The solution is more than just “hot air”.
“We do enclosure heating.” That would be a blunt description of STEGO’s business activities. In the early 1980s, STEGO made its first foray into the thermal management of control cabinets and technical installation spaces. Our first enclosure heater was imaginatively named “hedgehog”. The picture of the product shows just how fitting this name was.
|Today – 40 years since the company was founded – enclosure heaters are still STEGO’s most important product. And STEGO’s enclosure heaters are highly valued and respected on the market, too.
STEGO's first enclosure heater was imaginatively named “hedgehog”.
But that brings us to the key question of this blog post: why bother heating a control cabinet at all? The answer is simple: out of sheer necessity. Our atmosphere – in other words, the air – contains water. The warmer the air, the more humidity it can contain. If it gets cold, the humidity is “precipitated” and forms condensation – in other words, water is deposited onto surfaces. It might be tolerable and normal in your bathroom at home, but inside control cabinets, it is a problem. Humidity and condensation are bad for applications containing electrics and electronics and could potentially lead to component failure.
The solution is obvious and is already well-established: you install an enclosure heater. As a pioneer in the field of enclosure heaters, STEGO offers users a portfolio of high-quality, tried-and-tested industrial products for this purpose.
The following three types, differentiated by their mode of emitting heat, have become established in practice:
Enclosure heater designed as a convection heater
In principle, every type of heating application inside a control cabinet takes advantage of the physical fact that warm air rises (convection). Convection heaters warm up the immediately surrounding air using their heater body. The warmed air rises due to free convection. This upward motion allows cooler surrounding air to flow in from below. This so-called chimney effect makes the air circulate in a way that reliably warms the installation space.
Enclosure heater designed as a fan heater
Enclosure heaters which use a fan to enhance the convection of the warmed air produced are known as fan heaters. High-quality axial fans with ball bearings are used for this purpose. This boosts the heating effect, similar to a hair dryer. Higher heating capacity is achieved compared to a pure convection heater. The air is also distributed in a more targeted and homogeneous way.
Enclosure heater designed as a contact heater
In control cabinets and enclosures that are very densely fitted with electronics and electronic components, installing contact heaters can also be a good option due to space limitations. This type of heater is installed in direct contact with the enclosure. The walls of control cabinets and enclosures are effective at conducting heat as they are generally made of metal. Of course, contact heaters emit part of their heat by convection, too. But their structural shape is optimised for surface contact. The heater bodies are often made out of very slim extruded aluminium profiles, rarely more than 10 mm in height.
Condensation is hazardous to the electronics in your control cabinets. Enclosure heaters have become established in practice as a highly effective solution for protecting electronics. Depending on your specific situation, one of the three main types of heaters will suit your requirements. Find a product overview of suitable control cabinet heaters here. We would be glad to help you in your process of selecting a suitable solution for your application. Contact us to find your perfect thermal management solution.