People don’t want to live in dirty environments and neither do electronics. Electronic controls and instrumentation are highly sensitive to factors like dust, oil, high humidity, and excessive heat. Maintaining tight control over temperatures inside an electronics enclosure is essential for protecting these devices. System designers can choose from a variety of cooling options, including natural convection, fans, air-to-air heat exchangers, air-to-water heat exchangers, and air conditioners. Each of these technologies offers its own unique style, advantages, and customization options.
Enclosure filter fans are often the simplest and most cost-effective way to remove heat from a system. The first step in deciding if this solution is appropriate is determining how much air flow is needed and how much of the air flow the proposed filter fan solution will provide. If the surrounding air is cooler than the temperature that must be maintained inside the enclosure, a filter fan can be an excellent option. Filter fans help prevent intrusions of dirt and other contaminants that could damage sensitive electronics, while pulling cooler air into the enclosure and removing hotter air.
Figure 1 (left) illustrates a filter fan design. It consists of the filter housing, a motor, and fan blades. When the motor starts, it turns the fan blades, which direct the flow of the air through the housing. This air flow creates pressure that causes the air to circulate through the enclosure. Many enclosure designs incorporate two fans located side by side, offering “parallel operation,” which provides almost twice the amount of air flow of a single-fan design.
For more information on maximizing the advantages that filter fan technology offers for enclosures, download Rittal’s free white paper.