3 Tips to Avoid Condensation on Computer Enclosures

Posted by Jennifer Bissell on Sep 5, 2018 10:14:27 AM

Condensation occurs when warm, moist air comes into contact with a surface that is colder than the air’s dew point.

Why is condensation important in relation to computer enclosures?
Humid conditions cause warmer air to hold more water vapor. If warm air on the inside of an enclosure comes into contact with a colder enclosure body, it will cool - leading to water or condensation.

Why is condensation bad for a computer enclosure?
A build-up of condensation may lead to a failure of expensive, internal electronics causing a product replacement and costly downtime.

The following are 3 Easy Tips to Prevent Condensation From Occurring in Computer Enclosures:

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1. A Sealed Cabinet

Moisture enters an enclosure from an ambient air source. During the procurement process, be sure to select an enclosure that has proper, heavy-duty gasketing around the door openings to create a tight seal between the door and cabinet. For warmer environments, consider using a closed loop cooling system, such as a vortex cooling unit, heat exchanger, or air conditioner.

2. Set a Higher Temperature

Maintain the highest temperature inside the enclosure as possible - based on the electronics’ recommended operating temperatures. A higher temperature set point will help keep the internal electronics warmer than the internal air dew point. This is especially advantageous if using an air conditioning system, as it will actually help improve the performance and efficiency of the unit.

3. Avoid Opening Doors

Some applications will require regular access to the equipment inside of the pc enclosure. For instance, a busy manufacturing facility that utilizes a barcode printer to output numerous labels every hour. Consider using a hinged printer access door that has the ability to magnetically close when not in use. If condensation poses a problem, avoid using a slotted printer path on the enclosure, as this will be another area in which moisture can enter the computer cabinet. It is best to minimize the number of times an operator opens the enclosure door during the day.

Installation environments will vary depending - not only in the manufacturing facility, but also areas within the plant. Speak with a knowledgeable enclosure representative that can offer guidance and recommendations on the best product for your application.  Confirm that you choose a product that is suitable for a high humidity environment and will maximize the lifetime of the electronics.

For More Information:
  - 3 Questions for Configuring a Climate Controlled Rack Enclosure
  - It is Vital to Keep Electronics Cool Inside a Computer Enclosure
  - 5 Ways to Keep Rack Enclosures Cool with Thermal Management

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Topics: Enclosure Thermal Management, Industrial Enclosures