We have already talked about the IP protection degrees in our blog and we have seen how we universally refer to the IEC 60529 standard to classify the casings of any equipment. We now want to contextualize the topic in the specific application area of the enclosures cooling, through roof exhaust and filter fan units.
Protection degree for forced ventilation
Forced ventilation combined with filtration, typical of filter fan, is the most popular method for its effectiveness, economy and ease of maintenance. The manufacturers of these components are required to indicate the degree of protection on the technical documentation and product labels, which must be understood in the condition in which it is properly installed on the walls or roof of the cabinet.
For this reason, in the assembly instructions, the permitted installation conditions are specified in detail, indicating the thickness of the casing, dimensions, and tolerances of the opening holes to be drilled in the cabinet.
The system designer must refer to the specific product standards which, for the electrical cabinet, are essentially two:
- IEC 62208: Empty enclosures for low-voltage switchgear and control gear assemblies – General requirements
- IEC 61439: Low-voltage switchgear and control gear assemblies. Distribution boards intended to be operated by ordinary persons (DBO)
First of all, it is necessary to consider that the openings necessary for the installation of the ventilation components must be made in the cabinet, so the overall degree of protection corresponds to the lowest of the components installed on the openings.
|System component||IP Degree|
|Empty cabinet in painted sheet metal||IP66|
|Filter with fan||IP54|
|Filtro con ventilatore||IP54|
|Overall degree of protection||IP54|
Ventilation in outdoor or indoor enclosures
The ventilation of electrical panels is used in both indoor and outdoor applications. For the first ones, where air pollution is never particularly high, the IP54 degree of protection is generally more than sufficient. For outdoor applications, on the other hand, there are products with an IP55 degree of protection which, when combined with protection hoods, allow to reach even IP56.
Unless otherwise prescribed by specific application standards, the tests on the degree of protection of the cabinet must be conducted in accordance with IEC 60529 when the cabinet is not electrically powered.
How to choose the most suitable degree of protection for thermal management
We remind you that our calculation software is available on the Fandis website to calculate the heating or cooling power needed to have the optimal temperature inside an electrical panel: all the requirements suitable for thermal management, depending on the application, to select thus the most suitable set of products.