Understanding Australian Standards for Electrical Enclosures
Many electrical enclosure standards have been developed over years to ensure safety. Each of these ratings has different specifications but all have been created to keep you safe and to prevent damage to equipment or property. There are five different common types of electrical enclosures, it is important to understand the difference between each.
The first type of enclosure is the type 4 which is usually used in industrial areas or applications, some of these may include but is not limited to operator consoles, hydraulic controls and wiring enclosures. This type of electrical enclosure was designed to stand up to and hold out against the elements or any factory or workplace environment that uses hoses to wash down the equipment. This is why this type of enclosure was designed and made to be water tight. Also, because it was designed to be water tight and not let any contaminants get into the unit, it has been designed with a closed-loop cooling system. Depending on where the enclosure is placed, you can use an air conditioner for cooling with type 4 electrical enclosure.
The type 4X is quite similar to the type 4 enclosures. It was designed and manufactured to protect and prevent corrosion. It usually sports the same features of the type 4 being very well protected against the elements and fitted once again with a closed-loop cooling system. The main difference is usually the outside casing. Also depending where it is placed, an air conditioner will suffice just fine in cooling it down. You can usually find the type 4X enclosure in work environments that include but not limited to marine, food processing, water treatment, oil drilling, gas drilling, paper manufacturing, and refining and processing.
Next on the list is the type 3R electrical enclosure. Although created for more domestic use and designed for meter cabinets of utility boxes the type 3R has also been designed to withstand any harsh climate, including wind, rain, and snow. However, usually filtered fans are installed to keep the type 3R cool. It is susceptible to corrosion and easier to damage than the electrical enclosures designed for industrial use yet the type 3R electrical enclosure has been designed for indoor and outdoor use.
The type 12, like every enclosure, is built to last and was designed for indoor use. One of the most important features of the type 12 is that is was designed and manufactured to be dust proof and to keep any air particles out of the enclosure. However, it can provide a little protection against water like accidental splashing since it has not been made completely water proof. It is not best suited for an environment that would be hosing down its equipment. A closed-loop cooling system is necessary to cool this enclosure down, but it has not been fitted with one so purchasing a closed-loop cooling system and fitting the enclosure with one yourself is a must if you plan to install the type 12 electrical enclosure.
The type 1 is the most common type of electrical enclosure and is designed for basic, everyday, indoor use such as utility boxes, switch, and junction. These types of electrical enclosures usually don’t require any kind of protection or provide much protection against any kind of harsh elements or water. This is usually because of the already protected environment they are put in, having any kind of unnecessary feature like this would only make the electrical enclosure heat up more and require a stronger cooling system. They are relatively easy to cool down and more are fitted with filtered fans which provide more than enough cooling power for the type 1.