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Thread: Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W PSU 10 Years Later

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    Default Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W PSU 10 Years Later

    This one was a bit different from the last two articles on PSU's after years of use, but thought some people might still find it interesting https://www.hardocp.com/article/2018...0_years_later/

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    Even though they're not the same; the number of PUC reviews from back in the day all showed similar results and seeing the two units age in a similar manner definitely puts the gusto of this design in perspective.

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    Pictures of the aged unit undressed would be nice, hint hint
    Also would be cool, if you're anyway going to scrap them, to check the ESR & capacitance of the caps.
    Especially the primary side bulk filtering capacitors, my feeling after reading your article is that the APFC might have done them in and that's why you see the results you do.
    (APFC stresses the caps _allot_ more than the voltage doubler circuit).
    "The one who says it cannot be done should never interrupt the one who is doing it."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Per Hansson View Post
    Pictures of the aged unit undressed would be nice, hint hint
    Also would be cool, if you're anyway going to scrap them, to check the ESR & capacitance of the caps.
    Especially the primary side bulk filtering capacitors, my feeling after reading your article is that the APFC might have done them in and that's why you see the results you do.
    (APFC stresses the caps _allot_ more than the voltage doubler circuit).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Per Hansson View Post
    (APFC stresses the caps _allot_ more than the voltage doubler circuit).

    Didn't know that

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    It's very simple to imagine: The old PSU's without PFC use just a voltage doubler circuit.
    The frequency the capacitor sees will be line frequency times two (since we use a full wave bridge rectifier) so 100Hz here or 120Hz in the US.

    APFC on the other hand is a high frequency switched design, the working frequency can be anywhere from 10KHz to 100KHz. (Usually variable).
    I've seen many failed bulk filtering capacitors in APFC power supplies, in my experience it's the primary cause of failure in APFC units.
    (When the primary capacitor fails the APFC circuit must work harder and thus the switching transistors eventually short out).
    "The one who says it cannot be done should never interrupt the one who is doing it."

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    Yes, it is obvious, in hindsight; I really appreciate the explanation.

    Perhaps now I'll stop with the don't need low ESR on the primary capacitors; which leads me to a further question, I assume they are not low ESR but would benefit from so being? or is the cause of failure the overvoltage that can be seen when running on a rectangular wave (as you yourself pointed out)?

    http://digilander.libero.it/hibone/U...est_Report.pdf
    Last edited by ashiekh; 06-10-2018 at 10:32 AM.

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    It's a bit of both, when they "just" bloat it's usually due to overvoltage.
    I have seen that on reputable brands too...

    But the worse failure is in brands like Capxon, Ltec etc etc, they just loose all the capacitance with no visible external signs.
    This results in the total failure of the APFC switching transistors usually...
    That is usually the case of simply being loaded too much, the caps can't take the ripple and simply loose their properties over time (dielectric breakdown).

    It's beneficial to put ceramic caps in parallell for this reason, for the low ESR properties.
    But the problem with that is that they handle overvoltage transients by blowing up with fire and flames: not the best on the primary side where you can expect large transients...
    "The one who says it cannot be done should never interrupt the one who is doing it."

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    The problem with all this analysis is that I am tempted to stick with my old power supplies that seem to keep trundling along (with new secondary capacitors); on the other hand I feel I am becoming one with the supply ;-)
    Last edited by ashiekh; 06-10-2018 at 08:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Per Hansson View Post
    It's very simple to imagine: The old PSU's without PFC use just a voltage doubler circuit.
    The frequency the capacitor sees will be line frequency times two (since we use a full wave bridge rectifier) so 100Hz here or 120Hz in the US.

    APFC on the other hand is a high frequency switched design, the working frequency can be anywhere from 10KHz to 100KHz. (Usually variable).
    I've seen many failed bulk filtering capacitors in APFC power supplies, in my experience it's the primary cause of failure in APFC units.
    (When the primary capacitor fails the APFC circuit must work harder and thus the switching transistors eventually short out).
    This also depends on the size of the inductor. The bigger it is the less stress you have in the capacitors.

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