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Top Factors to Consider When Buying an Electrical Enclosure

By   /  February 21, 2022  /  Comments Off on Top Factors to Consider When Buying an Electrical Enclosure

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There are a lot of available electrical enclosures out there. Thus, it might be hard to find the right one for your needs. 

Electrical enclosures come in different sizes and configurations. If you’re trying to search for one quickly, you might be overwhelmed with the options. 

The process of finding the right electrical enclosure doesn’t have to be hard. This is particularly true if you’ve got the correct knowledge. 

There are a range of factors you need to consider when it comes to choosing the safest and best electrical enclosure for your needs. 

The most important of these factors is the environment in which you will use the enclosure. Whether there is a harsh saltwater environment, wind storms, dust, rain, or other considerations, environmental conditions are determined by the NEMA rating for enclosures.

Because of this, it’s important to consider the NEMA rating of the electrical enclosure you’re planning to buy. 

Aside from the rating, you will also have to consider the size, material, and other factors. 

Materials

What material is ideal for electrical enclosures? You should pick the material based on the location, environment, and application of the enclosure.

Factors that influence selection might include lifting requirements, mechanical impact, resistance to UV, thermal stability, resistance to corrosion, and strength of materials. 

Enclosures need to be manufactured from materials that are able to endure the environmental, thermal, electrical, and mechanical stresses that they will encounter on your property. 

This includes protection against corrosion by the use of appropriate materials or by protective coatings. 

Typically, you can guarantee high-quality materials if you choose NEMA 6p enclosure manufacturers.

Cost

Though selecting the right protection level is vital, you also have to find ways to save money on your electrical enclosure. 

You shouldn’t over-specify the protection level. For instance, a clean commercial property only requires a Type 1 level of protection in general. You’re simply adding to the cost if you specify a Type 12 level of protection. 

Similarly, specifying a Type 316 level of protection even though you only need a Type 304 level of protection will unnecessarily increase your expenses. 

Designing custom electrical enclosures from scratch will also drive up costs in general. The use of modified and standard enclosures enables manufacturers to utilize their existing approvals, processes, and hardware to meet all of their needs.

Approvals and Certifications

Standards organizations produce rating measurements for the performance of various products. Electrical enclosure categories are defined by organizations such as IEC, UL, CSA, and NEMA. 

These organizations help determine the ability of an enclosure to offer protection from hose-directed water, dripping water, dust, and more. 

Though these standards are all intended to help people choose the right enclosure for their needs, there are a couple of crucial differences between them. 

In North America, the most commonly used standards organizations are CSA, UL, and NEMA. When it comes to testing enclosures and ratings, they are almost the same. 

CSA and UL require that electrical enclosures should be examined in an approved laboratory to prove their performance. They routinely evaluate manufacturers to guarantee they utilize the approved materials and build to previously tested product designs. 

If the manufacturer follows the standards, they offer “certification labels” to be attached permanently inside the enclosures. 

Though NEMA ratings are a common reference, this organization doesn’t offer testing services compared to CSA or UL. 

NEMA will leave testing and compliance to the discretion of the manufacturer. Aside from that, they also do not offer “certification labels” for enclosures. 

IEC ratings are the most commonly used standards for enclosures in Europe. It is almost the same as NEMA ratings. However, it has a different requirement for the failure or pass approval. 

IEC mainly concentrates on ingress protection. They don’t include distinct ratings for enclosures in conditions of explosive environments, ice, oil, rust, or corrosion. 

IEC doesn’t offer tests as well. Because of this, the manufacturer will have to do their own compliance and testing. 

VDE and TUV are two well-known testing agencies in Europe that manufacturers often utilize to validate levels of protection. Usually, they use a palletizing robot arm when checking the durability of an enclosure. 

Protection Rating

The protection rating of an electrical enclosure shows the degree of protection that the enclosure offers for the equipment that will be placed inside. 

Enclosures are rated depending on their ability to avoid various levels of liquids and dirt from entering. 

Typically, these protection levels are known as “NEMA” ratings or “Type”.

Size of the Enclosure

For those who don’t know, enclosures are either free-standing or floor-mounted. When choosing the right size of the enclosure, you will have to figure out the length, width, and height of the project with the parts when mounted on a back panel. 

After you determine these factors, you now have the minimum internal dimensions of the enclosure. 

Keep in mind that, if necessary, you can always move up to a bigger size enclosure. However, you’ve got to ensure that, in the end, you pick an enclosure that is properly sized for your project. 

Enclosure Sealing Quality

You have to determine the quality of the sealing that the manufacturer used for the enclosure. It influences the protection of internal parts and keeps parts concealed and away from passers-by who may be exposed to potentially hazardous electrical systems.

If you’re worried about poor air quality, pollution, corrosive chemicals, and abrasive weather environments, you need to pick an electrical enclosure with a NEMA 4x Rating. 

Also, try to visit trade show rentals Las Vegas to see if they offer the right enclosure for your exhibition stand needs.

Conclusion

The performance of your electrical systems can be greatly influenced by the poor selection of electrical enclosures.

To help you pick the right electrical enclosure, utilize the considerations above and reach out to a professional enclosure for help. 

For more details on electrical enclosures, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact a reliable enclosure manufacturer.

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