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 Post subject: Silverstone aiming for 95% efficient PSU
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:23 pm 
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http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=40089

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However, this is not the only thing these lads are considering. Next step is to get 95%+ efficiency, but in order for that to become a reality, some communication between a motherboard and a PSU will have to be realised. Some core logic inside the PSU, some on the motherboard and a serious redesign of internal wiring... then again, Google already does it. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure what is required.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 2:22 pm 
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As an engineering type of person I always like more efficiency, and 95% is impressive.

Since they say it needs a significant redesign, I would like to see them take the opportunity to remove all of those useless extra voltages, leaving a single voltage for everything, probably +12V, or maybe moving up to +48V to allow thinner wires to be used (copper is heavy, expensive and a diminishing resource). The wiring would be simpler, the PSU would be simpler, cheaper, more efficient, more reliable; it would generally be only a good thing. They'll never do it though :(

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 2:47 pm 
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The problem with 48V, so I've read, is that it is not as efficient stepping down to the lower voltages (3.3V, 5V) that are still heavily used as 12V. So, you end up losing some of that PSU efficiency once you get to the MB. According to Google and others, having just 12V out of the PSU would be the most efficient without redesign of the overall system.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 3:55 pm 
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I think the utility company should provide 12V DC in our homes. :twisted:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:05 pm 
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12V into a home.....to run an air conditioner, a heater? You're talking about copper wiring the size of your wrist. No way.....

A more efficient PSU is quite possible, maybe 95%. Might even run a std MB...probably expensive though, maybe too expensive to see the light of day. :(

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:40 pm 
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95% with 220-240v should be doable. 95% on 110v gets alot harder.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:41 pm 
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What about a very large dc power converter for all the electronics in the home?

Then you could have dc to dc converters for very sensitive devices, or those that need voltage adjustments.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:46 pm 
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DryFire wrote:
What about a very large dc power converter for all the electronics in the home?

This has been advocated often. It could potentially mean requiring your entire home, as existing wiring was not designed to support 12V. 48V is probably doable, but the benefits become much less with so many devices requiring << 48V.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:58 pm 
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Bluefront wrote:
12V into a home.....to run an air conditioner, a heater? You're talking about copper wiring the size of your wrist. No way.....



Heh, shows how much I know about electricity :roll:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:51 am 
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The idea of having a single high efficiency 12VDC supply line in your house to replace wall warts is a decent idea.... although the energy and material to put in all that extra wiring is significant. We could have much more efficient wall warts that shut off when nothing in plugged into them.

As for PSUs, 95% efficient would be great. Bye-bye fan! Using one voltage would help a LOT, but would require a whole redesign of the ATX architecture. As it is, with the PicoPSU, and an external brick, we are close to 90%.

I wonder how the PicoPSU can be more efficient, as it has two separate parts, and some of the energy gets converted twice, but it is, and its super cool.

I wonder why they can't scale the design of the PicoPSU up to 250W, internalize the high efficiency brick and stick it in a plastic ATX PSU casing, and give it an IEC socket? Basically, make a regular PSU out of that TINY PSU technology.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:54 am 
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WHY would anyone need 1.2KW for a PC? I can't see a need for more than 300 watts, unless you have one of those stupid SLI setups. My box was crammed full of drives and stuff a while back, and it was fine with a quality 300W PSU (Seasonic Super Tornado). I wonder if that 95% efficiency PSU is going to be a 1KW model that doesn't even hit 80% until like 300 watts?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:00 pm 
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Bigg wrote:
I wonder why they can't scale the design of the PicoPSU up to 250W, internalize the high efficiency brick and stick it in a plastic ATX PSU casing, and give it an IEC socket? Basically, make a regular PSU out of that TINY PSU technology.

You are basically describing the existing fanless PSU by Silverstone and FSP. These things are close to 90% efficient in their loading sweet spot. There is nothing magic about the PicoPSU. Pretty much every PSU has a similar highly efficient DC-DC part in it (the cool thing about PicoPSU is that it makes it easy to keep the less efficient/heat producing AC-DC part outside the case). The trick is getting a highly efficient AC-DC PSU and you'll notice that is something that Mini-Box leaves to others to produce. Clearly it is less expensive to produce a good quality low wattage AC-DC unit as the internal components need to be much less robust than something designed for > 400W.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:31 pm 
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jessekopelman wrote:
Bigg wrote:
I wonder why they can't scale the design of the PicoPSU up to 250W, internalize the high efficiency brick and stick it in a plastic ATX PSU casing, and give it an IEC socket? Basically, make a regular PSU out of that TINY PSU technology.

