Is Excess Heat Keeping You Up At Night?

Is Excess Heat Keeping You Up At Night?

Posted by Theresa Hoffman on Jul 2nd 2024

Just to clarify, I'm talking about excess enclosure heat!

For those of us who endure long, harsh winters, signs of spring are a literal breath of fresh air!

We know that summer lurks just around the corner, bringing with it those anticipated hot days. But while we take in the sunshine, your electrical equipment might not share our enthusiasm.

Here are some tips to keep your sensitive electronics happy and healthy during the rising summer temperatures.


Like most electronics, VFDs (Variable Frequency Drives) generate heat while in operation. Summer temperatures make it harder to dissipate the internal heat which can lead to derating, component failure, and control system issues.

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to keep your VFDs cool and performing at its best during the summer months:

  • Improve Ventilation: Make sure there is proper airflow around the VFD enclosure. Consider using air conditioning or strategically placed fans for better cooling.
  • Derate Proactively: If possible, intentionally derate your VFD output power during peak summer months. This will reduce heat generation and allows your VFD to operate within a safer temperature.
  • Minimize Direct Sunlight: Avoid exposing your VFD to direct sunlight, this simple fix can greatly reduce its operating temperature
  • Heat Sinks: Installing external heat sinks on the VFD enclosure can improve heat dissipation

Check out our blog; VFD Temperature Guide


Similar to VFDs, motors generate heat as they operate. Summer's temperatures adding heat can intensify this internal heat buildup, potentially leading to overheating and motor failure.

Excessive heat takes a toll on your motor's internal components, damaging windings and bearings. This can cause permanent failure and shorten the overall lifespan of your motor.

The good news? Just like with VFDs, there are preventive steps you can take to keep your motor running smoothly throughout the summer months:

  • Reduce Heat Generation: Derate power to reduce the motors workload
  • Optimize Efficiency: Make sure your motor is sized properly, and regularly inspect and lubricate the bearings to minimize friction and heat buildup
  • Enhance Heat Dissipation: Maintain good airflow around the motor. You can use an air conditioner or fans to keep surrounding cool air
  • Clean Regularly: Remove dust, dirt and debris around the motor housing to prevent blocking airflow and trapping heat

  • Control Systems

    While motors and VFDs are known for their durability, what about the brains behind outdoor automated functions?

    Outdoor control systems house a network of sensitive equipment, including sensors, controllers, and communication networks. These systems manage a variety of applications, such as lighting control, irrigation, and even HVAC systems for outdoor spaces.

    Don't let the summer heat disrupt these critical operations! Here are some measures you can take to protect your outdoor control systems;

  • Weatherproof Enclosures: Ensure your enclosures are NEMA-rated for outdoor environments.
  • Ventilation and Cooling: Consider enclosures with ventilation features or active cooling solutions like fans.
  • Surge Protection and High-Quality Components: Install surge protectors on power lines and choose components specifically designed for outdoor use with wider temperature tolerance.
  • Temperature Monitoring: Implement a system to monitor the internal temperature of the control enclosure.

  • We hope this has helped ease your mind about your outdoor equipment being well-protected this summer, allowing you to enjoy your time in the sun!

    For any specific product recommendations, our Tech Support Team is happy to assist you. Don't hesitate to reach out!

    Marshall Wolf Automation has a wide variety of products that help keep your industrial equipment protected during the summer months. Contact us for more information!

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