Cabinet Cooling - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-08-2013, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi, I've been reading a lot on enclosed cabinet cooling, but I'm still not quite sure how I should proceed. I'm looking at cooling each of the cabinet sections seen in the images below.

Each section is 22" W x 13" H.

1. Should I do an intake and an exhaust fan, or just an exhaust fan? One picture shows the cabinet door; it's not air-tight, but I'm not sure if it will let enough air in...

2. If I do an intake and an exhaust fan, what is the best placement for the fans? Intake in back/bottom/middle, exhaust in back/top/middle? Also, read something about putting them 1/3 from the sides on opposite ends from each other. (Intake back/bottom/left) (Exhaust back/top/right)

3. My receiver doesn't have the switched outlet on the back so I'll need to use my own power source. This leads to my next question...Is it really worth doing temp control? Or should I just have a switch that turns them on and off? Any other ideas?

4. I still need to cut a hole in the back for the wires. Will that affect the air flow or how I place the fans? Where would be the best spot to cut the hole for the wires? Middle, middle/bottom, etc.?

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01
LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01
LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01
LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01


Thank you!
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-15-2013, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Any ideas or input for my particular situation?
This is killing me....I haven't had my A/V equipment hooked up in over a week! eek.gif
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-16-2013, 02:14 PM
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You need to make sure there's enough cool air getting in, across the equipment, and then out of the cabinet. The narrow slit around the glass won't provide enough air in, so you'll need to provide a hole or fan in the back (lower) to be able to move enough air out. Those very enclosed, glass-front cabinets are difficult to cool, period. And you have a mix of the worst offenders in terms of heat generation (cable box, game console(s) and big Onkyo AVRs...)

Take a look at this white paper from Middle Atlantic that describes all about this stuff - while geared toward a rack installation, it's got a lot of good info:

http://www.middleatlantic.com/pdf/ThermalManagement.pdf

Then look into solutions from CoolComponents, Coolerguys and ActiveThermal for cabinet level cooling. The thermostat solution is easier since you don't forget to turn a switch on/off, and you've got a cable box in there, so it may need some cooling 24/7 anyway.

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post #4 of 7 Old 03-17-2013, 08:53 AM
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A couple of basic principles:

- cool air in, hot air out. Just circulating air doesn't do much good. Its not like a fan in a house tnat cools you off just because of the air flow.
- larger fans spinning slower move more air with less noise than smaller fans.
- one intake fan and one exhaust fan move no more air than a single exhaust fan assuming sufficient intake area.


I would try to match the area of intake with the area of the exhaust fan if you can. That minimizes air velocity and noise. Us3 120mm fans if you can. And don't use anything that spins faster than 1500 rpm unless you use fan controllers. You must create places for cool air to enter the cabinet. Avoid using louvers or obstructive grates on any fan if you avoid it. They do nothing good except protect your fingers. The wire computer style ones are good.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-18-2013, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the responses.

  • If I do just one fan (exhaust), then air from around the cabinet doors would be my only option for intake unless the 2" wire hole I cut in the back will work as an intake. I checked again and they definitely are not airtight, but they don't leave a very large gap. They are wood doors that just close against the front of the cabinet, leaving a space of about 1/8". I could probably make it so it has a 1/4" gap; would that be sufficient?
  • Or I could just leave the doors off and use one exhaust fan, thus having the entire front of the cabinet act as an intake.
  • It seems like I might run into an issue with the wire hole. It will be somewhat close to the fans and, based on the article from MiddleAtlantic, it will likely create a loop of recycled hot air. Where would be the best placement for the wire hole then?
  • The shelves in the cabinet go all the way to the back, but have about a 1" gap in the front between the edge and the closed cabinet door. From what I've read, I should cut some notches in the back for airflow between levels. Or, what if I did the two exhaust fans and cut the wire hole directly in the middle (1/2 for cables from top shelf and bottom half of hole for cables from bottom shelf)? Then I wouldn't need the notches and the exhaust fans would be pulling air from the top and bottom of the shelf.
  • Or, if I leave the doors off, do I even need fans? Will the open front and the wire hole in the back be enough to cool?


Here are a couple of the ideas I was thinking about:

Using 1 x 120mm intake fan and 1 x 120mm exhaust fan, or using 2 x 120mm exhaust fans


Using 1 x 200mm exhaust fan.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-18-2013, 06:37 PM
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#1 will work. The gap in the front of the shelf is correct for that arrangement, as cool air will enter from the back go across the bottom component, up through the gap, across the upper component and exhaust out,.

#2 won't be able to pull enough air to do much. The wire hole is filled with, well, wires - so it doesn't provide a lot of help nor hurt.

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post #7 of 7 Old 04-20-2013, 06:34 PM
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Ahh the ikea stand, same one I have. Here is what I did.

I had an old laptop lap cooler that I had opened up. Inside it has recessed channels that were designed with the use if the fans to suck the heat away from the laptop and channel it out the back. I took one half and screwed it to the underside of top of the stand. I then mounted a 250mm pc fan to that. It sits about 1" above my avr sucks the air out of the top of the avr then that air travels through the channels in the laptop cooler and out the back of the stand. My avr never gets hot even when I really work it. I use the 250mm because its moves a ton of air but have a slow rpm so its nearly silent.

I also use 120mm fans on other shelves to remove heat from the other equipment. I use a cheap computer PSU to power the fans. It sits in the shelf that is covered by the door. Its connected to a power strip that turns on a slave plug (psu) on when the master (AVR) is turned on. Been working flawlessly for about 2 years now. Very happy with the quiet and efficient operation
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