While powering fan units may seem very straightforward, there are a few things to know and especially when powering multiple units together.  This section applies to Cool Components low voltage fans  and not the inline duct fans which are high voltage.

Powering Individual Fan Units.  The only consideration when powering an individual unit is to 'match' the power supply to the unit.  If the unit you order from us comes with a power supply, then you have a suitable power supply.  Our products use 12V DC fans and a typical power supply would be called an AC/DC Power Adapter and we also utilize Universal Power Supplies which are variable voltage which means can change the speed of the fans by selecting different voltages.  The typical range is 5-12V but some products require minimum 7V so ensure to repeatedly test that the fans will start on 5V if are using a switched outlet or Basic Controller (other controllers should be set to 12V).

Power Multiple Fan Units with a Single Power Supply.  This is a major advantage of low voltage fans. Not only can you power multiple units with one power supply but low voltage fans are easier to control, are more efficient, and easier to configure compared to high voltage fans.    Multiple fan units can also be controlled through a single temperature controller as well.

Connections.  Cool Components products typically use the 2-pin plug system which is universal with most variable voltage power supplies.  It is important to align the connector ends, Tip to +.  This is the proper polarity for the unit and when using a plug, the tip is +.  Also, if ever need to splice the wires, the wire with white stripe is the positive lead.  Fans and controllers will not be damaged by reversing polarity, they simply will not work.

Connections/Cables for Powering Multiple Fan Units.  The options for connecting multiple fan units to one power supply are to use Cool Components y-cables (short or long leads), tri-cables and also have extension cables, The other option is to simply splice the wires following that the wire with the white stripe is positive but reversing polarity will not damage the fans but proper polarity is required for the fans to function.

Amperage.  The amperage is important to pay attention to when powering units.  Amperage is the amount of current that a unit requires and uses to run.  Typically, low voltage fans are measured in milliamps which 1 amp = 1000 milliamps (mA). 

General Rule of Thumb (for quick calculations of amperage)
  • The smaller fans (60mm) use around 50mA
  • The medium size fans (80-92mm) around 80mA
  • Larger 120mm fans use approximately 100mA
So, if for example are using a Universal Cooler that has 6 'small' fans so the amperage as 300mA: (50mA) * (6 small fans) = 240mA. In this example, you would need at least a 300ma power supply. 

Regulated vs Unregulated Power Supplies.  At one point we had issues with unregulated power supplies but at this point unregulated are mostly a thing of the past especially for us.  We had an issue with one of our controllers when used with unregulated power supplies but not only have we gone to all regulated power supplies, we also redesigned the controller to work with a wider voltage range.  Just as an FYI, what happens with unregulated power supplies is when they are not under load they output higher voltage so a 12V unregulated power supply will output around 18V.

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