Building Directory Support Bulletin

Increasing Equipment Reliability and Lifespan by Preventing Overheating

The primary issue in determining whether the hardware in your InforCenter installation is reliable or faulty is the build-up of heat around the hardware components. Unlike complicated Audio Visual installations, the components that are used in an InforCenter are few and simple, consisting of a micro form factor computer and a touch display only. While both are heat generators, with proper care and planning, you can prevent chronic problems with hardware outages and prolong the life of the equipment, saving time and money, by simply providing for proper ventilation to protect the equipment from overheating.

If you are selecting a standard kiosk or wall mounted enclosure from InforCenter, the ventilation has been engineered into the enclosures using both convection (passive) venting and powered fan ventilation. Placement of vents creates a flow of air through the enclosures with fans actively exhausting heat from the compartments.

If you are using an open mount or custom enclosure, consider the following tips when planning the installation of your InforCenter Building Information Center. These will help you to increase ventilation around the equipment, avoid pockets of heat build-up, and ultimately extend the life of your equipment.

1. Provide for ample convection, or passive, ventilation. Heat rises and requires an escape in order to avoid build-up. Ideally there is an open cavity above the installation that allows the rising heat to dissipate. As an alternative, create an area behind the equipment to accomplish the same thing. In some cases, local building codes will require areas to be separated by a rated firewall, preventing ventilation above or behind the equipment. In this case, you must provide enough of a gap around the display for the heat to escape and enough area around the equipment to avoid creating a heat pocket.

2. Separate the equipment as much as you can. Both the computer and display will generate heat. While they will be installed in a confined area, allow for some separation of the vents of the individual equipment.

3. Ensure there is some empty space around the equipment on all sides of the compartment. This is simple. Allow the equipment room to breathe.

4. Provide powered ventilation in the form of fans. Small fans that can be used for cabinet ventilation are readily available, quiet, long lasting, inexpensive, and easy to install. The fans should be mounted close to the top or back or the enclosure, or if the equipment is widely separated, such as in a kiosk, in an area that facilitates circulation and exhaust of heated air in areas of likely build-up.

5. Keep the equipment free of dust. Dust will form around the vents of the computer, display, and fans, creating clogs and inhibiting ventilation. Make sure these areas are easy to access and ask your building engineers to eliminate the dust on a regular basis using a can of air duster.

While the displays and computer sourced by InforCenter are international brands with a reputation for reliability, they are electronics and require a reasonable level of care to maintain a high level of availability and long lifespan. Heat build-up is virtually guaranteed to negatively affect both. Take these steps to set-up the installation for success from the beginning.


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