As we here in Texas groan about high temperatures of summer, it’s important to remember that we aren’t the only ones suffering from the heat. Electronics and heat don’t mix and the combination can be disastrous.
As temperatures rise the number of businesses that lost power or experienced brown increase. During that time, many people turn on their generators or use battery power to keep machines running. What they didn’t realize was – the heat could be damaging their equipment.
Circuit systems within electronics work best at lower temperatures. Allowing systems to run for prolonged periods of time in high temperatures can decrease the longevity and reliability of devices. Solid state electronics actually begin to break down and fry at temperatures much above 120 degrees. However, the hotter the temperature – the less functional the machine will become. Most systems tend to run 10 to 20 degrees hotter than room temperature.
Within the era of technology electronic devices such as drives (VFDs), programable logic controllers (PLCs), human machine interfaces(HMIs) and power supplies have dramatically decreased in size. This causes a lot of systems to run with a higher heat density. While many companies have worked to include cooling systems within their products – cooling systems cannot keep up when devices are left in areas without air conditioning. Believe it or not, just surfing the web on your cellphone or playing games on your laptop may sound like the perfect idea during a blackout, but that heat can even damage them!
When the power is off or it is not stable and rooms temperatures are high, limit use of electronic devices. Cooling units similar to small air conditioners can be purchased and installed to keep equipment cabinets cool. Placing a fan in front of a cabinet with the door open will provide temporary relief, but could cause more environmental damage to the drive by allowing foreign material, dirt and water into the cabinet. Just remember. The longer the use, the hotter the object will get.
If you experience issues with any electronic device after exposure to heat send it to Innovative IDM and we will provide a free evaluation. IIDM also stocks and sells new world class VFDs, PLCs and HMIs and can do turnkey installations. So, if you have a piece of equipment you’d like to check on repairing, contact your IIDM sale representative or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marc Phelps is manager of the Innovative-IDM repair facility in Houston. You can contact him at email@example.com