Enclosure Cooling

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Sealed Enclosure Cooling

ACT’s enclosure cooling products effectively dissipate heat from sealed electrical and electronic enclosures operating in indoor, outdoor and other types of environments. These products are applicable in diverse industries including Industrial Automation, Food Processing, Chemical, Petrochemical, Wastewater Treatment, and Telecommunications. ACT offers a high level of technical support to automation & control systems integrators and OEM’s through our website selection tools, online ordering and direct field support from our factory and local technical representatives.

Heat Sink Cooler (ACT-HSC) Heat Exchanger

Heat Sink Cooler (ACT-HSC) Heat Exchanger

Economical, Excellent Price vs. Performance Ratio – Rise Above Ambient Heat Exchanger Starting at $859

Thermal Electric Cooler (ACT-TEC Air Conditioner/Heater

Thermoelectric (ACT-TEC) Air

Compact Solid State Air Conditioner- Sub-Ambient Cooling Starting at $2,900

Vapor Compression
(ACT-VCC) Air Conditioner

Vapor Compression Air Conditioner- Sub-Ambient Cooling Starting at $2,420 for AC models and $2,830 for DC models



Our products incorporate many advanced innovations in heat transfer (e.g. air impingement, embedded heat pipes, etc.) and manufacturing (e.g. zipper fins, modularity, etc.). These patent-pending designs often result in significantly improved performance/cost and performance/volume ratios. Our products comply with UL Recognition and UL Listing testing for the Heat Sink Cooler (HSC) and Heat Pipe Cooler (HPC) series products. These approvals are required by OEM’s and Systems Integrators, which are required to follow the UL 508 Standard for Industrial Control Panels. In addition to achieving UL Certification, the products successfully passed NEMA rating tests. ACT’s sealed enclosure coolers meet UL 50E waterproof testing (high-pressure spray testing) that qualifies the products to be used in NEMA 12, 3R, 4, and 4X designated applications. For those customers having unique needs beyond the scope of our standard products, our highly experienced engineers stand ready to discuss the requirements and potentially provide a custom solution to meet the requirements. Please contact us by phone, email or the online inquiry form that is provided at the bottom of every web page.

A wide range of industries use electronic equipment such as variable frequency drives, transformer and power modules for various applications, many of which are essential to vital business operations. No matter how they’re used, all these pieces of equipment share common aspects — one of which is susceptibility to damage from contaminants, high temperatures, humidity and corrosive environments. Businesses, government agencies and other entities are increasingly using sensitive electronic devices in settings that can introduce dirt, debris, moisture and other contaminants into the electronic system, potentially compromising its reliability. To protect equipment from physical harm, manufacturers typically house electronics in metal enclosures, which also protect personnel from electrical dangers. While these enclosures prevent contaminants from getting to the machinery, they also create a problem of their own. Electronic equipment produces waste heat as a natural byproduct of its operation, in various degrees depending on its efficiency. In some conditions, external sources also expose it to heat. The cabinets that protect the electronics from damage caused by foreign objects hinder the dissipation of heat. When temperatures rise as a consequence, the heat can cause the electronics to operate less than optimally and lead to severe damage to the electrical equipment. To avoid this damage and the costs that come with it, companies need to invest in sealed industrial enclosure cooling solutions, which reduce the temperatures inside enclosures to a level at which the devices inside can reliably function.

What Are Enclosure Coolers?

Enclosure cooling products dissipate heat from sealed electrical and electronic cabinets in both indoor and outdoor environments. Since this heat can be harmful to the equipment, some sort of cooling solution is essential to the dependable operation of the electronics inside the enclosure. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will typically provide recommended temperature ranges for their products.

Enclosure cooling products dissipate heat from sealed electrical and electronic cabinets in both indoor and outdoor environments such as, hot climates, solar loads, non-air conditioned buildings, industrial machinery and electronic equipment

Unwanted heat can come from both internal and external sources, although the heat the equipment itself produces is usually the primary source. If there aren’t any additional energy interactions, a device’s heat output will equal the power input. More efficient components produce less waste heat. Internal heat sources include, but are not limited to:

  • AC drives and inverters
  • Power supplies
  • Transformers
  • Servers
  • Programmable logic controllers (PLCs)
  • IGBTs
  • Battery systems
  • Communication equipment

Heat can also come from outside sources such as:

  • Hot climates
  • Solar loads
  • Non-air conditioned buildings
  • Other electronic equipment
  • Industrial machinery

Above-Ambient vs. Sub-Ambient Technologies

Experts divide enclosure cooling systems into two basic types — those for above-ambient and those for sub-ambient thermal management scenarios. In an above-ambient scenario, the temperature inside the enclosure can be higher than the temperature outside the enclosure, which is the ambient temperature, and the equipment will still operate sufficiently. Sub-ambient scenarios require the temperature inside the cabinet to be below the outside temperature. These types of technologies typically use more power and have higher costs.


What are the Above-Ambient Cooling Solutions for Power Electronics Enclosures?

Above-ambient solutions include fan and filter systems, heat sink coolers and heat pipe coolers.

