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Need help with Noctua industrial fan in bathroom

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Need help with Noctua industrial fan in bathroom

I'm planning on using a Noctua NF-F12 iPPC-2000 IP67 PWM as a bathroom fan and to operate it around 1000 RPM. I looked around on the web but couldn't find much information about different fan control methods for this fan.

I was thinking about using a potentiometer but according to Noctua the iPPC fans have a high internal resistance already and this method wouldn't work (or with their low noise cables).

Did anyone actually try to control the speed of these fans using a potentiometer?

My second option would be voltage control but can't really find many products here in Hungary, with the exception of this:



Specification:
Input voltage: DC 3.25-15V
Output voltage: DC1.25V-13V
Output current: 5-1500MA
Size: 33.5 * 30.5 * 24mm (excluding protruding knob)
Install Aperture: M3 * 4
Input terminal: XH-2.54-2P
Output terminal: XH-2.54-2P KF2510-3P
Chip: overheating, over-current, short circuit protection
Ambient temperature: -10 ~ 85 °C
Storage temperature: -65 ~ 150 °C

My last option would be to buy the rather expensive NA FC1.

Any thoughs?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 10:05 AM
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Why not just use a normal bathroom fan?
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Because what's available in my country are crap and expensive. Most of them average 36-40 dB and only 90 m3/h at best while the Noctua fans can move alot more air more silently and at 1/3 of the price. A bathroom fan specced similarly as a Noctua iPPC fan would cost 5x more at least.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2019, 11:21 PM
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Are you just blowing air out of a window, or trying to blow air through a length of pipe?

If it's a length of pipe, I don't think any type of noctua fan will be enough to move the air volume, especially if you have a back draft damper between the fan and the outlet.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 04:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Behind the wall there's an air duct roughly 30x30 cm that goes through the whole building starting from the ground floor up to the roof.

It's a passive solution, meaning that it mostly works only when there's some wind outside creating some negative pressure and sucking air out of the apartments. When there's strong wind outside, it's actually very effective, you can even feel the air moving but it's also loud (not that it matters and can't do anything about the noise).

Every apartment below me including mine connects to this air duct with a roughly 15-20 cm wide, 40 cm high and 20-30 cm long rectangular pipe. We are renovating the bathroom and the toilet and in the process we're replacing the wall on which there's the air hole, creating a new, 12x12 hole for the fan.

According to Noctua something similar was already done:

Quote:
Cabins for simultaneous interpretation often run hot due to small size and acoustic dampening. However, quietness is vital for the interpreters work. One of our clients solved this problem by using our ULN type S12 series fans that produce over 70m³/h of airflow while being almost inaudible at only 8.6dB(A)
The reason I'm picking the Noctua industrial fan is because it would be used in a wet environment and also for longetivity. Sadly an IP67 rated fan is only available with a PWM connector and that's what giving me some trouble.

Just checked the 3-pin industrial fan and it has IP52 rating so that might also work just fine.

So, my options:
NF-F12 iPPC-2000 IP67 PWM
NF-F12 iPPC-2000 3-pin - still might only work with voltage regulation, not with resistance/potentiometer
NF-F12 PWM on 12 V with L.N.A adaptor
all 3 fans above would run ~1500 RPM, 70 CFM/119 m3, 1.6 mmH20 @ 18.8 dB(A)

NF-A12 3-pin 2000 RPM, with L.N.A. adaptor resulting 1700 RPM, 50 CFM/85 m3, 1.65 mmH2O @ 18.8 dB(A)

I would still prefer the iPPC fans as if needed they can be cranked up to max. The easiest solution would be to use a regular fan with a potentiometer/L.N.A adaptor but these fans don't have an IP rating or the performance if needed.

So, my questions:
Did anyone test the iPPC fans with a potentiometer/resistor?
Do I need an IP67 for the bathroom, or IP52/none would be just fine?

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 05:01 AM
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You'd be better off buying a real bathroom fan. You're going to spend more money trying to get this to work. You need a power inverter to convert the 220v AC or whatever voltage you have to DC voltage needed by the fan. Unless your plan is to use a power supply.


I also hope if you do go through with this that you have all wiring and connections in an enclosure that is still accessible after the work is completed, don't just throw everything up in the ceiling behind the drywall.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Sadly the cheapest bathroom fan costs $65 with abysmal performance: 44 CFM / 75 m3 @ 38 dB and a somewhat silent starts at $83, 44 CFM / 75 m3 @ 26 dB. These performances at these noise levels are far worse than the iPPC.

A NF-F12 iPPC-2000 IP67 PWM costs only $29. I will be using LED strips on the ceiling and in the furniture so I won't count that, I just need 1 extra Watt of power for the fan from it. Noctua NA FC1 costs $18. Total cots is $47. If I buy a voltage controller, then it's only $36 in total. I need 2 of everything, so it's $72 or $94 in total using Noctua. If I pick a real bathroom fan, then it would cost me $166. That's a huge difference while performance is nowhere near the Noctua.

Here's an example: Vent-Axia Silent Fan costs $86. This is one of the most silent ones I've found but ALL manufacturers specify the noise level measured at 3 m distance instead of 1 m. This fan is rated 14 dB(A) @ 3 m which is equal to 35 dB(A) @ 1 m while only extracting 54 m3/h. That's much louder than the Noctua NF-F12 iPPC-2000 running at full speed at which it would extract more than double, 120 m3/h.

These bathroom fans what have in advantage is a bit more pressure, about 0.5-1 mmH2O and humidity sensor but as I stated I'm only dealing with negative pressure inside the ducts so I don't need powerful fans. I only need something that can be silent and help out the already working system. I've attached a picture so you can see what system do we have on our rooftops.

My bathroom is really small, only 1.6x1.6x2.5 m = 6.4 m3 so I only need a fan that can extract 50 m3/h. The toilet is even smaller, 0.9x0.8x2.5 = 1.8 m3, so only 15 m3/h is needed.

I still didn't completely dismissed the idea of a proper bathroom fan but unless I can find an affordable and silent one, I would pick a Noctua fan.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 08:06 AM
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These fans are rated at those CFMs WITH pressure in mind and resistance. Noctua fans are rated at zero pressure without any resistance. You're better off getting a cheap in-line fan like this : https://www.homedepot.com/p/Hydro-Cr...2900/302930033


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Alright then. Real fan it is. Apparently in bathroom fans world a 25 dB(A) @ 3 m, which is about 34 dB(A) @ 1 m is considered ultra-silent... Oh well, I guess different there are expectations in this industry.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-14-2019, 05:28 PM
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I just replaced all the bath fans in my house and looked into pretty much every possible solution including this idea and if your fan has any sizeable length of duct between it and the outside of the building, you definitely need most static pressure than the noctua fan can provide. Axial fans are very poor performers when it comes to this application. There's a reason why all the high end bath fans like Panasonic use DC blowers. They're powerful, quiet, and reliable. Another thing to note is a properly installed bath fan should have a damper on the exhaust port where it connects to the duct. Without one, you'll let a ton of heat out of your place in the winter and if you have an exahust fan on your kitchen stove, you really dont want your bathroom duct reversing air flow when using the stove.

What i ended up buying were new bath fans made by Delta. Yes, the same Delta that makes insane screamer server fans. Their DC brushless blowers used in their bath fans are excellent and very affordable. They are rated at 100cfm and are way quieter than the C-Frame motor 50cfm bath fans they replaced. They cost about $55 USD each.




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bathroom , industrial , ippc , Noctua

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