You are basically describing the existing fanless PSU by Silverstone and FSP. These things are close to 90% efficient in their loading sweet spot. There is nothing magic about the PicoPSU. Pretty much every PSU has a similar highly efficient DC-DC part in it (the cool thing about PicoPSU is that it makes it easy to keep the less efficient/heat producing AC-DC part outside the case). The trick is getting a highly efficient AC-DC PSU and you'll notice that is something that Mini-Box leaves to others to produce. Clearly it is less expensive to produce a good quality low wattage AC-DC unit as the internal components need to be much less robust than something designed for > 400W.


Cool. I guess SPCR hasn't reviewed them yet, (or I missed them) as the PicoPSU is by far the most efficient that I could find on the site.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:11 pm 
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Come on guys, don't you recognize a throwaway let-smake-some-noise-for-traffic coment when you see it? Talk is cheap. 95% efficiency is not. To take PSU efficiency from the mid-80s where the best ATX ones are now to >90% will take a great deal of $$$. Expensive parts, even parts that even aren't made by component makers yet because there's no demand -- except in weird military gear where $ is no object.

We're not going to see >90% efficiency any time soon at anything like a relatively reasonable price.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:40 pm 
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http://www.tyan.com/product_barebones_d ... spx?pid=97

The powersupply in that thing is just 120v ac to 12v dc... I guess it basically has a picopsu type setup on the board... there is a seperate cable going from the motherboard to the backplane for the harddrives. The motherboard must be dropping down the 12v to 5v for backplane the drives plug into.

Anyways that type of setup is awesome. More and more stuff should just use only 12v to make an eventual switch easy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:54 pm 
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Oh yea and everything is expensive. Remember when 65% was typical? Now we see high end PSUs in the mid 80s. If someone is willing to pay for it someone else is willing to build it. Don't we already have 90s doing 120vac->12vdc?

Why not drop all the oddball voltages, have a power supply built basically be three 100w 12v dc power supplies bundled together... system draws under 100w the other two are switched off blah blah easy to do.

If enough companies decide they want it it'll happen.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:38 pm 
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jessekopelman wrote:
The problem with 48V, so I've read, is that it is not as efficient stepping down to the lower voltages (3.3V, 5V) that are still heavily used as 12V. So, you end up losing some of that PSU efficiency once you get to the MB. According to Google and others, having just 12V out of the PSU would be the most efficient without redesign of the overall system.

But converting 240V (or 120) to 48V is more efficient than going down to 12V, plus the reduced losses in the wiring will make some of that back. But the main reason I suggested it is that the price of copper is only going to rise in the future and will eventually begin to outweigh any difference in efficiency.


MikeC wrote:
Come on guys, don't you recognize a throwaway let-smake-some-noise-for-traffic coment when you see it? Talk is cheap. 95% efficiency is not. To take PSU efficiency from the mid-80s where the best ATX ones are now to >90% will take a great deal of $$$. Expensive parts, even parts that even aren't made by component makers yet because there's no demand -- except in weird military gear where $ is no object.

We're not going to see >90% efficiency any time soon at anything like a relatively reasonable price.

95% is very high, but I can see it being possible in the next few years. The specs of the components that go into these things (MOSFETs, diodes and capacitors particularly) are improving all the time, and the controlling electronics are becoming more intelligent. A lot of improvement can come from more careful design with existing components too.

Reasonably priced 90% efficient PSUs already exist at the industrial level, just not in ATX PSUs yet. I know the last few percent are the hardest, but even 90% would have seemed incredibly high not long ago.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 5:52 pm 
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cloneman wrote:
Bluefront wrote:
12V into a home.....to run an air conditioner, a heater? You're talking about copper wiring the size of your wrist. No way.....



Heh, shows how much I know about electricity :roll:


shows how much you know.

high voltage current is far more efficient at travelling distances than low voltage current.

and DC to the home would be a nightmare.


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