  1. Fan and Filter Systems

Fan and filter systems are among the simplest enclosure cooling technology, as well as the least expensive. In these systems, outside air passes through a filter into the enclosure and circulates through it, collecting waste heat. Once the air becomes sufficiently heated, it exits through another opening. Although this solution does use a filter, debris and water can still get into the enclosure through the openings. Because of this, it works best in environments where contaminants are not a significant risk. You also have to change the filter regularly to keep the system functioning properly, which adds some maintenance costs.

  1. Heat Sink and Heat Pipe Enclosure Cooling Units

Heat sink and heat pipe coolers operate by the same principle but use different means of achieving heat reduction. They use a heat exchanger, either a heat sink or a heat pipe, that captures heat from the air inside the unit and transfers it to the outside air. It then recirculates the cooled air from inside the enclosure. This setup means the outside air and inside air never come into contact with each other, although heat is transferred between them. There’s no need for an opening to let air in or out, meaning there’s no risk of contamination. A heat sink is a metal structure that usually has one or more flat surfaces and protrusions known as fins that increase the amount of surface air can come into contact with.
These systems also often include fans to direct the air to the heat sink. A heat pipe contains a fluid that transfers heat through its evaporation and condensation. When the liquid coolant in the pipe becomes heated, it evaporates and travels to the upper, cool end of the pipe where it condensates, releasing the heat into the outside air. It then flows back to the other side, and the process begins again. Heat pipes are typically made of a thermo-conductive metal like copper or aluminum, and may also use fins and fans for the same purposes heat sinks do.

What are the Sub-Ambient Cooling Solutions for Power Electronics Enclosures?

Sub-ambient cooling solutions are an option when natural or forced-air convection can’t dissipate heat quickly enough. These technologies include thermoelectric coolers, liquid-to-air heat exchangers, air conditioners and vortex coolers.

  • Thermoelectric coolers: Thermoelectric coolers, or TECs, are solid-state air conditioners that harness the Peltier effect, rather than moving parts, compressors, refrigerants or circulating liquids. The Peltier effect allows heat to transfer from one element of a semiconductor to another when a direct current power source is applied to it.
  • Liquid-to-air heat exchangers: In liquid-to-air heat exchanger systems, a refrigerating liquid circulates within the enclosure, absorbing waste heat. It carries that heat outside the enclosure, where it disperses.
  • Air conditioners: Air conditioners are a more familiar technology since they’re the most commonly used way to cool buildings.
    They operate through the use of chemical refrigerants, compressors, evaporators, condensers, and fans, and rely on the principle that fluid heats up when compressed and cools down when expanded.
  • Vortex coolers: Vortex coolers require an input of compressed air to a mechanical device called a vortex tube that causes the air to rotate at high speeds, splitting it into hot and cold airstreams. It cools the airflow and sends it into the enclosure to cool down the electronic components.

Applications and Advantages of Enclosure Cooler Systems

Any industry that uses enclosure-housed electronic equipment that generates unwanted heat or is exposed to excessive external heat needs cabinet coolers. These products have applications for a wide variety of equipment types across a diverse set of industries, including the industrial automation, food processing, chemical, petrochemical, wastewater treatment and telecommunications sectors, among many others. In addition to dissipating heat, many of these products also help keep dust, moisture, mold and other potentially damaging contaminants away from electrical equipment. Heat sink, heat pipe, thermoelectric and vortex coolers are especially useful for keeping components clean. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association, or NEMA, has established standards for how effectively electrical enclosures protect what they contain. Our enclosure cooling products meet NEMA standards 12, 3R, 4 and 4X. Avoiding the damage excessive temperatures, debris, and moisture would have caused to electronic components without an enclosure cooler leads to the enhanced reliability of the equipment. Although cooling systems come with an initial cost — and potentially, maintenance costs, depending on the type of system you choose — those costs are insignificant relative to the savings they provide. Improperly functioning or failing equipment can lead to high repair and maintenance expenses and excessive downtime since electronics are integral to so many processes. Cabinet cooling technology itself is also highly reliable, especially above-ambient solutions, which have so few moving parts. Learn more about the benefits of Sealed Enclosure Coolers over Air Conditioners, such as no moving parts, which make enclosure coolers more reliable and affordable.

Types of Enclosure Cooling by ACT

We have four standard enclosure cooling product lines: HSC, HPC, TEC and VCC.

  1. ACT-HSC Heat Sink Coolers

Our HSC series is smaller and less intrusive, with an exceptional performance-to-cost ratio. These cabinet cooling systems consist of two high-performance, aluminum-finned heat sinks joined to the opposite sides of a common mounting plate. They require a minimal number of holes for mounting fasteners, cover fasteners and external fan wires so debris cannot enter the enclosure. With very few moving parts, these systems are virtually maintenance-free. ACT’s three HSC products are the ACT-HSC-22, ACT-HSC-45 and ACT-HSC-68. The number in the model equates to thermal conductance in watts per degrees Celsius.

