Why metal filtered fans beat plastic for electrical enclosures
EP&T MagazineElectronics Thermal management
There are many options to consider for cooling solutions for your electrical enclosure. Depending on the ambient conditions, anything from a closed loop air conditioner to a filtered fan could be used. All cooling solutions have a few different options to choose from, and can be sized to fit the heat load and temperature requirements of each electrical enclosure.
Using a filtered fan for your cooling system is the practical approach when extreme temperatures, humidity, or harsh conditions are not anticipated. Installation and maintenance for a filtered fan is fairly inexpensive, making a fan your most cost-effective option when the ambient environmental conditions allow for it.
After determining that a filtered fan is the best approach for cooling your electrical enclosure design, the decision comes down to whether you prefer metal or plastic filtered fans. Here’s a breakdown of the features for each type of fan.
Plastic filtered fans
With a plastic filtered fan for your electrical enclosure, the electrical equipment inside is kept at a proper temperature. By directing airflow both into and out of your electrical enclosure, the filtered fan can remove the warmer air and draw in cooler air from the outside environment. In addition, the plastic filtered fan removes particulate matter from the ambient air prior to introducing it to the equipment in your electrical enclosure. Your equipment is protected not only from overheating, but from potentially harmful particles in the air as well.
The plastic filtered fan’s snap-on grille allows you to gain access to the filter. With no special tools required, replacing the filter is quite simple. All plastic filtered fans are supplied with polypropylene filter mats. When inspecting filter use, they can be washed to reduce contaminant build-up and extend the life of the filter. If your maintenance employee determines that the washing does not adequately reduce contaminant level, replacing the filter will be a necessary, but quick and easy, step.
Metal filtered fans
When your electrical enclosure is in a highly visible area and aesthetics are essential. Having the flexibility to select the exact color you need for your filtered fan grille can help your company make a good visual impression. Metal filtered fans come standard in ANSI 61 gray, perfectly matched to the color of electrical enclosures. If you prefer a different color, the metal filtered fan can be custom painted upon request, or supplied with a stainless steel grille. Whether the preference is to match the enclosure or create a striking visual contrast, a metal filtered fan can achieve the exact look you desire.
On top of the aesthetic benefits, metal filtered fans are supplied with the same high quality internal components as plastic filtered fans, and the filters can be changed quite simply. By removing just two thumbscrews, employees can access and inspect the filter. Every metal filtered fan is supplied with a woven polypropylene electrostatic filter, which helps to filter more contaminants than the polypropylene mat supplied with the plastic filtered fans. Filter maintenance is no different from the plastic fan filters. Wash or replace the filter as necessary to keep airflow unrestricted and your equipment cool and clean.
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