Best Practices, Rugged Industrial Applications

Best Practices for products in rugged industrial applications:

Harsh environments are not unique within industrial settings but the solutions for systems operating in harsh areas can be unique depending on the end user’s needs. Let us explore the best practices- and related challenges- when it comes to designing for industrial applications.

Nema Rating:
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) defines standard environment-types for electrical equipment. For example, standard devices used in a rugged application will require a protective NEMA-4/4X enclosure with active heating and cooling. Use ruggedized equipment when possible.
Related Challenge: Anytime equipment is added to an enclosure, power requirements go up. This includes power to any heating and cooling devices. Ruggedized equipment is not always possible. Sometimes, a protective enclosure is necessary. An efficient thermoelectric heater/cooler with a heat-exchanger mode will offer thermal management while adding the minimal amount possible to power requirements.

Shock and Vibration:
NEMA-4/4X outdoor cabinets, industrial manufacturing facilities, light poles, railroad tracks, intermodal stations, and vehicles are examples of places where equipment maybe subject to extreme vibrations and shock. Use products that can handle those extremes.
Related Challenge: Unfortunately, “shock & vibration” is a phrase that is sometimes used too casually. Shock refers to single pulses or movements. Vibration refers to a continual pulse or movement. When specifying equipment, research (or ask the original manufacturer if possible) whether each component in the equipment is suited for shock and vibration.

Power Requirements:
If the application environment has AC input voltage available, sorting out how to power your system is easier. Typically, in these cases AC to DC power supply can be used to power electrical components.
Related Challenge: Surveillance and network systems (for example, along a rail line) can vary in power requirements. Some operate on 24VAC, others 12-48VDC. If active heating and cooling is required, consider a thermoelectric air conditioner. The 12, 24, and 48 vdc configurations of such coolers cut down on cost.

Active Cooling/Heating System:
An active thermal management solution will not always be required, as we have already seen. When it is, however, there are a myriad of important considerations: maintaining the NEMA-4/4X integrity of the enclosure rating, accounting for distance problems, and operating temperature range limits.
Related Challenge: Opening an enclosure to ambient air or using a fan or other device can mean ambient heat, humidity, and debris will enter your enclosure. Although cheap and at time effective, these solutions are too much a liability to be risked. Ambient exposure will shorten the life of your equipment! It is best to use a thermoelectric solution that is suitable for your enclosure type (NEMA-4/4X, CID2, Shock & Vibration, etc). Thermoelectric enclosure coolers maintain a closed loop system, can be operated remotely, and can work in extreme temperatures.

Learn more about thermoelectric cooling. Download our white paper now!

Cosmetics Manufacturing

Custom, consumer-created lipstick:

TECA Cold Plate Model AHP-301CPV is utilized by an international beauty company. A fun novelty for shoppers, the customer can create their own custom shade of lipstick. The process takes minutes and is done right at the retail counter. TECA’s cold plate AHP-301CPV is the ideal place to quickly cool and solidify the lipstick. The AHP-301CPV is part of our growing Laboratory Cold Plate product family.

consumer created lipstick  cold plate cooling lipstick mold

These products offer incredible versatility in function and ability to customize. Serving laboratories (and make-up counters!) all over the world, these products accept 100-240 VAC input and come with a sophisticated temperature controller communications software. Contact us and tell us what you need. Whether it is remote sensing, whisper-quiet operation, or extreme temperature set points, we can advise you on the best solution.

PH 773.342.4900
teca@thermoelectric.com

Committed to Safety

New UL, CSA Certification for Enclosure Coolers:

The presence of the ETL-Listed Mark on an electronics enclosure cooler shows that the cooler has undergone and passed testing to rigorous industry product safety requirements. It is an important step in the product cycle because it demonstrates a commitment to the safety and quality of the product. TECA announces all versions (AC and DC input) of our two most popular legacy product families (AHP-1200-Series and AHP-1800-Series) are ETL listed (Intertek) to UL & CSA safety standards. This includes our new certification status for the 24 vdc & 48 vdc input variations of these products.

AHP-1200 Series 24VDC, 48 VDC   AHP-1800 24 VDC, 48 VDC Series

Read moreCommitted to Safety

Another Day, Another “A”

Thermoelectric Cold/Hot Plate Replaces Liquid Nitrogen:

TECA’s cold/hot plates utilize thermoelectric cooling, a solid-state method of heat transfer. Also called the Peltier Effect, this technology is valued for its reliability and lack of maintenance needs. For over a decade, TECA cold/hot plates have been cited in peer-reviewed, published academic research papers. Pictured here is our youngest known researcher, a 7th grade student who designed a physics experiment for her school science fair. TECA could not pass up the opportunity to support a budding scientist and lent our Model AHP-301CPV, free of charge.

thermoelectric cold plate

Lisa, a 7th grader, used the AHP-301CPV in her science fair project, Electric Ice. Following the methods from a paper published in the journal Science, she obtained pyroelectric crystals, which develop an electric field in response to a temperature change. When the pyroelectric crystals are cooled in a controlled manner, their electric field affects the freezing point of the moisture in the air that condenses on them.

