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Need Help Reducing Fan Noise of APC Smart-UPS 1400XL

Hello,

I have an APC Smart-UPS 1400XL (SU1400RMXL3U) with three additional battery packs.  The unit is working fine in terms of voltage, etc.  The problem is that the fan is running 100% of the time and it is quite noisy.  The server rack is near my desk and I am trying to find a way to reduce the noise.

There is very little load on the unit (just one of five Load LED lights on the front panel are lit).  When I sign into PowerChute BE that measures status every 15 minutes I see that the load over the last 5 days ranges from 17% to 20% and that the internal temperature ranges from 23.5C to 26.5C with very few of the temperature measurements being 26C or higher.  

I have looked everywhere but cannot find a service manual on the unit.  I do not want to replace it as all the batteries are working fine and to replace the set-up would be thousands of dollars.  I am hoping I could replace the fan within the unit with one that delivers the same or more CFM at a much lower noise level.

I have found many posts about how these units are noisy - but no solutions.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Chip
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MrChip2
Asked:
MrChip2
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2 Solutions
 
CallandorCommented:
The general method to replace a fan is to find one rated for the same voltage and current, or one that draws less current.  After you fulfill that, make sure it fits in the same space.  If it moves the same amount of air or more and spins slower, it will probably be quieter.
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nobusCommented:
find some silent models here :  http://www.quietpc.com/casefans
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davidlevans13Commented:
If replacing the existing fan (12V?) I suggest using fans that allow you to change the speeds. In my own machines (PCs) I am using Antec tri-cool fans. They have a little switch attached that allows for 3 settings. They come in different sizes and work quite well.
Possible listing here...  all these listed are variable speed fans.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007998%2050001516%20600035623&IsNodeId=1&name=Variable
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MrChip2Author Commented:
Thank you all for your comments.  The tricky part is that I have never opened up the UPS and cannot attempt to do so until the weekend (since I will need to shut down the rack).  Does anyone know where I can find a service manual that provides fan specs and illustrates how I can replace the fan?  Has anyone ever done this in a APC Smart-UPS before?
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davidlevans13Commented:
I found this site  http://www.apc.com/site/support/US/en/product/SU1400RMXL3U/
But it doesn't mention anything about a fan that I can see.
In the FAQ/Knowledge Base section I found this.
http://www.apc.com/support/index?page=content&id=FA157527&actp=search&viewlocale=en_US&searchid=1348131601143&locale=en_US

And this about why fan runs
http://www.apc.com/support/index?page=content&id=FA156553&actp=search&viewlocale=en_US&searchid=1348131601143&locale=en_US

It seems that since the unit has nothing to do with 12v power that the fan would be a 208v or 120v fan, probably a specialized one. To be sure it is the fan making the noise you could try stopping it from turning by holding a pencil on the hub and stopping it for a few seconds.
This looks like a pretty specialized piece of equipment so any suggestions I made about fan choice in previous posts are probably wrong.
Best thing to do is look at the fan hub for details about voltage etc..  and/or contact the manufacturer for part numbers etc.
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CallandorCommented:
I've opened up APC UPS'es before and they are not difficult to figure out, if you have worked inside PCs.  You do need to match the specs, as I mentioned before.
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MrChip2Author Commented:
Callandor,

I think I need to try and open the unit.  Later tonight I will shut everything down and see what I can learn, then I will post my findings.
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MrChip2Author Commented:
I know I have been missing for a while.  It may be another week or two before I can shut everything down and tinker with the UPS.  Thanks for your patience!

I hate to sound like a broken record, but I am really going to try and shut everything down and look at the UPS fan this weekend.  It is very tough to do during the week because it means killing the internet for everyone.
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MrChip2Author Commented:
Hi Callandor and David,

I finally had a chance to open up the UPS and check the fan.  I was able to take off the top of the unit, but the fan and most of the motherboard (if that is what it is called in a UPS) was covered by a black plastic shroud that I could not seem to remove without breaking any tabs.  I looked into the unit and saw a modest amount of dust over the motherboard and in the fan itself.  

I used compressed air to blow dust off the motherboard and out of the unit, as well as off of the fan.  I didn't want to risk breaking the plastic shroud at least until I knew I had a replacement fan that was much better.  I put the unit back together and do not notice any difference in the sound level (although I did not measure it).  At least the unit is still working ;)

Here is the info on the one fan in the unit:
Manufacturer: Sunon
Model: KDE2408PTB1-6A
Power: DC24V max of 3.4Watts
Size: 80mm x 25mm
Speed: 3200 rpm
Airflow: 42.5 CFM
Noise: 36.5 Decibels

I checked my preferred fan source - FrozenCPU and did not find any 24V fan options.  I also checked on Delta Electronics website and although they have a number of 24V 80x80mm fans, they do not have any that are much quieter than the current fan that offers at least 35cfm.  After much searching, I found a website that is really useful for finding fans:  DigiKey

From this site I found two possibilities, both are 80x25 24VDC fans from NMB Technologies Corporation

http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/3110SB-05W-B40-B00/3110SB-05W-B40-B00-ND/2615506

The above is only 26dB(A) and 36CFM

or

http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/3110SB-05W-B50-B00/3110SB-05W-B50-B00-ND/2615507

the above is 30dB(A) and 41CFM

I do not think I need the full 41cfm of the stock fan.  The load on the UPS is only 20% or so.  So if I lost power the UPS should not be running too hot.  If I can get by with the first fan's 36 CMF, the 26 decibels is 90% less noise than my current 36.5 decibels.

I may post a new question for tips on how to actually change the fan.  For now, I wanted to close this one and thank you both again.
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CallandorCommented:
Anything under 30db will be quiet.  Maintaining airflow over hot components is the important thing.
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