Components and Design (Cont’d)
I wasn’t able to obtain specific information on the Peltier device used in Monsoon II Lite. However, based on the information that is available (40mm, 12 VDC, 5A, 50W 100% loading) it is safe to assume that the TEC is probably a relatively high-power 40mm unit (24 volts Vmax, 10A Imax, 65° DTmax, and upwards of 150 watts Qmax). Reducing the applied voltage to 12 VDC allows the TEC to operate much more efficiently but also decreases its overall heat pumping capacity.
One of the unique features of the Monsoon II Lite TEC cooler is that the Peltier device is only turned on when needed. When the CPU is idling and when the ambient air temperature is relatively cool, the TEC isn’t needed and the processor is cooled via the heat pipes and fins, just like a traditional HSF. At higher loads and/or when the ambient air temperature is above 25°C, the Monsoon II control module turns on the Peltier device for additional cooling.
The PCI card control module is designed to mount in a spare PCI slot. The connector on the right receives a standard 4-pin Molex for supplying power to the unit. The two connectors in the middle attach to the Monsoon II Lite cooler cable, one for power to the Peltier device and the other for fan power and the temperature probe.
The Monsoon II Lite controller comes pre-programmed to maintain a target CPU temperature, which from my testing appears to be 25-26°C. When the CPU (cold plate) temperature is £25°C, the controller turns off the Peltier device. This insures that the temperature of the CPU socket area never drops below 25°C so there is little chance of condensation forming. As the CPU/base plate temperature increases, the controller will start cycling the Peltier device on and off to maintain the programmed target temperature. Depending on the processor load, the CPU temperature will rise above 25°C unless the ambient air temperature is significantly below 25°C. The Monsoon II Lite control module also contains an audible alarm that will sound if the temperature drops below 15°C or rises above 70°C.
There are three LEDs on the backside of the PCI controller card, which provide system status.
- Orange LED: Turns on when the TEC is active
- Red LED: Blinks when the temperature is over 70°C or less than 15°C
- Green LED: Lights when the system is operating normally