Maintaining Your Chamber

Maintaining Your Chamber

A question often asked by our Customers is how to maintain their chamber, this blog, Maintaining Your Chamber will assist you with day to day maintenance in order to get optimal operation and minimise downtime. The answers are available in the chambers operating manual of course but we’ll give you the main points here. However, we do not include cleaning of the test space as this should be done as required anyway.

Condensers

Most of the chambers we sell include refrigeration, such as our Temperature Test Chambers, Lababoratory Test Chambers or Climate Chambers, so the heat has to be removed via an air cooled or a water-cooled condenser.

An air-cooled condenser uses a fan to draw air through a set of cooling fins which have refrigeration gas piping running through them. If the air drawn in is dirty with dust etc, that dirt can collect on and in between the fins. As this builds up the cooling efficiency drops and the compressor has to run more than it should. Also, the cooling fan can fail prematurely. Eventually if it gets bad enough the chamber will give a High-Pressure Error.
To avoid this the condenser should be inspected periodically. If dirt build-up is detected the dirt should be removed. This can be done by using a vacuum cleaner or blowing it out with compressed air. The latter is more efficient but it blows the dirt into the inside of the compressor area and possibly into the laboratory. See Fig. 1

air cooled condenser
Fig.1 Air Cooled Condender behind the front panel

Some chambers have their condensers mounted on an exterior wall and cleaning may require the use of a ladder, scaffolding or a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP).

A water-cooled condenser uses factory chilled water flowing through a heat exchanger within the chamber to remove the heat from the refrigeration system. Factory chillers are notorious for having dirt in their water and because of that there is a wire mesh filter in the chamber to trap any dirt. As this becomes dirty the same effects will be experiences as above in the air-cooled version. The wire mesh filter should be periodically inspected and cleaned as necessary. See Fig. 2

dirt trap
Fig.2 Dirt Trap

Electronics Cooling Fan

All of our chambers use a fan to cool the electronics machine cabinet. This fan has a dust filter that should be inspected and cleaned annually or as necessary. See Fig. 3

maintaining your chamber
Fig.3 Removing filter from switchgear cabinet

Humidity Control

Our most popular chambers, the ClimeEvent range, control humidity. Although they can be built with capacitive measurement of humidity, the default build is with psychometric measurement. This uses a cotton sleeve or sock covering a temperature sensor and kept wet with water. The sock should be replaced after approximately 300 hours of use or if it appears dirty or damaged. See Fig. 4

humidity sensor
Fig.4 Humidity Sensor with humidification sleeve

The same water supply is fed to a device that allows control of humidity. This can be a water bath, a steam generator or an ultrasonic humidifier. If the water supply is to specification, these will not require cleaning. If it does need cleaning, please consult us.

The water is contained in a reservoir which should be inspected periodically. If dirty or if there is a build-up of algae it should be drained, cleaned and flushed out carefully avoiding damaging the float switches. The presence of algae can be detected by touching the inner walls of the reservoir. If they are slippery there is algae present. A small amount is not a problem but if it builds up it can cause blockages and eventually the chamber will give a Humidity System Overheat error. See Fig. 5

water reservoir
Fig.5 Water Reservoir

Air Dryer

If a compressed air dryer is installed it may require periodic replacement of filter cartridges. That will be detailed in the operator’s manual.

Conclusion

If these steps for maintaining your chamber are taken regularly, down-time is minimised. To bring it to a negligible level we advise an annual service by DACTEC as we have the knowledge and experience in maintaining these chambers, we are factory trained and have been working on them since 1989.

More Information

If you have any questions on maintaining your chamber, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we are happy to assist you and share our knowledge. Contact us.

You might also find our ‘15 Reasons Customers Chose DACTEC Ltd To Service Their Chamber’ blog interesting, click here.

If you are you interested in learning more about Climate Technology, Environmental Simulation etc., the Weiss Technik Academy run customer webinars on these subjects and more. Click here to see the courses available and where you can contact them to check when they are running the next courses that are of interest to you.

 

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