Switch cabinet cooling - Efficient protection against overheating

Switch cabinet cooling

Airtight switch and control cabinets require active cooling so that lost heat and condensation water can excapte. The SystemCool switch cabinet cooling units developed by CasaFan are ideal for application in industrial and professional environments. The safety of the device and employees is ensured at all times.
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Control cabinet

Cooling switch cabinets?

Usually painted grey, the protective boxes contain controllers and electrics of equipment and machinery. Their robust construction and non-corroding coating keeps particles, water, greasy air, dust and small matter away from the control panel and prevent electric shock due to accidental touch.

As a result of lost heat switch cabinets require efficient cooling to prevent damage of the electronic parts. Each electric process generates a small power loss (that is energy) on top of the desired transformation. Among other things, this power loss can be released in the form of heat. Closed control cabinets (airtight design) can give off heat through the walls to some extent. If this is not feasible because of the place of installation or the amount of emission, condensation water and damage due to heat on the system are inevitable. If the worst comes to the worst, failure of the electrics can put the entire facility out of service until the repair work has been done, resulting in unnecessary expenses. However, the use of a cooling device with integrated filter cartridge is recommended in environments with other harmful impacts such as polluted indoor air.

There are several options for cooling and ventilating a switch cabinet such as natural ventilation through simple ventilation grids or mechanical air circulation with fans. On average, the temperature on the inside of the cabinets range from a constant 30-35°C. Passive cooling without any additional devices requires exterior air from the outside that must always be colder than the desired temperature on the inside of the cabinet. Then the temperature can be discharged in a thermo-dynamic process through the casing walls which are usually made of conductive steel sheet. By using cooling fans the air and temperature are let in and out in a more monitored and controlled manner. Exterior air can get inside after passing a purifying filter at a stable pressure ratio, condensation water is drained off by the frame with corresponding slots.

Passive cooling describes cooling through leakage in the building envelope, joints, permeable connections and planned openings – without any further means and appliances.

Active cooling by means of ventilation systems is necessary if the control cabinet has a compact and enclosed design, otherwise overheating and accumulation of condensation water occur. Humidity, cleanliness, temperature, air pressure and air quantity can be adjusted to the individual demands.

Benefits of active cabinet cooling:
  • ensures consistent air temperature
  • ideal operational temperature of the components inside
  • supports service life of electric parts
  • improved performance
  • compliance to guidelines thanks to IP ratings
  • in case filters are used: pollution control
The quantity of air that your control cabinet fan should transport per hour is calculated from the thermal heat loss in Watt as well as the maximum temperature on the inside and outside.
The SystemCool is able to generate a maximum airflow of 520m3/h, depending on the model the unit generates a sound level ranging from 42 and 63db(A). This value is important in professional environments with safety regulations in the workplace: 80db(A) and more characterise noise as harmful.

IP codes

It essential to keep an eye out for IP codes when you are looking to install a ventilation system in a switch cabinet. The decisive factor for open and closed construction of the cabinets is the maximum exterior temperature and maximum indoor temperature the single parts of the electric components are able to withstand.

We recommend the professional SystemCool filter and fan switch cabinet cooling system with IP44 and IP54 rating. The models are made from first-class materials and are engineered to provide additional protection for all components: The motor is secured by a thermal overload protection, the plastic housing is self-extinguishing and the controller thermostat is equipped with an indicator light. That makes SystemCool ideal for use in industrial plants or commercial environments.

Solid particle and liquid ingress protection:

IP 44: Protected against solid foreign objects with more than 1 mm diameter and against access to hazardous parts (e.g. wires).

IP 54: Protected against damaging amounts of dust, protected completely against access to hazardous parts.

Both versions: Protected against splashing water.

⮩ more about this topic in our guide to IP codes

Manufacture and installation

Switch cabinet cooling units of the SystemCool series are made of robust non-yellowing plastic and come with a modern industrial design. The front grille of the housing is furnished with slots to discharge condensation water. Two air passages need to be integrated into the control cabinet. The fan sucks in filtered exterior air from the bottom. The air rises inside the switch cabinet and absorbs heat and vapour in the process. The saturated air then escapes through an exhaust grille on the top of the cabinet.

Each one of our fans is fit effortlessly in square cut-outs, the required rubber gasket is already attached to the unit. The electrics are connected by terminals. Depending on the model is 4.5 to 5.5mm high after installation, we also offer a frame for the SystemCool SC-A 150 model that reduces the installation depth in the switch cabinet and therefore takes up less space.

Function and expansion

Thanks to a standard overload protection our devices have a long, trouble-free life cycle and comply with high safety requirements. The integrated motor operates efficiently and proves outstanding resistant to pressure. Our switch cabinet cooling fans can be upgraded with a thermostat if need be to automate regulation of the fan. The thermostat can be adjusted in a +20°C to +60°C range, thus covering a variety of possible applications.

SystemCool:
  • inexpensive solution
  • easy to install
  • requires little space
  • can be recycled
  • resistant to pressure, consistent cooling


Please keep in mind that the filter is replaced as often as the ambient air requires it. In environments with dusty or greasy air the filters must be checked regularly and changed if need be. The date for the filter replacement is therefore determined individually. Poor maintenance can lead to an increase of heat inside the switch cabinet.

We are happy to help you with any questions concerning item size and accessories.