Access networks provide the last mile of connectivity to telecommunications customers throughout the world. Voice, data, and video services through fiber, copper, and wireless media are all delivered to the end user by the access portion of the network. In an access network, thermal management of active electronics and optical devices is critical to network reliability and performance. In these networks, outside plant telecom enclosures provide environmental protection for both active electronics and optical devices. These enclosures must incorporate cooling systems that support thermal requirements of the electronic and optical components. And, with ever-increasing sensitivity to environmental impacts, the enclosures and cooling systems must have minimal aesthetic and acoustic impact to their surroundings. Additionally, the enclosures must be developed with high sensitivity to cost as they are typically deployed in large number throughout a telecom service area. A number of thermal technologies are employed for thermal control of these enclosures. These includes air conditioning, heat exchangers, thermoelectric coolers, direct air filtering, and double-walled construction. In this paper, the double-walled construction technique and its impact on thermal performance will be discussed in detail.

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