Summer in many parts of the northern hemisphere this year is becoming one of the hottest in the last few years. Temperatures are expected to rise even further as we head into July and August.
And while this is good news for the tourist trade and retailers in general (people tend to spend more during the warmer months according to shopping surveys) it could cause many problems for outdoor digital signage installs – especially if they haven’t been designed to cope with prolonged high temperatures.
In many installations of outdoor screens the main concern installers have, particularly in mild climate areas, is ensuring the signage screen is protected from the rain. Rainfall is often the primary concern as any water that ingresses inside an LCD enclosure and penetrates a screen will most likely disable it.
Problems of Excessive Heat
However, overheating is one of the major causes of screen failure in outdoor digital signage, and being unprepared for a hotter than average summer could lead to many outdoor screens being disabled during a heatwave.
Ensuring LCD screens are kept cool is a vital part of any outdoor digital signage system. Even the most rugged commercial screens will need to be kept cool if they are operating outside – particularly if they are kept on 24/7.
The normal heat produced inside an LCD enclosure that is generated by the screen is often removed with cooling fans. These transfer the heat away from the screen and eventually the hotter air finds it way out of the enclosure through the vents.
However with outdoor digital signage the waterproofing nature can often mean it is difficult for this hot air to escape. This means as the ambient temperature rises the build up of heat inside the LCD enclosure can exceed the screens manufacturers recommended level.
Keeping Screens Cool
There are several different methods for keeping outdoor digital signage screens cool including:
Additional internal fans – installed inside the LCD enclosure to help transfer more heat away from the screen – suitable for areas where the temperature exceeds the optimum but not by much.
Thermostatic cut off switch – will turn off the screen if the heat inside the LCD enclosure gets excessively high – more suitable fro areas where high temperatures are possible but for only short periods.
Air conditioning – For extremely high temperature areas where a cooled air is continually circulated inside the LCD enclosure to ensure the temperature is kept below he maximum – often an expensive solution used in areas that regularly has exceptionally hot temperatures.