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Aquaero USB 4.0 controller review

This device lets you control fans in reference with temperatures in control points, as well as it can be used to create supervision and control complex for watercooling systems (WCS), that can eve shut down PC in case of a system crash

Content

Additional features

When two or more temp sensors and one flow sensor are attached in WC loop, Aquaero can calculate the amount of energy transferred by a heat carrier between these two sensors. In my case I had one temp sensor before rad input and the second just behind the rad output in the loop — that way I knew how much heat my rad can dissipate. If the first sensor is moved to CPU waterblock output the amount of heat that CPU waterblock carries out can be determined.

Aquasuite: WCS heat calculations

The data is calculated according to this formula:

Power [W/h] = Heat Capacity [kJ /[kg×K]] × Volumetric current (flow)[kg/h] × Difference in temperature[K]

Let′s analyze the formula. The basic Heat Capacity is taken to be 4187 kJ / (kg×K).

Δ1К (Kelvin) = Δ1°C

3.6 × 1 kJ /h=1 W/h

The value is calculated without taking into account the fact of the Heat Capacity change due to temperature change. Also pay close attention to sensor readings tolerance — even 0.1°C temp sensor difference with 390 l/h flow will end up in additional 45W.

These calculations are very rough, therefore, it can only be used for approximate estimation.

The appropriate tab has device work log setting:

Aquasuite: log

The log is saved in xml format — they are easily process in MS Excel. The log has full history of all the devices connected to Aquaero.

After log function is turned on, the analysis tool is available in Aquasuite. To visualize system running history, Aquasuite supports system operation plotting over a custom period of time:

Aqusuite: plotting

The graph making is easy, just drag required data and drop it in the plotting area.

Enriched device functionality lets you have management over your WC system distantly — Aquaero can be controlled over the network. But I didn′t test that.

Conclusion

The manufacturer offers variety of device′s called-for functions which can be selected when buying or using Aquaero.

Not every one needs display and Aquaero LT can save you some cash. Those of you who think of a display as a necessity the compromise can be reached by choosing device with LED display or device with VFD display.

Aquaero perfectly filled its top priority task — fan controlling. There were no serious drawbacks found — but to someone it might appear not enough to have only four control channels.

Pros:

  • Compact size, easy installation
  • No need for device drivers
  • Ability to set the device right from the panel without OS loading
  • Simple and intuitive user interface
  • Provides PC emergency shut-down without using Soft-TCS functions or PC shut-down using additional cable
  • Ability to create supervision and control complex for WCS
  • Technical Support. Special thanks to Sven a.k.a. Shoggy

Cons:

  • USB-interface connection. Marks showing the polarity would make connection easier and faster
  • 30 Watt power restriction in version without PowerBooster
  • Aquasuite can′t display data in liter/minute

10 W power restriction for a base model of Aquaero just isn′t enough to power the most popular LC pump — Laing DDC 3.2 (1Plus) with power consumption of 18 W. The use of integrated pump control features is only available for Aquastream pumps.

Aquaero is fully automated device: starting when power goes on it can function regardless of what is happening with OS, the settings can be adjusted directly from the front panel.

One of the major advantages of Aquaero is scalability within the use of addition components. Aquaero provides a ground to build unique WC control and monitoring center. Reservoir heat carrier level sensor as well as programmable USB-switch can operate aside from Aquaero. In case all additional components are connected, Aquaero unites them all into one system and keeps controlling them. Creating full WC control system (i.e. buying Aquaero, flow sensor, temp sensor for WCS, heat carrier level sensor and, as manufacturer adds — Aquastream pump) will end up spending lots of money which can be compared with the price of a quite good WC kit. But system safety is the major thing to spend money on.

The negative side includes package content — no extension cords for fans as well as no cable for flow sensor connection, but its more of a flow sensor′s drawback.

Aquaero USB 4.0 is a device, you can count on. During use of the device there were no issues causing doubts or instability of the controller found.

“Editor′s Choice” award

Tested version of Aquaero USB 4.0 does not receive “Editor′s Choice” award due to insufficient power for connected devices. This award goes to Aquaero USB 4.0 with pre-installed PowerBooster in absentia.

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