Why do the mining machines need to be cooled down?
Let’s see what a typical Bitcoin mining rig would consist of:
- A power supply unit (PSU) to provide adequate power to run the miners
- One or more mining devices. Miners typically use Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), which are designed specifically for mining. Standard GPUs that are used in desktops and laptops can also be used, with various graphic cards being the most efficient for different mining different cryptocurrencies.
- A controller, which could be a dedicated miner or a computer. This is used to manage the mining devices and monitor their performance.
- Cooling fans to keep the temperature of the miners within operational limits.
- Optional: a frame to house and protect the components.
Mining rigs generate a lot of heat and if they are not properly cooled, they can overheat and break down. People even are thinking to heat their home with Bitcoin mining in winter.
The operating temperature for Antminer S19 is range between 0-40°C, so you have to control the environment temperature below 40°C to make sure the machines running correctly. However, the range could be reduced in reality because of various reasons, such as dust, humility, etc. It is recommended that the ambient temperature could be controlled between 15-35°C and the ideal temperature is 25°C.
If your miners happened to refuse to work by the reason of overheating, you can try two ways to resolve the issue:
- Cool down the environment’s temperature
- Clean up the dust covering the machines and components
How to Cool the Bitcoin mining rigs?
Currently, we know three ways to control the running machines’ overheat: air cooling, immersion cooling and water cooling.
Air cooling system is the primary way to cool machines in the world, including mining rigs. You can always find built-in ventilation fans in each mining rig. Heat is dissipated by increasing the flow of air over the mining rig. In cold weather, ambient air mixed with hot recirculated air is used to cool the mining equipment. That’s the reason that most investors prefer to deploy their mining rigs in the locations with cold weather, such as North America, Iceland, Canada, etc. To increase the effectiveness of air cooling, energy-sapping refrigeration components like chillers and air handlers are often needed.
Immersion cooling, also called liquid submersion cooling, is the practice of completely submerging, or immersing, the mining rig in a thermally-conductive liquid with greater insulating properties than ordinary air. The liquid is usually dielectric oil. The heat generated by the rigs is transferred to the oil, which dissipates the heat away from the rigs. There are two types of immersion cooling named as single and double phase.
The rigs are immersed in a dielectric fluid, and the heat will be absorbed by the fluid, then the fluid is pumped and circulated around a tank. The heat is dissipated in this way to be called single phase.
In the double phase, it will involve a sealing server inside a bath of specially engineered fluorocarbon-based liquid. Once the heat boils the liquid causes the phase to change from liquid to gas, and the vapor will be condensed back to the liquid through the system. In this way, the frame of the rigs is even no need in this process, they only need the hash boards involved, said Mr. Lee, one of the engineers. But in this process, it may generate toxic gas, which the operators need to be aware of it and protect themselves once involving the work.
Immersion cooling is applied due to its cost optimization. It can reuse heat and lower electricity waste. Also, it reduces the noise and dust which usually make the rigs overheat. As we know, some miners prefer to overlock, especially when the Bitcoin price is pumping, and overlocking will get higher hashrates to generate more profits. Immersion cooling makes the overlocking more possible without damaging components because of overheat. Normally, immersion cooling is one of the ways to extend the lifetime of mining rigs.
However, the drawbacks of immersion cooling may make miners delist it from their plans. Even if immersion cooling is so good at cooling mining rigs, but the cost is also very high. Especially in the bear market, when people are trying hard to control the cost, the costly cooling method can’t be their choice if they want to keep generating profits. The other drawback is oil maintenance. As we mentioned before, the dielectric oil is used in the immersion cooling process, and the oil will also be maintained properly or even clean off, which is money cost and time-consuming. Even though it’s a high cost, Mr. Lee also believes the immersion cooling will be largely applied in the next bull run. It makes us imagine how high the Bitcoin price will hit, so the miners will get their harvest.
Recently, the sound of hydro cooling is spreading in the Bitcoin mining market. The hydro series machines launched by Bitmain are getting more inquiries these days.
S19pro+ Hyd. 191T 27.5J/T
It’s said on the official website that the hydro machine is designed as high-grade waterproof and dustproof components to ensure long-term mining operations. Because the entire miner operates without fans, so no noise will be generated but only the sound of water flowing.
Sounds interesting, isn’t it? Bitcoin mining was once complained about due to its loud annoying noise, but now it might become the ‘sleep aid’. But what is the true story? Let’s involve it in the next article.
Ryan Clancy, How to heat your home with Bitcoin mining
Ezblockchain, What’s better for Bitcoin mining