Each summer, we receive dozens of lasers, RF power supplies, and DC supplies that fail due to improper cooling. Condensation is one reason for laser and premature RF failure in the summer months.
I’m addressing my concerns to our industrial users, not so much our engraver customers. When chillers are used, room temperature and humidity must be dealt with every day. The difference in air temperature, air movement, and humidity can severely damage laser tubes, electronics, and RF supplies.
It doesn’t matter if your RF is built into the system or is external to the system. In many cases, room temperature and humidity are not controllable. Therefore your chiller will be set to a level that doesn’t allow condensation to occur.
Users become comfortable and fail to monitor their equipment settings daily, especially in the summer months. This year we have seen a multitude of this type of failures. Here is a simple rule to follow to help solve some of these issues. Monitor your room temperature, humidity, and dew point. The monitoring device can be purchased almost anywhere for little expense.
Set your chiller within 5 to 7 degrees (lower) of your ambient room temperature, plus humidity level. You can get a graph to help you determine “room ambient temperature + humidity” for an actual room temperature—for example, room temperature is 86 degrees, the humidity level is 55%, and the actual room temperature will be 89 degrees. In this case, your chiller would need to be set @ 84 degrees, not 72 degrees. With air movement at 72 degrees, condensation or “dew” will generate hot electrical components, cooling plates, cooling rings, brass fittings, hose lines, etc.
Finally, make sure your cooling equipment is up to date with clean filters, deionized water, propylene glycol, or a combination of each. Consult your manufactures manual for proper cooling requirements.
Thanks for listening
CHRISTOPHER ZELICH, LASER ENGINEER