Unlike the scientists in the Science paper, Lisa did not have access to large amounts of liquid nitrogen to provide the cooling. Enter TECA Model AHP-301CPV Cold/Hot Plate. The pyroelectric crystals, housed in copper cups, were placed on the cold plate surface. Using the AHP-301CPV’s integral temperature controller and included communications software, Lisa programmed the cooling to ramp down by 2°C per minute, from room temperature to -20°C. A video camera recorded the condensation of the ambient moisture and its subsequent freezing. By comparing the time base of the video with the data captured by the AHP-301CPV’s communications software, Lisa was able to measure the freezing temperature for 3 separate configurations: within a positive electric field, a negative field, and no electric field.

Read moreAnother Day, Another “A”

Controlled Temperature Cycling in a Research Lab

Direct contact cooling 65°C below ambient:

controlled temperature cyclingA large state university in the U.S. has been using a collection of several TECA Model AHP-1200CAS Cascaded Cold/Hot Plates for years, to perform various research on the characteristics of cement paste samples.

In a cascaded system, the thermoelectric element acts as a heat sink for the element above it. Therefore, the more “stages” there are, the colder the top-most stage becomes. The research team which provided this photo successfully ran temperature profiles such as: from -20° to +24°C, and +23° down to -40°. This consistent accuracy and reliability of TECA Cold/Hot Plate products are a smart addition to any lab needing plug-and-play benchtop cooling or heating.

All Laboratory-Style TECA Cold/Hot Plates include an integral temperature controller and tecaLOG communications software. Versatile accessories are available such as cutting surfaces for grossing, barriers for lab animals, and more. The possibilities are endless. Please reach out to us for help selecting the right TECA solution for your lab. Ph 773.342.4900.

Cosmetic or Functional Customization

Thermoelectric Cooling on Shipboard with Customer-specified paint:

shipboard thermoelectric coolingTECA has always offered the broadest thermoelectric cooling/heating solutions anywhere, Although TECA customers can buy our standard products according to input voltage, temperature control needs, performance, efficiency, and many other variables, sometimes customization is still desired. In this example, TECA’s thermoelectric air conditioner Model AHP-6263XHC is being used to cool electronics in a harsh environment with frequent exposure to salt spray. The mil-spec fans used on this product are rated for Mil-Std 810 Shock & Corrosion, so the environment is not problematic…or is it? The customer found that the intense glare of reflected sunlight off the enclosure cooler was not tolerable.

The solution was to paint the AHP-6263XHC control panel cooler to a gray, with a mil-spec formula provided to TECA by the customer. The result is just as expected: a long lasting, reliable cooling solution rugged enough to handle a tough environment, with a simple cosmetic change to customize it to its end user’s unique requirements.

Please reach out to us with your unique requirements! We have a long history of creating custom solutions and we would be glad to help you. Ph 773.342.4900

Click here to view another custom solution example.

Museum Exhibit, Thermoelectric Cold Plate

Educational use for thermoelectric cooling cold plate:

A large children’s science and technology center in the Midwest, specializing in hands-on exhibits, has been using multiple TECA Cold/Hot Plates, Model AHP-1200CPV. The AHP-1200CPV supports part of an exhibit teaching children about insulation. The built-in temperature controller and attractive, ergonomic exterior are perfect for the museum’s display.

Thermoelectric Cold Plate  thermoelectric cooling thermoelectric cooling

Read moreMuseum Exhibit, Thermoelectric Cold Plate

Seaside Cooling is Worth its Salt

New Defense System Utilizes Thermoelectric Cooling:

The most powerful thermoelectric cooler available anywhere, TECA Model AHP-6263X, is used by an R&D team to protect new defense technology in a truly harsh environment. Located seaside, the air conditioner AHP-6263X will endure daily exposure to salt spray, high ambient temperatures, humidity, and a high active heat load from the equipment it is protecting.

defense system thermoelectric cooling Seaside Cooling

Read moreSeaside Cooling is Worth its Salt

Aircraft Galley Refrigerator

An Eco-Friendly Aircraft Galley Refrigerator:

“Green” Air Transportable Food Storage: Replacing traditional refrigerant-based refrigerators, TECA’s Model TR-059 offers consistent performance in a rugged environment. Our refrigerators have an exceptionally long service life and utilize solid-state thermoelectric technology. Thermoelectric devices do not require a compressor or chemical refrigerants and are therefore environmentally friendly. Ownership costs are very low due to the virtually maintenance-free nature of the technology and the rugged reliability of TECA’s thermoelectric cooling components. Our design optimizes the efficacy and performance potential of the cooling components.

Read moreAircraft Galley Refrigerator

Protecting Investments with Thermoelectric Cooling

?TECA coolers save automated sorting equipment from overheat failure:

TECA Model AHP-1202XEHC is out in the automation field by the hundreds, reliably cooling sorting equipment. Easily one of TECA’s most popular legacy products, the AHP-1202XEHC is a great design with a lot to offer. Maintaining NEMA-4/4X enclosures in high ambient conditions and in tough, industrial settings, the AHP-1202XEHC is yet an affordable solution. In the example shown here, our customer chose to buy from TECA for a long-term project, supporting recycling centers with automated sorting machinery. The sorting system is state of the art, using new technology which requires thermal management.

Thermoelectric Cooling TECA coolers cooling sorting equipment

Read moreProtecting Investments with Thermoelectric Cooling

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