Many forms of electronic equipment, of necessity, must be located in an outdoor environment. Such equipment in typical form may be battery packs or telecom-equipment. It is essential that these facilities be protected from a wide range of ambient temperatures and solar radiation. To this end, cabinet enclosures with proper thermal management have been developed to house such electronic equipment in a highly weather tight manner, especially for battery cabinet. Often the batteries are of a lead-acid construction which is known to be adversely affected by temperature extremes in terms of battery performance and life. Therefore, it is important to maintain the cabinet temperature ideally for ensuring battery stability and extending battery lifespan.

In this paper, physical and mathematical models are established to investigate the flow field and temperature distribution inside an outdoor cabinet, which contains 24 batteries with two configurations of two-layer and six-layer respectively. The cabinet walls are maintained at a constant temperature by a refrigeration system and the ambient temperature is up to 50 °C according to the practical situation. The flow field and temperature distribution are analyzed with and without consideration of solar radiation. An experimental facility is then developed to measure the battery surface temperatures and to validate the numerical simulation. The differences between the CFD and experimental results are within 2%, which confirms the CFD model.

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