Keeping Theme Park Control Cabinets Clean, Dry, and Cool with Sealed Enclosure Coolers

Applications for sealed enclosure cooling can show up in a wide variety of applications. A well-known Pennsylvania theme park recently found three separate control cabinets that could be improved with a simple addition of an ACT Sealed Enclosure Cooler product.

Golf Course Sprinkler Control Cabinets

Typical sprinkler control panel

Typical sprinkler control panel

The theme park originally contacted ACT’s local automation control distributor to resolve an overheating problem related to their golf course sprinkler system.  The sprinkler control panel contained a PLC and multiple drives that powered sprinkler motors. The cooling system for the control cabinet relied on pond water to cool the cabinet. During the winter, the feed lines to the internal cabinet’s water based cooler cracked, due to improper winterization of the system.  You can imagine what occurred during spring start up: the entire cabinet was filled with water and the control panel components all had to be replaced.

When ACT was brought in to review the application, the customer requested the inside control cabinet air temperature be regulated at 95°F or below. The internal heat loads in the NEMA 4 cabinet were calculated as below 800 Watts and the actual heat rejection assistance of the control cabinet walls

was deemed to work towards reducing the overall heat load. The other advantage noted was that the system only ran at night, in order to keep golfers from getting wet.  This night usage when the outside air in the evenings was under 70°F provided a hefty temperature delta of 25°F between the desired temperature inside of the enclosure, and the external outside ambient air temperature.  The cabinets’ dimensions were measured as 48”H x 60”W x 12”D.  The application data was run through the ACT Enclosure Cooling Selection Tool and the suggested result was an ACT-HSC-45 Heat Sink Cooler.

After installation, this HSC unit provided an average inside control cabinet temperature of 85.6F, well under the customer’s 95°F goal.  Since the ACT-HSC-45 is completely sealed,  the possibility of damage due to water or dust was eliminated.

Park Ride Control Cabinets

As a result of the success on the golf course, when one of the park’s facilities engineers noted that control cabinets near the amusement park rides were getting filled with dust and dirt, they again reached out to ACT. The parks ground keepers use leaf blowers to keep paths and rides clean of dust and leaf debris, but this effective cleaning method was causing a high level of dust and dirt contamination within the control cabinets, whose thermal management system was the typical fan cooler. While the fan coolers were originally installed with filters, when they became dirty, it was determined that the filters were often removed without being replaced.

Internal and external cabinet temperatures were measured and the heat loads was derived during an application assessment.  The cabinet inputs and heat load once more aligned well with an ACT heat exchanger solution. This time an ACT-HPC (Heat Pipe Cooler) was applied as the narrow cabinets were only eight inches in depth.  The foot print of the selected ACT-HPC was only 5” x 5” square and fit nicely into the cabinet.

After installation, this HPC unit has given the facility a reduced maintenance system leading to decreased down time on park rides.  Eliminating dirt, dust and moisture reduced overheating problems resulting from clogged fans, and prevented bridging of electrical components, which caused intermittent signal problems or direct shorts.

Cabinets located in the Water Park

With the successes found around the theme park, upgrades for control cabinets near the large water park were recommended by facility managers.  In this location, ACT-HPC, 316 Stainless heat pipe coolers, rated for NEMA 4X applications were applied.  The 4X sealed rating indicates that this product will prevent water penetration, and therefore, corrosion damage to the ACT-HPC heat exchanger.

This NEMA 4X HPC solution provides a low-maintenance, long-life thermal solution that is able to keep a sealed environment, protecting the sensitive electronics in the control panels from water damage.

Thermal Partner

Advanced Cooling Technologies was able to address not only the original cabinet cooling issue for the Theme Park’s golf courses, but was able to leverage its product line and engineering expertise to become a valuable thermal partner to make improvements park-wide.

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