I manage a fleet of large UPSes in industrial plants across the UK.

Over the past couple of years, I have had a few blow up. The manufacturer, who also maintain the UPSes once a year, claim that the levels of dust (including concrete dust in new buildings, apparently) are to blame, and that this dust corrodes UPS components, and can provide an electrically conductive path which can also cause electrical arcs.

I am just wondering if there is any definitive standard or guidance on managing the risks of dust and dirt on large power electronics?

So far I have managed to identify IEC 60721-3-2 which covers environmental parameters, (mentioned in document below for storing and handling IGBTs and thyristors).

I don't think 60721-3-2 covers the electrical risks of the environment however, so I am not sure if it tells me anything useful about my specific problem.

  • $\begingroup$ Dust is problematic- large or small enclosure doesn't make much difference. IP ratings cover some of this. You could build a great IP rated enclosure, but that'd just be a box. You must then provide a path for all the heat generated to keep what you put in the box functioning. $\endgroup$
    – Abel
    May 15, 2023 at 13:38

1 Answer 1


Seal the room to limit the dust i.e. paint all the walls, floor and ceiling. Also seal the vents, door frame etc

Then sort the cooling so that the equipment stays well below the max permitted operating temperature.

The small rooms used by IT for our servers were retro-fitted with air conditioning for that very reason.

  • $\begingroup$ In addition to this, implement a maintenance/cleaning program where the room is cleaned of dust at least once a year - minimize the accumulation by periodic removal. $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    May 16, 2023 at 19:55

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