Condensation in enclosures: How to prevent it?
An enclosure is a key component in the engineering of electrical devices or systems. The enclosure is required to safeguard important electrical components from external dangers and to safeguard personnel from equipment risks. This article gives an overview and suggestions for preventing condensation inside an electrical enclosure.
When humid air is present, water droplets condense on a cold surface to generate condensation. This is most likely to occur outside when there is moisture and temperature variation. Since electronics and electrical components are affected by water, the presence of moisture nearby increases the likelihood that a problem will develop or the device will completely fail.
Under normal outside circumstances, the surface of any electrical enclosure cools overnight. Early in the morning, the outside temperature increases faster than the temperature within the container. When the temperature rises, surface moisture is able to evaporate from the cold surfaces. However, within electrical enclosures, there is always the possibility that moisture cannot evaporate, which may result in moisture-related problems that persist over time.
How do electronic components react to condensation?
- Components gradually lose performance due to condensation
- High resistance can lead to heat buildup in components
- Component performance can be lowered or inconsistency can occur
- Since moisture that contains impurities also conducts electricity, there is a risk of short-circuiting
- Rust can develop on components over time when moisture corrodes them. Even the metal enclosure that is supposed to protect the components may corrode
It can be somewhat challenging to determine whether a terminal or other electrical component, is malfunctioning due to moisture exposure, as moisture-related problems are not always critical. All electrical components need to be manually checked as the malfunction causes inconsistent product performance. The time it takes to check a hundred electrical boxes can be extensive, resulting in an increase in operational costs.
How to prevent condensation from occurring inside an electrical enclosure
The optimal method for preventing water condensation inside a container is to prevent moisture from entering the container in the first place. In the actual world, however, this kind of protection is not always attainable, thus we need other methods to prevent condensation from occurring.
Here are three essential tips:
- Orientate the enclosure far from any temperature variations (such as direct sunlight or engines, for example)
- Avoid any very wet locations (such as by the sea or near large areas of water pooling)
- Add a heating or ventilation system to the enclosure.
If you are unable to locate an enclosure away from temperature variations and wet locations, ventilation and heating equipment are two of the most common methods for preventing condensation.
The insulating qualities of non-metallic enclosures are superior to those of metallic enclosures, and their heating capacity is lower. This implies that when there is a sudden shift in air temperature, a plastic enclosure will adjust to the new temperature more rapidly and less water will condense on its surfaces.
The greater the system’s IP rating, the more difficult it is to remove moisture from the enclosure. Consequently, enclosures with a low IP rating need less ventilation, since air already circulates via gaskets and other leak spots. The ventilation solution is especially crucial for enclosures with a high IP rating.
Active and passive ventilation devices may be distinguished from one another. Active ventilation utilises an electric fan to expel air from the container. Passive ventilation refers to the use of cross-ventilation, in which ventilation equipment is installed on both sides of the enclosure and pulls air through them. For instance, one of them may be installed on the enclosure’s bottom right side and the other on its top left side. The cold air will enter from below, while the warm air will exit from above. Passive ventilation is more dependable and cost-effective, but the airflow is less efficient. Typically, large cabinets include active ventilation with a fan.
Heating systems raise the interior temperature and prevent condensation from forming on surfaces. Heating devices will utilise energy to heat the enclosure or cabinet and maintain a temperature above the dew point, preventing condensation from occurring on the surfaces. The heating device is a dependable but more costly option.
Quality Aluminum Waterproof Enclosure
Another option would be using a quality waterproof enclosure which will help avoid any condensation in the enclosure. For instance, we will recommend YONGUBOX IP68 Waterproof Aluminium Boxes.
These aluminium enclosures are suitable for use in harsh environments such as heavy machinery, industrial plants, and underwater or outdoor applications. YONGUBOX has a wide variety of IP-rated enclosures with flexible customization options.
YONGUBOX L Series: Durable enclosures rugged enough for indoor or outdoor applications. L Series include around 24 different models, including
- Outdoor Electrical & Water Proof Boxes
- Waterproof Plastic Enclosures
- Waterproof Electrical Enclosures
- IP67 Aluminum Boxes
- Waterproof Electrical Junction & Power Boxes
- Weatherproof Electrical Enclosures
- Waterproof Metal Junction Boxes
- Waterproof Box for Boat
- Waterproof Battery Boxes
- Automotive Waterproof Electrical Junction Boxes
- Waterproof Connection Boxes
- Waterproof PCB Boxes
- Waterproof Switch Boxes
- Waterproof Underground Electrical Junction Boxes
YONGUBOX M Series: M-series consists of a highly versatile enclosure at an economical price
M Series include around 11 different models, including
- IP67/IP68 Aluminum & Waterproof Boxes
- weatherproof electrical boxes
- outdoor electrical junction boxes
- waterproof junction boxes
- outdoor electronic boxes
Both M and L series have the following properties in common.
- Rugged and robust for heavy-duty use.
- Maintaining waterproof and dustproof functioning is made easier by using a distribution
- Diecast aluminium housing that is resilient to socks
- The unfinished interior surfaces can be used to achieve conductivity
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