Theme parks utilize a variety of electrical and instrumentation control cabinets. They can be located in very challenging locations both indoors and out. Many require cooling with watertight seals from rain, water spray and other airborne debris. Some are placed in high corrosion areas like waterpark rides, where the highly chlorinated water will make short work of steel or aluminum enclosures. These challenging environments require NEMA 4X cooling solutions and enclosures.
An ACT sales representative who regularly calls on a large theme park fielded a question about issues the facilities team was having with some of their electronics enclosures. The existing vented cabinet with flow-through filtered fan approach provided sufficient cooling but had a major shortfall. The grounds crew came by each day blowing leaves, dust and debris all around the control cabinets. Some had filters that were quickly removed due to heavy clogging. Once the filters were removed the dust and dirt ended up in the enclosures causing electrical bridging shorts and overheating due to debris buildup.
The sales rep approached the Thermal Management Experts at ACT, who had an ideal retrofit solution. ACT’s HPC heat pipe sealed enclosure coolers were an easy off-the-shelf replacement for the existing flow-through fan cooling systems, Figure 1. They provided equivalent cooling while allowing the cabinets to remain sealed against water and airborne dust and contaminants, significantly decreasing maintenance and increase the electronics life and reliability.
ACT’s simple-to-use Selection Tool was used to assure an optimum solution for each cabinet. The tool utilizes enclosure size, operating and ambient temperature values, mounting location and expected internal heat loads to calculate the most cost-effective ACT product. Most of the applications for the park featured a 15°- 20° F temperature delta between the inside to outside of the enclosure. The ACT-HPC units are NEMA 4 rated and were sized accordingly. These units have been installed and are performing as designed with significantly reduced maintenance requirements. Since the ACT-HPC is 100% sealed no external dirt, dust or debris can enter the cabinet. The units large spacing on the external fin stack prevents clogging and can be easily cleaned if required.
In addition, ACT is currently working with the park to utilize ACT-HPC heat exchangers in NEMA 4X configuration for the water rides section of the park. In this area Chlorine and other pool maintenance chemicals are used extensively and rapidly corrode exposed electronics, powder-coated aluminum surfaces and unprotected heat exchanger fins.
The ACT-HPC NEMA 4X units are designed with potted cooling fans, 316 Stainless Steel housings and Electrofin® E-coated fins. The E-Coat treatment is superior in salt, chemical, and high-humidity environments.
ACT supports the installation process with technical installation videos and dedicated engineering files in both CAD and SolidWorks STEP formats.