In a project, we are to place several components inside of an enclosure. Some of these components are to be considered safety critical, and their specified operating conditions must not be exceeded. The problem is that most manufacturers specify the maximum ambient temperature for their product, but since it will be placed inside of an enclosure it is not trivial to me where to measure that ambient temperature.
One of the components used is a contactor, Omron J7KN-22D-4, with a datasheet available at: https://assets.omron.eu/downloads/datasheet/en/v3/j06e_j7kn_motor_contactor_datasheet_en.pdf
It specifies two different operating ambient temperatures:
Maximum ambient temperature, open: -40°C to +60°C
Maximum ambient temperature, enclosed: -40°C to +40°C
My interpretation of this is that the specified temperature is the air temperature outside of the enclosure, and that they assume the air temperature inside of that enclosure will rise by 20°C.
The product we are designing will eventually be sent to a test lab, such as Intertek, that will have the last saying in this. But it would be great if we could design according to the correct constraints.
Does anyone has an idea of where to measure, and what temperature that is the limit in this case?
I talked to the compliance manager at the clients company, and he tells me that he doesn't know either. He told me to document how I measure and make the decisions.
For now I think I will try to measure the worst case air temperature in the top of the enclosure and declare that to be my ambient temperature.
As pointed out, the datasheet says that the data is according to IEC 60947-4-1, EN 60947-4-1 and VDE 0660. I don't have access to any of these standards currently.
I do have access to SS-EN 60947-1, that includes IEC 60947-1:2007, which states the following:
Ambient air temperature is that existing in the vicinity of the equipment if supplied without enclosure, or in the vicinity of the enclosure if supplied with an enclosure.
Further down it says that for certain types of equipment this is stated in their relevant product standard. Which might be the case for my contactor. So the real answer is probably written in IEC 60947-4-1.