Advantage and Disadvantages of using NEMA 3R enclosures for Outdoor Applications Part 1

NEMA enclosures have been in the industry for quite some time now and is commonly used in electronics industry. But what has been the most consistent challenge engineers face today is choosing the right electronics enclosure for certain applications and industries. Because of the intricacy of each application and material to be used in manufacturing for the enclosures, engineers are still having the most difficult time. 

What makes it more difficult is when engineers arrive at a wrong decision a company can face possible serious consequences. A NEMA rated electrical enclosure that is not suitable for a certain use can result in a serious amount of damage to any electrical equipment. Choosing the right enclosure is as important as having one. 

One of the most commonly used enclosure for outdoor applications is NEMA 3R. In this article, we will tackle the advantage and disadvantages of using one. 

NEMA 3R Enclosure Defined. 

Basing from the NEMA standards for electrical enclosures, NEMA 3R can provide the following degree of protection: 

  • Protection against foreign ingress of solid objects 
  • Provides protection from hazardous environments 
  • Protection from water ingress  
  • Protection from external ice formation 

In a hindsight, this might be an adequate feature if you are looking for an enclosure to protect your equipment from outside applications – but this depends on case to case basis. For example, in case of extreme weather, heavy amount of water can be directly forced into your enclosure thus requiring your enclosure to withstand enormous amount of pressure. 

However, NEMA 3R are still commonly used to protect switchgear, electrical junctions, lighting and any other equipment company uses for any outdoor applications. 3R enclosures can come in variety of material, styles, and sizes. Stainless steel, aluminum, and polycarbonate alloy can be used to manufacture NEMA 3R enclosures. 

Is NEMA 3R Electrical Enclosures Sufficient Enough? 

By NEMA standards, a 3R type enclosure can protect against rain. But how much rain can the enclosure withstand? What if a rainstorm is accompanied by heavy winds? 

Questions such as these can make choosing a NEMA 3R enclosure for your outdoor application difficult. Below, we’ll discuss a few of the pros and cons of NEMA 3R enclosures for outdoor applications. 

Questions such as this makes it hard for engineers choose 3R enclosures for their outdoor application. However, 3R exists for a good reason and can be best suitable for certain applications. Where it will be used depends on the engineer’s judgment and discernment. In this article, we will thoroughly discuss the advantages and disadvantages of NEMA 3R enclosures. 

Pros of NEMA 3R Enclosures for Outdoor Applications 

Any applications require specific design and material for electrical enclosures, however NEMA 3R enclosures can be a very good choice for system & design engineers. This enclosure is considered to be cost-effective and it can tolerate certain weather conditions that can be present in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. 

In addition to this, NEMA 3R enclosures are commonly used in wide variety of applications. NEMA 3R are proven to effectively protect electricity switches in homes and apartments and it can also contain house electronics that has mobile power distribution system.