Self-contained air conditioning units mounted on electric panels have long been a source of frustration due to their excessive energy consumption, high maintenance requirements, and questionable reliability. Additionally since equipment is located in production space where high dust concentrations and excessive ambient temperatures may be present, potential exists for the sensitive components inside the enclosure to be damaged. Air Management Technologies has developed a solution utilizing a Central Electric Panel Cooling System by providing conditioning equipment outside the hostile environment. Typical return on investment is usually less than 4-years considering operational expenses and system benefits.
Central Panel Cooling Systems enjoy several distinct advantages over traditional self-contained electric panel mounted air conditioning units. A small diameter high velocity round duct minimizes exterior surface area reducing sanitation requirements. The duct supplies conditioned air into the panels which contain an exhaust relief to production space. Our design maintains a positive pressure inside the panel enclosure decreasing potential for dusts to accumulate on the electronics while providing an indirect source of makeup air inside the facility. Balancing dampers are installed at each panel location permitting adjustments to maintain proper temperature. Depending on application sensitivity motorized dampers and panel temperature sensors may be installed providing precise environmental control. When integrated into a central facility control system sensors can detect irregular operations triggering alarm notifications to key personnel. Early notification significantly reduces risk of panel failures resulting in expensive electrical components replacement and lost product line operation.
Reductions in panel cooling operational and maintenance costs are achieved by leveraging the efficiencies of a central unit compared to multiple self-contained panel coolers. Energy savings may exceed 70% depending on geographic location since systems are engineered to utilize economized outside air when temperature and humidity conditions permit. Savings are further maximized when utilizing variable speed fans, higher efficiency compressors, and the ability to maintain clean heat transfer surfaces by greatly reducing dusts infiltration and collecting deposits on mechanical equipment. Remote equipment location may allow some preventive maintenance tasks to be performed safely during periods of line operation similar to other ventilation units. With this configuration a facility has the option to outsource system maintenance tasks providing in-house staff a greater percentage of time optimizing process equipment. A single central unit also permits installing higher efficiency air filters to the same environmental standards as other ventilation equipment. Proper filtration further reduces potential for dusts to be supplied into the panels by the cooling equipment itself, a common occurrence with low efficiency permanent metal filters supplied by the panel cooling manufacturer which may allow significant bypass.
Opportunities exist to provide central panel cooling systems during new construction or electric panel retrofits. Retrofits can be challenging due to existing panel spacing and conflicting plant utilities. If considering a retrofit project it please contact us early to see if these challenges can be alleviated providing a greater return on investment. Please contact us if interested in securing an estimate for a central electric panel cooling system for your food processing facility.