When investing in an outdoor kiosk program, you’ll learn a major difference between outdoor kiosks and indoor units are the special internal components needed to keep outdoor kiosks working in extreme temperatures and climates. It’s why using indoor kiosks is not advised in outdoor environments.
But, with a weatherproof enclosure and outdoor-rated, many people wonder what other mechanisms are needed to keep the kiosk functioning in nonoptimal weather.
HVAC, or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are standard in many outdoor kiosks. These devices are thermostatically controlled to provide heat during cold weather and cooled air during hot weather. Like your home’s system, HVAC systems for outdoor kiosks utilize sensors to monitor both external and internal temperatures and trigger the heating or cooling mechanisms to maintain a desired temperature range.
HVAC is important to help internal components operate at ideal temperatures and increase the longevity of their operating life. In addition, these systems regulate internal humidity levels to help better protect electronic devices and items like paper on a printer roll.
If the outside temperature is within a range of 60 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit, then chances are the HVAC system is not running. Fans will still be running for airflow, but the device is not actively heating or cooling.
Internal fans are used in all outdoor kiosks to keep consistent air movement. This reduces condensation from humidity and temperature changes.
Some outdoor kiosks, like Frank Mayer’s Omni Outdoor kiosk, can rely on cooling fans along with a smaller form factor heater to operate. Because the Omni kiosk is smaller, an HVAC system would be excessive in its reduced internal space. The compact heating elements and cooling fans perform the same function, but help keep costs lower than the bigger HVAC systems needed for larger outdoor kiosks like the Approach Outdoor and Outpost.
Outdoor kiosks use outdoor-rated components like touchscreens and credit card readers that are designed to withstand environmental conditions, like sunlight exposure, rain, temperature fluctuations, dust, humidity, and more.
If these components are designed to withstand temperature extremes in outdoor kiosks, why are heating and cooling elements needed?
Senior project leader and outdoor kiosk expert Michael Mayer explains, “Internal electronics do have high and low operating temperatures, however it is not advised to let those parts consistently operating at those extremes.”
He continues, “Doing so will increase the chances of reducing the length of their operating life.”
The successful operation of outdoor kiosks relies on a combination of essential factors. While outdoor-rated components offer protection against harsh weather conditions, incorporating HVAC systems or small form factor heaters and fans ensures optimal internal temperatures and an expanded lifespan for hardware.
The use of HVAC or fan-based systems will depend on the kiosk size and environment, but utilizing these components means your outdoor kiosk can reliably weather the elements and deliver continued performance.