Digital product provides support for optimized control cabinet heat dissipation


Thermal Design Integration  

Thermal Design Integration for energy-efficient control cabinets

  • Eplan, Phoenix Contact, and Rittal have come together to support control cabinet planners tackle the challenges of energy efficiency, fault-free operation of control cabinets, and control cabinet standard DIN EN 61439.
  • With Thermal Design Integration, switchgear can be optimized for fault-free operation and heat dissipation.


Products and data for the digital product  

Phoenix Contact provides products and data for the digital product

When calculating the power dissipation of control cabinet components, the power losses in cables and terminal points are often forgotten. In addition to active components, thermal imaging of the control cabinets often shows very warm terminal strips. The maximum permissible power dissipation of the terminal blocks according to the standard shows how the high temperatures come about.

According to the standard, a terminal block for 16 mm2 may have a power dissipation of up to 3.42 W; the value for the most commonly used terminal blocks for 2.5 mm2 is 1.08 W. The same applies in principle to every terminal point in the control cabinet.

During the careful design of a control cabinet, planners must also, therefore, take into account the heat input of numerous terminal points. Due to the large number of terminal blocks and terminal points, this task can only be performed efficiently using software.


Smart Engineering and Production 4.0  

Smart Engineering and Production 4.0

With this in mind, the partners have developed a concept that provides optimum support for planners based on the Eplan software. A key aspect in the energy-efficient design of a control cabinet is climate control that is suitable for the installation situation and ambient conditions.

As a result, Eplan Pro Panel has been extended to include some new functions. This enables the layout of the control cabinet to be improved from a climate control perspective. The most common reason the permissible temperature of control cabinet components is exceeded is not the low cooling capacity of the cooling device but the arrangement of the components in the cabinet. Components can often block the flow of air and prevent it from circulating through a device. The same applies to the inlet and outlet openings on devices with self-ventilation.

In order to arrange the components correctly in the control cabinet it is therefore important that manufacturer information on maximum power dissipation, minimum clearances or flow directions in the case of self-ventilation is made available and observed during the planning phase.

Phoenix Contact has therefore provided its device data in different electronic formats for some time. As a result of the numerous advantages it offers, the BMEcat format with eCl@ss classifications has become the de facto, preferred standard. This enables the easy electronic exchange of the data required for the correct layout and climate control of control cabinets. Advanced device data for many components from Phoenix Contact is available in the Eplan Data Portal. Once planners have completed the virtual assembly layout and defined the positions of all devices to be configured, the climate control solution can be implemented.


The three companies use the results of Green Carbody Technologies in the Smart Engineering and Production 4.0 (SEAP) initiative. With Thermal Design Integration, switchgear can be optimized for fault-free operation and heat dissipation.


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