Cool Components Inc., the leading manufacturer of residential and commercial technology cooling and ventilation solutions, offers the most comprehensive line of cooling products and accessories. They are a D-Tools Manufacturer Partner as a member in the MVP Program and Cool Components data is free to all SI users free-of-charge.
A common topic with the application of cooling products is the options for powering and controlling cooling and ventilation products. By automating the fans in your installations and having them operate only when necessary, and at a speed appropriate for the application, the efficiency is optimized thus saving energy as well as extending the life of the fan units.
We should add that, relatively speaking, low-voltage fans have a very low draw. While other manufacturers use cheaper, lower quality fans, Cool Components only uses fans that are engineered to last over 50,000 hours running full time at full speed. Even though the individual savings may not be noticed, the overall global footprint can be reduced if all systems are optimized.
The fundamentals behind control options are that you can have fans run full time, automatically turn on and off based on a ‘trigger’ (either temperature or remote source) or, for greater automation and efficiency, turn the fans on and off and vary the speed based on temperature. Not using any control device is completely valid in some cases and simply put, if you do not require control, why not save the money and keep the application more simplistic which reduces probability of failure. Some companies offer products with a ‘one size fits all’ approach with fixed speed fans or, without option, have integrated such features making the products unnecessarily complex and expensive. The main point however is that most professional cooling solutions are deployed in custom and highly complex systems where a one size fits all approach simply goes against the very nature of the applications.
On components that run all the time even when turned off, such as cable and satellite receivers, it would be appropriate to simply run the cooling solution full time. These components produce heat at a fairly consistent rate and manually setting the speed and leaving fans to run full time is the best solution. A similar but slightly different scenario is a home theater receiver that is generally used at consistent volumes. If that receiver has a switched outlet, powering the cooling unit only when the unit is on via a switched outlet is the most simplistic, trouble-free approach. The next scenario would involve a distributed audio amplifier. These amplifiers may be left on full time and the heat can vary tremendously depending on the number of zones being played and variances in volume. This is where some level of automation is required and that could just be an on/off only solution or significantly better, on/off and variable speed control based on temperature.
Cool Components offers the most choices for control options and often times recommends no control option at all. We are dedicated to the proper solution, not the solution that sells the most products or makes us the most money. For this reason we recommend first considering whether or not control is even necessary. If you determine that automation would be beneficial to your application, Cool Components offers both low and high-voltage control options. For low-voltage applications, three units are available with a progression from being very simple to advanced. Each product simply plugs inline between the power supply and fan units so installation is quick, easy, and should be trouble free for years to come.
The Basic Controller (TC-BSC) is just that, very basic in that it simply turns fans on and off with the option of either 80º or 88ºF. The 80 degree unit should only be used when controlling closet venting products and the 88 degree version when directly cooling components or venting cabinetry. The reason is that the temperature of a system in an enclosure may rarely go below 80 degrees and thus the fans would never turn off.
The next product in the line of low-voltage controllers is the Advanced LT Controller (TC-ALT). The Advanced LT controller incorporates the same two on and off set points as the Basic Controller into a single unit (jumper selectable) and also features variable fan speed control – fan speed increases as the temperature rises and decreases as the temperature lowers until the fans turn off at approximately 3 degrees below the selected set point.
The most feature rich controller, not only with Cool Components but also on the market, is the Advanced System Controller (TC-ASC). This Advanced Controller is fully programmable and has an attractive blue LED display that shows the temperature and facilitates quick and very intuitive programming. The unit can be switched between Fahrenheit and Celsius and offers control via user defined temperature settings or 12 volt trigger. The built-in alarm function features an audible alarm that can be disabled as well as contact closures (both NC and NO) for linking to a centralized system to report directly to the homeowner or installer that the system is overheating.
For high-voltage applications there are two control options. The High-Voltage Thermostat (TC-HV) is a plug and play solution for controlling high-voltage fans and utilizes a dial to select the on/off set point.
The significantly more feature rich product for line voltage applications is the Advanced High-Voltage Controller (TC-AHV). The Advanced HV is wall or rack mountable, fully programmable and has an LED display to show temperature and make programming simple. In addition to the built-in temperature sensor, an optional 20 foot remote sensor is available for added versatility. This may be used when sensing and controlling the temperature in a projector enclosure, rack or other remote location. The controller features 5 relays that offer a large amount of flexibility and customization within your high-voltage system. Two relays are programmable with one intended for fan operations and the other for alarms (all output high voltage only so do not connect low voltage to the unit). The three fan relays trigger in relation to the user defined temperature set point with relay #1 triggered at the set point, #2 triggered at approximately 6 degrees higher, and #3 triggered at approximately 15 degrees higher than the main set point. For example, if you have an existing rack with high-voltage fans, you could attach primary fans to relay #1 and then secondary fans to relay #2. Venting fans could then be connected to relay #3. Ultimately the two alarm relays, 4 and 5, could be used to sound an audible alarm or power emergency fans to protect against a catastrophic failure if installed, for instance, in a rack full of server and switching equipment.
These control products are a testament to Cool Components’ commitment to cooling and our customers. The key is not only in offering and recommending the right solution for the right application, but also that all of our products are designed and manufactured with a focus on quality, effectiveness, versatility, and budget. No matter the application, Cool Components has a thermal solution with various control options to make your project complete and professional. We are also glad to help you determine the most effective thermal solution for your next project.