Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Koolance PSU-1300ATX-12N Liquid Cooled Power Supply

We put the screws to Koolance's new 1300 watt power supply that takes advantage of being fully immersed in a non-conductive cooling liquid. Yes, we test at 100% load and 8-hour Torture Tests! Then we tear it apart to show you the insides. We almost cried.

Introduction

Koolance is a company whose name has been synonymous with liquid cooling products in the enthusiast realm for years now. In the power supply market Koolance introduced their first liquid cooled power supply at a mere, by todayآ’s standards, 200 watts in 2001. Typically liquid cooling products invoke the idea of being water based. However there are other fluids that can be used since water and electricity arenآ’t the best of friends as anyone who has experienced their water cooling system springing a leak destroying thousands of dollars of equipment can attest. Koolance has been using one of these other coolants in their liquid cooled power supplies. The current incarnation of Koolanceآ’s liquid cooled power supply, the PSU-1300ATX-12N is developed in partnership with CWT but a large portion of the build, assembly, and engineering work is done by Koolanceآ’s South Korean division. This power supply represents the largest capacity consumer liquid cooled power supply marketed to date and is capable of up to 1700w at 220v or 1300w at 120v. We shall refer to the unit as a آ“1300wآ” unit as this is the relevant DC output capacity for our readers in North America.

Channel Well Technology was founded and began manufacturing power supplies in 1993. Since 1993 Channel Well Technology products have shown up under various guises including Antec, Xclio, 2theMax, CWT, Thermaltake, and Koolance among others. While most familiar to our US users under the Antec brand CWT is one of the more complete OEM manufacturers as they have a fairly high level of vertical integration providing transformers all the way up to their well designed independently regulated SMPS.

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The concept of a liquid cooled power supply is on a purely theoretical level interesting as a liquid should have a higher specific heat capacity than air thereby proving to be better at cooling while being able to be quieter at the same time. This concept is embodied in liquid cooling of all forms but rarely is this concept taken to the extreme of actually immersing consumer level electronics in a non-conductive fluid as Koolance has done. Rather usually the cooling system employees tubing and heatsinks in order to move heat from the source to the radiator for dissipation and this system partially works by this method as this unit must be paired with a compatible Koolance liquid cooling system. So what does Koolance have to say about their new 1300w power supply:

Overview

Koolance offered the world's first water cooled ATX power supply in 2001. Now continuing with our patented line of innovative liquid-submerged power supplies comes the 1300/1700W PSU-1300ATX-12N. Completely flooded in a special non-conductive cooling liquid, the fan-less PSU-1300ATX-12N is superior to even "partly" water cooled and heat pipe power supplies.

Wattage - 1300 or 1700W Continuous!

Due to U.S. regulation, power draw over a typical household 110-volt AC line limits the PSU-1300ATX-12N to 1300W. However, the unit is fully capable of a continuous 1700 watts when powered from a 220V AC circuit. Users are responsible for supplying adequate AC power for the PSU-1300ATX-12N.

Heat Transfer Method

Featuring a compact liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger developed exclusively by Koolance, the PSU-1300ATX-12N provides the most efficient heat transfer available among any ATX power supply. Heat from each component is dumped directly into an internally circulating non-conductive liquid, through the heat exchanger, and out to an existing water cooling system. Thus, liquids are kept completely separate and normal cooling fluid can be used with the PSU-1300ATX-12N.

The PSU-1300ATX-12N is not a self-dissipating product and must be connected to an existing water cooling system via its external nozzle sockets (G 1/4 threading). A PCI L-bracket "slot adapter" is provided for easy hose routing back into the chassis through an available card slot. This helps reduce the power supply's internal length.

The PSU-1300ATX-12N is capable of producing some extreme wattages. When used at maximum output capacity, Koolance recommends a water cooling system capable of dissipating at least 250W of heat while powered by 110VAC, or 300W for 220VAC. This is in addition to other water-cooled components. In other words, if your cooling system is designed around a 700W hardware heat load (CPU and dual video card water blocks, for example), the PSU-1300ATX-12N should be allotted an additional 250-300W of cooling capacity. If unavailable, it is also possible to dedicate a separate cooling system solely for the power supply, such as Koolance's ICM-509 or Exos-LT.

As we see Koolanceآ’s product page mostly talks up the technical points of the power supply. Since the last liquid cooled Koolance power supply we reviewed some things have changed in the design of this new unit. No longer is the power supply self contained as users now have to have a آ“compatible Koolance cooling productآ” in order to use the system. Although we are fairly sure there are many non-Koolance-endorsed alternatives. So, with this change how will the Koolance 1300w perform and how did they cram a 1300w power supply with a sealed modular interface, and the requisite internal cooling parts all into a form factor only slightly longer than a standard ATX power supply?

For now, letآ’s move on and see what we have to look forward to when we purchase the Koolance 1300w power supply in terms of documentation, accessories, cable count, rail layout, output characteristics, and general build quality.