Choosing Between Ambient and Below-Ambient Heat Exchangers

Heat exchangers of all types are preferable for a wide range of applications in virtually every type of industry. However, some types of heat exchangers are better suited to certain conditions, and choosing the right solution depends on what those conditions are. For instance, while ambient heat exchangers are often the most efficient solution, some applications may require heat exchangers to provide cooling below the ambient temperature outside of the enclosure. When selecting the most appropriate thermal management solution, companies must consider what that solution will have to achieve.

When Ambient Cooling Works Best

Ambient heat exchangers transfer waste heat within an electrical enclosure in order to keep the temperature just above the ambient temperature outside of it. This level of thermal management is accomplished easily through methods like natural and forced convection, and therefore, is among the most energy-efficient and eco-friendly solutions. Ambient heat exchangers work best for most applications that operate in mild-temperature environments, and that aren’t exposed to excessive levels of dust, powder, hazardous materials, or other potentially hazardous contaminants.

When to Consider Below-Ambient Cooling

Below-ambient heat exchangers prevent applications from overheating when they need to be cooled below the ambient temperature outside. The units utilize a safe cooling fluid such as water, which often circulates within a closed loop, and the temperature of the fluid determines the temperature to which the heat exchanger cools an enclosure. Compared to the traditional below-ambient method of using air conditioners to chill the interior of electrical enclosures, below-ambient heat exchangers offer significant cost and energy saving benefits. They are also viable for locations that with higher levels of contaminants as well as temperatures that are above the application’s maximum operating temperature.

To learn more about choosing between ambient and below-ambient heat exchangers, call Noren Thermal, Inc. in Taylor, TX, at 866-936-6736.