09 March 2020
ABB has introduced a weatherproof enclosure which protects its variable speed drives (VSDs) from the weather.
The enclosure is said to protect standard, wall-mounted ABB VSDs, avoiding the need to purchase more costly VSDs with higher IP ratings.
IP65 or IP66 are often specified for outdoor VSD installations, on the assumption that these higher ratings are sufficient protection against the weather. However, a high IP rating does not mean weatherproof and can be more expensive than VSDs with lower IP ratings. ABB’s weatherproof solution provides a suitable enclosure to ensure that VSDs are adequately protected outdoors, enabling the use of IP55 drives.
Apart from the IP rating, other considerations when installing a VSD outdoors include:
- Ambient temperature and sunlight – Outdoor installations generally have a wider temperature range than indoor installations. Direct sunlight heats the VSD, resulting in over-temperature and tripping of the drive. This can be mitigated by installing the VSD and enclosure on a north-facing wall.
- Cold – Extreme cold can damage a VSD, particularly if condensation forms inside the device. Keeping the VSD powered up generates enough heat to protect it from cold and condensation. Coated boards, included as standard on many ABB drives, provide enhanced reliability against the ingress of dust particles, and can also help to mitigate any water damage.
- Airflow – VSDs generate heat and as such have a need for cooling air. When the VSD is installed outdoors the incoming and outgoing airflow must be able to move freely. This is permitted by the weatherproof enclosure.
The weatherproof solution can be used with the ABB range of general purpose drives, HVAC drives, and water industry drives. A range of frame sizes is available to cover VSD variants and power ratings. The backplate is fixed to a wall using the same fixing holes as the drive itself, ensuring a streamlined and easy installation, while still leaving access to the keypad for commissioning. The cover can be removed quickly to carry out drive maintenance.