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The enemies of outdoor projectors and how to deal with them

Tim Burnham, president of Tempest, talks about how to protect projectors against temperature, dust and humidity.

Tim Burnham, president of Tempest talks about how to protect projectors against temperature, dust and humidity.

A projector installation represents a significant investment so protecting that investment is essential to maintaining a good working relationship with the client.

Projector enclosures work to prolong the life of these machines, especially in less-than-perfect environments like shows or clubs, where there may be smoke or oil fog, swimming pools with chlorine and high humidity, and, of course, outdoors, where we regularly have to cope with heat, cold, humidity and such lovelies as sandstorms in the Middle East or salt fog in beach locations.

As the popularity of outdoor video mapping continues to grow, so AV installers are increasingly faced with the challenges posed by high temperatures and humidity on large and expensive to repair and replace projectors.

A real enemy of projectors located outdoors is condensation. By heating a projector, simply by turning it on, then cooling it, i.e. turning it off, the mechanical components inside degrade from exposure to the resulting condensation. Extremes of climate, temperature changes, humidity and other external factors can accentuate these issues and cause additional damage to component parts if the projector is not properly protected.

The solution is to ensure the environment is optimised to provide the best working conditions at all times. And that means a projector enclosure complete with a climate control system.

This will enable the right temperature and humidity level to be maintained which keeps the projector running smoothly and its components free from condensation. By climate-controlled, we do not recommend using air-conditioning, as such – it sounds counter-intuitive I know, but it can be a nightmare for condensation, and also for cold shock on lamp startup.

At Tempest we have developed and patented our own Goldilocks system which ensures our enclosures are the ideal environment to house a projector – our porridge isn’t too hot, isn’t too cold, it’s just right. Our enclosures work by blowing forced and aggressively filtered air rapidly across the projector when the enclosure senses that the lamp is on, and monitoring temperature and humidity when it is not to ensure the projector is always in a “Goldilocks zone”.

This is how we prevent condensation, by elevating the temperature inside the enclosure when the temperature and humidity trends are pointing to a condensation risk.

If your clients are considering investing in a projector installation then such an enclosure represents a sensible option for protecting that investment. Don’t spoil the ship for ha’porth of tar.

Projector enclosures are an invaluable way to preserve and maintain the performance of a projector in otherwise damaging environments. By controlling the immediate environment and preventing any contaminants from getting into the projector itself, an enclosure will help extend its lifetime reliability, minimise downtime and maintenance, and, ultimately, protect the client’s very significant investment.