systems are used for the human activity, such as in medicine. It is likely that these systems are only vulnerable in the summer months, so any costs to dissipating the heat will only be in effect for a short period of time. Controls left alone, however, can accumulate costs much higher as their efficiency and lifetime can be greatly reduced due to heat.
Determine the cause of overheating
Before jumping to a solution, figure out the cause of overheating. Shutting down the entire system might not be possible, so it might be necessary to troubleshoot with the power on. If the problem is caused by increased outdoor temperatures, the solution may look different from if the problem is caused by an internal issue.
Consider most effective ways to redirect heat
Sometimes reducing heat can be as simple as adding more fans or air outlets at hot spots. For some equipment, it might be necessary to invest in air conditioning units to cool down the whole system if there are not identifiable hot spots or too many hot spots. Sometimes sites have air that is hotter on the inside than on the outside, which can benefit from air-to-air heat exchangers, which draw air from cooler sources to reduce the temperature of the system.
Closely monitor the system
When installing UL508A panels from the shop, also install a thermometer to check in on the system frequently. Using thermostats with ventilation systems can effectively regulate the temperature. However, sometimes it may be necessary to check the system manually on occasion to ensure it is staying at an optimal temperature.
Replace old systems
If UL508A industrial control has had significant trouble in the heat, it might be time to install a new one. Check with the control panel shop for warranty and replacement information, as it could be covered if it had not yet reached the end of its lifespan. Ultimately, replacing older systems that don’t do well in the heat with newer controls and a cooling system could save significant amounts of time and money in the long run.