What are the different types of outdoor electrical enclosures?
Heavy voltage electrical equipment such as power plants, transformers etc are situated outdoors and not in the premises of any residential or business sites. Since they are situated outdoors, they are subject to numerous hazards which can cause major problems in power distribution. To avoid these hazards from taking place, preventive measures are implemented. These preventive measures include protective gears and covers that ensure the safety of the electrical equipment through freezing cold winters to heavy rainfalls. These are called ‘outdoor electrical enclosures.
What are outdoor electrical enclosures?
Electrical enclosures are cables are protective cases made out of durable material to protect sensitive equipment. These cases are designed to protect the sensitive equipment from adverse environmental conditions. These consist of rubber gasketing as a protective cover for electrical instruments. These cases are made in such a way that it fits the instruments closely and keeps them together. It is essential to choose high-quality, sturdy outdoor weatherproof cabinets for electronics of all types in order to protect them from any hazards.
What are the types of outdoor electrical enclosures?
There are various types of outdoor electrical enclosure, and each serving a specific purpose to protect the electrical instruments in some way or the other.
1. Control boxes
Electrical control boxes can be seen in all industrial equipment as they are the key parts of any industrial workplace. These electrical control boxes are made to protects instruments such as:
- Programmable controllers – controllers that operate heavy machinery
- Hydraulic controllers – these controllers monitor the flow of fluid through the hydraulic equipment and adjust them accordingly.
- A/V controllers – audio and lighting equipment controllers
- Security controls – security controllers are used to set up, activate and deactivate security systems as needed.
- Utility boxes – controllers that control the operational activities of electrical systems.
- Irrigation timers – These timers automatically turn on and turn off the irrigation systems based on a fixed timing.
2. Junction boxes
Almost every industry has a junction box as a protective equipment for their outdoor electrical equipment. As the name suggests, a junction box acts as a connector that connects multiple elements of an electrical system and protects these elements from all possible hazards. These junction boxes allow easy access to the electrician for troubleshooting issues. Junction boxes help in protective sensitive equipment and protect them from environmental hazards all year round. Junction boxes typically need a cover in order to protect their sensitive components and it is not advisable to have open junction boxes for outdoor electrical enclosures. It can be considered a violation of code to have open junction boxes.
3. Telecommunications equipment
Access to wireless data has become so easy that almost every nook and corner of the world has access to it. However, the worse the environmental and weather conditions are, the harder it becomes to deploy the telecommunications service. Therefore, strong outdoor electrical enclosures are much required for smoother distribution of telecommunication. Usually, non-metallic enclosures are preferred over the metallic ones as they allow the signal to be outstretched without any interruption. With advancements in the telecommunications industry, it will become essential to have stronger and more secure outdoor electrical enclosure models.
4. Automation sensors
Automation systems have replaced a lot of manual systems in the past decade. And it has become the key part of almost every industry. Automation sensors essentially help the automation systems and devices to work by using various features such as photodetector eyes, vibration sensors, pressure sensors, and so on. Other tasks performed by automation sensors include monitoring hazardous situations in the workplace, checking production lines, monitoring the status of equipment and preventing them from breakdown, and gathering all the data for optimisation of tasks. Automation sensors are highly sensitive to environmental hazards. Therefore, they need to be protected with highly secure and effective outdoor electrical enclosures.
5. Wastewater processing equipment
Water processing facilities use wastewater processing enclosures to maintain the healthy functioning of societies and industries.These wastewater treatment equipment use electric instruments to control and operate the equipment which need to be protected with strong waterproof enclosures. These protective enclosures ensure that the electric wastewater equipment is safeguarded against environmental hazards. The features needed by electrical enclosures for wastewater processing equipment include:
- Resistance to water pressure
- Resistance to corrosion from constant flow of water and chemicals
- Resistance to the daily liquids and splashes of water
- Resistance to submersion in prolonged durations
6. Scientific instruments
Outdoor electrical enclosure helps in protecting and safeguarding the scientific instruments against all the environmental hazards. Scientific instruments are used to gather data from all over the earth. These locations can include challenging remote locations that can cause damage to the instruments if they are not protected. Some of the challenging conditions include exposure to water and mud, long durations of sunlight exposure and other particles of dust. In some cases, formation of ice takes place on the outer covering of the enclosures. All these weather conditions can hamper the sensitive instruments and therefore, need to be protected with sturdy, waterproof electrical enclosures for ultimate protection under any given circumstance.
7. Alternative energy equipment
As the price of renewable energy becomes competitive, the market has opened up for competition and there has been a surge in the demand for alternative energy equipment, making it a lucrative deal in many industries. Innovations in technology have surged the demand for such equipment and the demand for outdoor electrical equipment has increased as well in order to protect these alternative energy instruments.
Solar panel enclosures are one such enclosures that are quite prominent in the market. Each solar panel has an electrical enclosure that connects the panel to the power grid.
8. Marine equipment
Marine electrical equipment undergoes the most challenging phases. The uncertain waves, water forces and salt spray, and many more challenges come with such equipment. In order to make these work smoothly, outdoor electrical enclosures are of the highest quality are a must. Marine electrical equipment generally requires enclosures that are rated at least NEMA 4X standard or higher.
No matter the type of industry, outdoor electrical enclosures are critical for the smooth functioning of every outdoor electrical equipment. These enclosures are made to protect and prevent the equipment from all possible hazards.