Cooling Appliance Hot-Spots
March 2008
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The supplier of thermal and acoustical insulation solutions for the appliance industry describes an application in which a producer of electric housewares needed to reduce the high temperatures that were building up near the handle of one of its slow cookers. But the OEM did not have the testing resources to analyze the problem before it started large-scale production of the appliance.

The supplier analyzed the problem using infrared thermography, which provided a surface temperature profile showing the extent of the surface temperature problem. The supplier then evaluated the manufacturer’s design, including heating element temperatures, insulation space, available materials of construction, and surface emissivities. The analysis revealed high temperatures over the slow cooker surface due to strong radiative heat transfer between the inner and outer walls of the appliance. Because a small amount of insulation near the handles would not resolve the issue, the supplier proposed a thermal shield of Manniglas foil-covered glass paper to reflect the radiant energy back into the appliance. Infrared images taken after the solution was incorporated confirmed the reduction of surface temperatures. Before and after measurements of energy consumption and heating time performance showed an increase of energy efficiency as well.

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