billm

HAF Stacker cooling for seldom used HDDs?

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billm    0

I want to run 9 hard drives in the Haf Stacker 915R and 915F for a total of 18 drives.  These drives will almost never be used.  As an example lets say at most 1 hard drive will be used a week, and that the hard drive will run for less than 10 hours or less for the week.  My question is how to cool them?  I could just put 3 fans in each case for awesome cooling, but this would be VERY wasteful running all those fans when it might be days days/weeks/months between hard drive uses.  It might be better to have something temperature or use based...

 

While I have ideas and have researched some, I was curious if anyone else tackled this situation or one like it, and if so how did they do it?

 

Thank you!

-Bill

 

Full Description of the scenario:

 

I bought the three piece Haf Stacker (935+915F+915R) with the intention of using it as a media server with 24 drives connected to it (six in the 935, Nine in each of the 915's)

 

The 935 will be the day to day storage powering the DVR, and will see it's hard drives used nearly 24 hours a day, but the 915's will have hard drives filled with media archives, meaning they will see VERY little use. 

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world    84

I'm assuming you got low power hard drives (green drives, etc.) for media archive uses, which means that they shouldn't get too hot under operation. It's often debated whether or not hard drives need active cooling, but I think if you don't use the hard drives much, you probably don't need fans blowing over them as long as they aren't performance drives. 

 

If you're paranoid about your drives overheating though, you could look into having a couple low power (1W or so) fans running in the 915 units so there won't be that much power used. I think setting up a use-based or temperature-based cooling setup might be a bit difficult (it likely requires scripting or extra hardware).

 

I don't have nearly as many hard drives as you, but in my experience, I've never seen a hard drive get damaged by heat, even when using performance drives in a case with no HDD air flow.

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knud    128

Or you could use a 3rd party fan controller with temperature sensors and put the sensors between the HDD's. if the temperatures rises, the fans will spin up. 

Once cooled down, they will spin down.

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billm    0

The difficulty of a temperature based solution is why thought to ask the group...

 

I had looked at controllers but was curious if anyone else found one they liked.  I'd want one that turned off the fans rather than just changing the intensity.  I haven't come across one like that yet.  And the ones I saw had 0-5 sensors so I was deciding the best location to place them to cover the 9 hard drives in each of the 915's.

 

My drives are performance drives, they make the most sense for my usage.  The drives are large and I move lots of data around.  I don't feel comfortable with 3.5" drives stacked on top of each other without good ventilation.  I have seen all kinds of poorly designed cases that put hard drives in cramped, low airflow locations, but I'd rather not design it that way.

 

I might be ok with a single fan if it could move air near the hard drives but with the open nature of the 915's I assume the airflow would be short-circuited. 

 

It's too bad that I don't see any cheap/off the shelf ways of having a programmatic interface.  With an interface I would easily write a program that turned the fan on when the drives were in use.

 

Thanks for the consideration!

-Bill

 

Some other misc background information

1) I build media servers for other people too, so this solution won't be a one time thing

2) While the cost of fans isn't too much (for example in 2009 I paid $.09 per KWH which would make six 3.3 Watt fans cost $15 a year) but I don't pay the electric bill where these are installed and I don't like spending other people's money.

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knud    128

The difficulty of a temperature based solution is why thought to ask the group...

 

I had looked at controllers but was curious if anyone else found one they liked.  I'd want one that turned off the fans rather than just changing the intensity.  I haven't come across one like that yet.  And the ones I saw had 0-5 sensors so I was deciding the best location to place them to cover the 9 hard drives in each of the 915's.

 

 

Have not encountered those as well. Only models where I can manually set the fan to zero speed.

 

You could also go this route: use a Rasberry Pi with some thermal sensors and let the Pi control the fans completely. 

 

 

As for the airflow: Without modding, you will need 3 fans per case if you want to actively cool the HDDs. Or if you feel like modding: add a 200mm fan on the top of the 915 cases.

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dmcm71    1

If the drives aren't being used most of the time, can't you just set them to spin-down? Then they shouldn't generate much heat at all and when one drive is used, that alone won't generate much heat either.

 

I know I did this with a WD drive I use as an offsite backup, installed in my Dad's PC. It has an issue with making an annoying noise, so someone came up with a script to make it stay spun-down unless it's actually being used.

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The Phoneix    0

Hi Billm. Sorry I didn't see this sooner. The best answer is to use PWM (4 pins) fans and I would recommend what I'm using in my HAF Stacker system, Enermax 120mm. The PWM fans will run off of a Silverstone fan splitter. A power line runs from the splitter to your PSU (12v). Then the other line out of the splitter goes to the CPU fan plug on the motherboard. This way, when the system needs to cool itself, it runs the fans and will even run them at an RPM that it deems is fit. My system is using this (I have my Silverstone plugged into an optional CPU plug on my Asus Rampage IV Black motherboard) and is cooling my radiators in my 915R (240mm) and 915F (360mm) case. Works flawlessly. I know this is years after the fact, but you know how us modders are and always tinkering with our systems. Hope this helps. Great case, just fails when you want to hide your wires or send wires between cases.

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