Outdoor Digital Signage – Importance of Heat Transfer

Posted by: Richard Williams | Posted on: | 0 Comments

Outdoor digital signage tends to operate all year round. From summer to winter, screens need to function in all possible climates and this can be a challenge, particularly in the summer when temperatures rise.

LCD and plasma screens easily overheat and an overheating screen soon fails. The difficulty with a screen in outdoor locations is that when it fails, quite often it can take a long time before anyone notices.

Preventing overheating is, therefore, an essential aspect to outdoor screen usage and there are several aspects to overheating prevention that need considering.

Screen Heat

All LCD and plasma screens generate their own heat when the devices are on. In an outdoor LCD enclosure this heat can build-up if there is nowhere for it to be expelled so ventilation systems and cooling fans are essential to allow the heat to escape.

The difficulty with having a ventilation system in an outdoor digital signage enclosure is that, while the warm air needs a place to get out, the vent needs to prevent rain and other elements from getting in.

One method to enable this is to ensure the vents point downward, therefore preventing falling rainfall from getting inside; however, this isn’t enough to prevent splashes from getting inside the enclosure, so shaped chambers are used to ensure only air can escape and no elements can enter.

Ambient Temperature

Excessive ambient temperatures can easily lead to a screen overheating. In the height of summer, when temperatures rise, overheating can become an even more common occurrence.

Additional cooling fans are one solution for areas with excessive summer heat, but sometimes even this isn’t enough to prevent the screen from overheating.

Air-conditioning is another solution, albeit an expensive one, and many outdoor digital signage screens in very hot locations do use AC.

Another method of preventing overheating in extreme locations is to use cut off switches that deactivate the screen, allowing it to cool if it gets too hot. These are a cheaper solution in areas where extreme heat is a rarity and provides peace of mind if a freak heatwave occurs.

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