Posts Tagged ‘fan’

The Koolance CTR-SPD24 is a new 24 Volt speed controller which will take your ordinary 12V power supply and allow you feed and control a pump or fan from 10 volts to 24 Volts.  This is really exciting because previous to this, 24V or higher voltage was typically only possible with a separate dedicated power supply.  In addition, the controller is ideal in controller the new stronger PMP-450S pumps.  So unlike your typical fan controller which is either PWM or resistance based (Can only reduce voltage), this one can got both directions.

Before going too far, I would like to thank Tim from for supplying two of these units that I have been using for my PMP-450S performance and noise testing.  Thanks!


Here are some pictures showing the box, packaging, and size of the controller:


Minimum and maximum voltage settings

For testing I am including both the minimum and maximum photos of the PMP-450S pump under load using the controller.  I fed the controller precisely 12.0V using my test power supply, and then measure the pump voltage at the pump plug for the actual voltage provided.

Minimum Voltage = 10.14V (Note: I would suggest 11V as the minimum for the PMP-450S)

Maximum Voltage (Note: I would suggest 20V as the PMP-450S maximum)


To determine the efficiency of the controller I measure the amperage and voltage fed to the combined pump plus controller, then did the same for just the pump.  Using these two sets of data I was able to determine the energy lost through the controller.  Here are those results:

Efficiency Calculation

It turns out the controller is very efficient at over 89%, so the heat-sink and controller is wasting up to about 5 watts at a 48 watt consumption level.  I did also measure the heat-sink with a laser thermometer and it does get warm/hot to the touch.  I measured roughly 45C in a 25C ambient which is warm, but not that hot.  I have actually measured some pumps measuring upwards of 60C, so 45C seems to be relatively good.

What good is 24V you might ask?

It’s what the “STRONG” or PMP-450S NEEDS for full out pumping performance.  The PMP-450S with this controller will easily outperform the most powerfull PMP-450/DDC pump.  It also serves as a “Vario” feature for the PMP-450S because that pump does not come with a variable speed knob.  Basically, the PMP450S and this speed controller should go as a pair for full pump performance.  Here is how the “STRONG” compares to the PMP-400 with top, and I haven’t even completed testing with a top on it.  It is simply one of the most powerful pumps you can buy at that price point.

24Volts gives the PMP-450S it's "STRONG" performance

I also know of a few people that have 24V fans and there are other needs I’m sure.  I would not suggest the controller for the regular PMP-450 pump though as the performance gain on that pump model is fairly minimal.  The pump that needs this is the PMP-450S, she likes the extra volts!!..

I really like this controller, particularly for it’s compact size, simple analog control, and extra legs it gives to the PMP-450S model pumps.  I could see this controller also coming in handy for other 24V needs, no more need to have a  separate dedicated power supply for high voltage, this fits that need nicely at a good price.  I really could not find any faults in this controller, it’s a nice compact unit and has plenty of power for one PMP-450S.  It would even have enough power to feed two PMP-450S pumps at lower voltages/lower flow rates.  I will be using these for a variety of 24V testing needs in the future, extremely nice!!

 Update 7/27/11 Connector Photo

This is how you connect up a molex connector type pump like the PMP-450S:


Same as my round 6 testing and methods with the exception of using a Hardware Labs 140mm SR1 radiator. Seems as though we’re getting more and more 140mm radiator options, so it would be nice to get a feel on how a fan performs on one from a noise perspective. This thread is devoted toward more real world like testing of fans physically mounted to the HWlabs SR1 radiator.

Special thanks to the many generous sponsors:

Here is the list of fans, sponsors and results currently complete. I plan to do these 140mm fans as well as a few of the top performing 120mm fans on an adapter for 120mm options.


