Keep your cool: going with the flow for communication cabinet integration

Ask any business owner what their aims and objectives are this year and in addition to the usual responses of ‘increase profit,’ ‘grow the team’ etc, they are likely to utter the words ‘sustainability’ or ‘climate change.’

It’s no surprise, since we are all beginning to experience the impacts of climate change. Our summers are becoming a lot warmer with record temperatures being reached every year, and although we all enjoy having a hot sun beaming down on us, it is not as enjoyable for some of the country’s vital infrastructure keeping our digital services running.

Cool cabinets

Take street cabinets used for broadband and all sorts of other communications technology as an example. One of the key issues we have to contend with at CHH CoNeX is keeping the sensitive electronics within a cabinet cool, especially in the summer. All cabinets housing any kind of electronic or electrical equipment generate their own heat within. Therefore, the temperature inside a cabinet in spring and summer can often be double that of the temperature outside. When it's a balmy 25 degrees centigrade, it could well be 50 degrees or more inside the cabinet.

But when the temperature inside a cabinet reaches 55 degrees, this is when serious damage can occur. Components can start to fail and critical wiring and looms will age far more quickly than they should. For the past few years, we've experienced consistently hot weather due to climate change and this is causing an increasing headache for our customers who are trying to keep up with the pace of demand for more electronic functionality within each cabinet.

We’ve responded to this by going back to the drawing board for the design of our cabinet integrations and one of CHH’s solution is to achieve greater air flow through intelligent design. This is critical to keeping cabinets cool. For our engineers, it is a case of designing the cabinet in a way that facilitates greater configuration of the electronics inside. Electronics must be installed so that enough air flow can circulate during operation, at the same time as allowing convenient access for maintenance engineers.

When it comes cabinet design, our engineers look at customers' cabinets holistically. They take into account the environment the cabinets will be placed in, who will be using them, the frequency of maintenance, the product and component lifecycles, and accessibility, as well as aesthetics and functionality. Therefore, it is not possible to offer a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, we offer bespoke cabinet designs, backed by off-the-shelf options for those requiring an immediate and non-complicated cabinet installation.

Another challenge for cabinet durability and effectiveness is when they are placed at railside locations. These must follow similar design considerations with regard to heat, but they must also be quick and easy to install and access, since their location presents possible danger to an engineer. This is why CHH CoNeX also offers modular cabinet solutions. These allow for individual units to be modified or upgraded in isolation, enabling internal equipment to be reconfigured and damaged parts replaced on site without any interruption to services.

The benefits of installing a CHH CoNeX cabinet are plentiful. Not only can you be assured of longevity and durability, but you will always receive the best cabinet integration design solution to fit your environment and purpose, as we continue our commitment to keep Britain’s digital services running – even in times of major global change.