  • Thermal capacity in watts at 20 degrees Celsius ΔT:
    • ACT-HSC-22 — 440
    • ACT-HSC-45 — 900
    • ACT-HSC-68 — 1,360
  • Operating voltage ranges: 15VAC, 230VAC, 12VDC, 24VDC and 48VDC
  • NEMA options: 12, 3R, 4 and 4X, UL50E certified
  1. ACT-HPC Heat Pipe Cooler Series

The products in our HPC series are built to provide high performance-to-volume ratios, and often need a smaller opening than even the HSC series. These enclosure cooling units work best when installed on the roof of the enclosure. They can operate for years without maintenance. We offer four options: the ATC-HPC-15, ATC-HPC-40, ATC-HPC-50 and ATC-HPC-80. The number in the model equates to thermal conductance in
watts per degrees Celsius. heat pipe enclosure cooling units work best when installed on the roof of the enclosure

  • Thermal capacity in watts at 20 degrees Celsius ΔT:
    • ACT-HPC-15 — 300
    • ACT-HPC-40 — 800
    • ACT-HPC-50 — 1000
    • ACT-HPC-80 — 1600
  • Operating voltage ranges: 115VAC, 230VAC, 12VDC, 24VDC and 48VDC
  • NEMA options: 12, 3R, 4 and 4X, UL50E certified
  1. ACT-TEC Thermoelectric Air Conditioner Series

The TEC series is a reasonably priced line of closed active-cooling thermoelectric air conditioners that effectively cool the interior of an enclosure, despite circumstances where the surrounding temperature is higher than the internal temperature of the enclosure. It features precise temperature control with a built-in, adjustable thermostat and an optional heating mode. We offer two TEC models: the ACT-TEC-90 and ACT-TEC-300.The TEC series, is a reasonably priced line of closed active-cooling thermoelectric air conditioners that effectively cool the interior of an enclosureACT-TEC Thermoelectric Air Conditioner Series

    • Cooling capacity measured in watts per BTUs at 20-degree Celsius temperature difference (ΔT):
      • ACT-TEC-90 — 90/300
      • ACT-TEC-300 — 300/1000
    • Operating voltage ranges: Both versions are available in 24 VDC, 155 VAC and 230 VAC operating ranges.
    • NEMA Rating: 4

4. ACT-VCC Vapor Compression Cooling
ACT’s VCC Air Conditioners offer an industry-leading combination of performance and efficiency. With indoor air temperature control and anIP55 rated seal, these Air Conditioners can be integrated into harsh environments and still provide a cool and clean operating space for your electronics. With their plug-and-play design and readily available inventory, you can quickly and easily integrate ACT’s Air Conditioners into your electronics cabinet.

To help determine which of these standard products is right for your needs, use our online selection tool. Just input your requirements, and the tool will provide you with the option that will work best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take for my order to ship?

  • ACT-HSC Series: ships within one week of order
  • ACT-HPC Series: ships within two weeks of order*
  • ACT-TEC Series: ships within four weeks of order
  • ACT-VCC Series: ships within one week of order

*If ordering either an HPC in NEMA 4X, or 4 or more units of any model,  please call or email ECsales@1-act.com for processing time.

Do I need to purchase additional fans or filters?

While ACT provides a number of accessories, they are all optional. The products are designed to work as a standalone unit. Please understand that adding filters will decrease performance to some degree, and will require regular maintenance to prevent clogging. Unless the environment is especially
dirty, i.e. a cement manufacturing plant or a mine, it is not recommended to add filter kits. Replacement fans are available, but ACT recommends discussing with our service team before modifying the existing product to ensure a successful replacement.


Can I request minor customizations of these Sealed Enclosure Cooler products?

We often support requests for custom covers or cord location, color, etc. Our goal is to make sure these products work well for our customers, so let us know what you need! Call today with your request.

Can you provide a custom cooling solution for my cabinet?

We have a full team of engineers at ACT that can offer a solution that fits your application and often can provide a product that takes advantage of some common parts of the standard units in order to provide cost savings. Examples of custom enclosure cooling solutions ACT has engineered:

  • Chilled Water Cooler: to integrate into existing chilled water onsite
  • Direct Mount option: attach components directly to the common plate on the interior
  • Low Noise variation: which combines heat pipe technology with a large finned exterior heat sink to eliminate or minimize fans, ensuring quiet operation

Contact ACT

ACT as Leaders in the Industry

At Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc., we have the knowledge and skills to provide you with the perfect thermal management solution to fit your needs. Our products are in use in various commercial satellites, medical devices, military vehicles and HVAC systems, as well as in many other applications. ACT began in 2003 as an R&D company and grew into an accomplished thermal management system manufacturer, which gives us the background we need to consistently deliver quality products, as well as come up with unique and innovative solutions. We also pride ourselves on providing exceptional technical support through direct field support from factory and local technical representatives, our website selection tools and resources as well as our convenient online ordering system, which enables our customers to efficiently place orders and track shipments. For help with all your sealed enclosure cooler needs, please browse our online resources and reach out to us with any questions or concerns.


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