Sea air is good for your health! But while that certainly applies for the respiratory airways, it doesn’t hold good for electrical installations by any means. Optimum protection is the key here; as a rule, this is provided by enclosures that reliably protect the electrotechnical components against environmental influences. Too high or too low a temperature - or dust and humidity - can damage the electrical technology and, in the worst case, force the entire system to come to a standstill. The requirements for the enclosure thus depend very much on the installation site and they are particularly high in outdoor installations. A seaport is clearly an environment where enclosures are exposed to exceptionally harsh conditions, because saltwater or saline aerosols in the air are highly aggressive.
Outdoor enclosures for the container terminal
The CSP Zeebrugge Terminal lies directly on Northwest Europe’s main shipping routes. The biggest container ships in the world dock here. There are seven Super-Post-Panamax-ZPMC gantry cranes in this state-of-the-art terminal to load or unload the containers on and off the ships.
The port operator needed a new enclosure solution for the terminal’s electrical systems. “As well as protecting against environmental influences, the question of how to cool the components in the enclosure was a major challenge for us,” says Steven Lowyck, Control Engineer at CSP Zeebrugge Terminal and responsible for planning the system. After extensive consultation, CSP opted for CS enclosures from Rittal. These are specially designed for outdoor use. “We found that by choosing a double-walled enclosure, natural convection - in other words the hot air between the walls rising upwards - can provide enough cooling for our application,” says Lowyck. He added that one of the benefits was that “it goes without saying that this imroved our energy balance.”
The enclosures to be used outdoors on the CSP terminal need to have a variety of characteristics. These include, for example, a high corrosion resistance, an IP protection category of at least IP 55, break-in protection up to RC 4 and a broad range of application temperatures. Rittal’s CS enclosures meet these requirements ideally. The double-walled construction not only makes natural convection easier; it also reduces the impact of direct sunlight. In addition, the enclosures are characterised by a multifunctional roof that protrudes all the way around the edge of the enclosure. Further benefits of the system are the integrated transport options and the many assembly benefits, which make interior installation simple.
More robust and durable
“Rittal claims that CS enclosures have a service life of over 20 years," says Lowyck: “We wanted to see this for ourselves in practice.” Together with the Rittal Account Manager, the CSP staff accordingly visited a number of reference locations; they discovered that the enclosures there were still in ideal condition after more than 13 years. That’s another reason why we chose Rittal. And with the easy and securely lockable cable entry plates, these enclosures are definitely leak-proof. There’s not even a spider’s web inside,” Lowyck adds.