When a crane air conditioning unit is necessary

Depending on the location, air pollution and extreme temperatures present challenges for operating personnel and crane electronics. Controlled air-conditioning of crane cabins, electrical rooms, electronic containers and switch cabinets is therefore indispensable in many applications.

Pleasant temperatures increase performance of crane personnel

High demands are placed on crane operators, employees in control stations and maintenance personnel of cranes in terms of physical condition and mental resilience. Not only the safety of the operation depends on their ability to concentrate and react. Because crane systems are often bottlenecks in the production process, they also make a decisive contribution to the productivity of the entire plant. At the same time, the operating personnel do not always find optimum working conditions at their place of work: Dust, gases, odours and high humidity in crane cabs that are often too hot reduce their well-being just as much as a working environment that is too cool, for example in the case of harbour cranes in cold locations. Crane air-conditioning units heat, cool and dehumidify crane cabs and other rooms in which operating personnel must spend time. This creates optimal conditions to keep the heat balance of the personnel in balance. An additional filter technology eliminates dust, gases and odours.

 

Crane cooling particularly useful in heat plants such as steelworks

In addition to individual factors such as physical constitution, level of activity and clothing, thermal comfort depends on four aspects of the ambient air: the air temperature and its uniformity, the surrounding surface temperature, air humidity and air movement. While the room air temperature should not exceed 26 °C, the lower limit varies depending on the activity. The heavier a physical job, the lower the temperature that is still perceived as pleasant. An even temperature distribution can be favoured by good room design, e.g. sealed, double-glazed windows. The higher the temperatures, the more pronounced the temperature unevenness. They therefore represent a particular burden for employees in heat plants such as steelworks, hot rolling mills or foundries.

Avoid draughts when cooling the crane cabin

Enclosure surface temperature refers to the radiant heat from walls, windows, and other surfaces acting on room occupants. By cooling the crane, a pleasant temperature for the operating personnel can be achieved despite the high enclosure surface heat. The air humidity can also be lowered with the help of crane air conditioning units, but should not fall below 30%, as this could lead to the mucous membranes drying out. When cooling a crane cabin, it should be noted that people in closed rooms are very sensitive to air movements. If these are colder than the air in the room and strike a body part mainly from one direction, they are felt as unpleasant draughts. In confined spaces such as crane cabins, draught-free crane air conditioning therefore poses a particular challenge.

Filter against air soiling in crane cabins and electronic containers

In closed rooms such as crane cabins, the air must not only be circulated but also enriched with a minimum rate of fresh air. If the outside air is contaminated with dust, odorous substances or toxic gases, separate filter units or filter units combined with the crane air-conditioning unit can treat the polluted air with fresh air filters, activated carbon filters or special gas filters and keep unwanted substances out of the crane cabin. With the aid of filter units as well as air conditioning units with integrated filter unit, which are designed for a high temperature range, it is possible to create performance-enhancing working conditions for the operating personnel in crane cabs, crane switch containers, E-houses and crane electrical rooms.

Cool crane electronics for a longer service life

The thermal load on electrical components affects their reliability, performance and service life. They will only function properly up to their maximum permissible operating temperature and must therefore be cooled below this temperature. Even below the maximum permissible operating temperature, high temperatures have a negative effect on the service life of electrical components: An increase in the operating temperature by 10 °C reduces the service life by about half.

Control electronics, frequency converters and other electrical components frequently generate so much intrinsic heat that cooling by free convection is not sufficient for electrical equipment on the scale of crane control cabinets, crane electrical rooms, crane electronic containers and E-houses. Therefore cooling units are necessary for heat management according to requirements.

Air dehumidification prevents corrosion of crane control electronics

The other extreme is also possible. If, for example, a crane electronics container is out of operation for a long time in a very cold environment and is therefore not heated by the self-heating of the electrical components, the function of individual components can be impaired. At very low temperatures, batteries, e.g. in programmable logic controllers (PLC) or systems for uninterruptible power supply (UPS), can be damaged. Air conditioning with a crane air conditioner prevents not only too hot or too cold ambient air but also too high humidity, which promotes corrosion of crane electronic components.

Effective air conditioning of the crane cabin as well as of crane electronic containers and other crane operating rooms therefore makes sense for employees as well as for the installed electrics and control electronics. The personnel will have better working conditions, while crane air conditioning also contributes to compliance with the workplace regulations. The crane electronics are cooled to temperatures at which they function reliably and their service life is not impaired.

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