The 120mm fans are tested on a BGears slim profile 120>140 adapter. Soo…the 120’s will be getting a small shroud benefit from being further from the radiator fins. In order to see how much if any this diffence means, I’m going to retest my top 140 fans with a shroud and include them in the below chart.
The below chart is sort of a mix, not all tested equally, so take that into account when reviewing:

140mm fans only: It’s pretty tight with most of the results within the 3dbA or lower “Barely Perceptible” limit. There are however some fairly notable sound quality issues, particularly with the 7 blade fans at higher speeds including the yates. For low speed, I would tend to favor the Thermalright X-Silent, for high speeds, the Aerocool Shark.

120mm fans on an adapter: This is a bit apples to oranges with the adapter, but it’s fairly surprising just how close 120mm fans perform to 140mm fans on a CFM per dbA ratio perspective. The 140mm fans do have some CFM per RPM advantage and seem to produce a slightly lower frequency tone, but their noise levels were pretty much the same. This makes some of the stronger performing 120mm fans a very viable option on 140mm radiators. I had really hoped the 140mm fans would be a huge benefit over 120s, but I’m just not finding that. There is a good sized advantage to the larger 140mm radiator and reduced restriction, but the gain is in the radiator frontal area, not the 140mm fan itself.

I have a few more 140’s coming but that’s what I think so far…

This thread will serve as my updated 120mm radiator based fan testing work in progress. While fan specs are helpful, like pumps they represent how the fan performs in an artificial open air and unmounted condition without any restriction, mounting vibrations, or undervolting effects. In addition there are many different mathematical methods in which noise levels are calculated (Removal of ambient noise) and measured making the task of comparing fans based on specs alone for a radiator application a best guess. In addition, those testing conditions do not include vibration created noises that exist once a fan is mounted to a radiator. Many fans also exhibit motor ticks or harmonics at some voltage levels other than 12V when using a fan controller. That brings me to the purpose of this test, to test in a more real world like radiator scenario without any adjustments to noise levels and record it for your own review.

This round will focus in testing and comparing 120mm fans on a Swiftech MCR120 radiator using a voltage based fan controller to evaluate a more real world radiator condition on a constant test platform.

First off, a HUGE thanks to the following sponsors. It’s been amazing how much support I have received in this so far..a real tribute to the community we have here:

This includes the parts/fans and the sponsors who have donated for this cause as well as some tabular results:
Click to enlarge:

I’ll start creating a new post for each new fan including the pictures and the data tables then link them back up in this main post.


I’ll update this from time to time. Per my reading, it normally takes about 3dbA for most people to perceive a change in noise level…that’s about the spread of “Most” of the fans here. But if we’re splitting hairs…here is the chart for your viewing pleasure…

Just note this is NOISE LEVEL only. I think this is only half the picture, noise quality is what you get by listening which points out the things like motor tics, and other less that smooth sounds.



And last but not least, my completely subjective rating on noise quality. I suggest you listen to the videos to sort this out yourself, I think everyone will have a slightly different opinion on this, but this is what I came up with as a place to start. Noise quality has nothing to do with noise level. I made up my own scoring system by listening for motor type noises and resonance issues. If a fan sounded like very smooth air, it would get high marks. I also marked against resonance issues. If the fan had specific voltage ranges where it resonated, I marked it down. I rated quality in 3 steps and resonance in one field, and averaged them out. I wish there was some sort of scientific way to do this, but this was the best I could do. Again, I suggest rating this with the videos for yourself.

Generally anything with a 7 or better is really good and pretty tight. I just had a slight preference toward fans with slightly lower pitch and or smoother air noises.

Many fans below that were also very good in some areas, but may have had a small motor tick or resonance issue during the test. Resonance is one of those tricky things that may be specific to one test bed. I can only rate what was tested though, it would be impossible to see how the fan behaves in all situations. I’m also typically only testing one sample, and it’s very possible the one fan I test was flawed or less that perfect.

Bottom line, there is no replacement for trying out a fan yourself. Before you go buying 20 fans of the same type, I suggest trying out at least one sample for yourself and see how you like it.