Bitcoin mining and the cryptocurrency industry are energy-intensive. A single Bitcoin transaction takes approximately 1,500 kilowatt-hours to complete, which is equal to about 50 days of power for the average US household. Both new and experienced Bitcoin miners need solutions that consistently and efficiently cool down computing equipment without compromising profit. Using single-phase liquid immersion cooling is a great way to balance it all while boosting mining hashrates. If you’re thinking of setting up a crypto mining rig or improving the cooling of an existing one, we’ve put together some helpful resources for you:
What is bitcoin mining?
Bitcoin mining is necessary for new Bitcoins to enter circulation and crucial for determining whether transactions are legitimate. During the mining process, Bitcoins are created and validated on the Bitcoin network and added to the open ledger, known as the blockchain ledger. For this to happen, incredibly complex math puzzles must be completed, which requires immense computing power. Standard desktop computers aren’t powerful enough for this process; therefore, Bitcoin mining is done on mining rigs, computers built for cryptocurrency transactions.
How does a mining rig work?
Bitcoin mining is typically done with an application-specific integrated circuit or ASIC. They are casually referred to as mining rigs.
To put it simply, a mining rig is a custom computer. It has all of the typical pieces, like a motherboard and storage space, but the most significant difference between a mining rig and your home or office computer is that it features a graphical processing unit (GPU) instead of a central processing unit (CPU). A GPU is much more powerful and can handle the process of mining. Mining rigs need GPUs because they’re better equipped to solve the complex equations that verify crypto transactions. This is known as hashrate.
What are Bitcoin hashrates?
Bitcoin hashrate refers to the computational power required to mine Bitcoin or how fast a computer can solve complex puzzles. The hashrate is used to determine profitability, as well as the strength and security of the blockchain network. The higher the hashrate, the better the stability – which ultimately means more energy is consumed. A high hashrate influences the kind of cooling solution that is needed, to maintain the performance of the hardware without overheating. Keeping a high hashrate while maintaining efficiency is tricky, but liquid immersion cooling solutions can help Bitcoin miners find the best of both worlds.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Crypto Mining Rig
There are several things to consider when putting together your crypto-mining rig. GPUs can be pricey, as can ASICs. If you want a rig with processing power to help you succeed, you’ll have to pay for it. In addition, as the price of Bitcoin goes up, so does the price of ASIC miners.
One of the most significant factors is the cost of electricity to run your mining rig. This process is power-intensive! As the Bitcoin industry has evolved, math problems have become more complex, meaning computers must work harder. There’s also more competition, so the speed is critical. Bitcoin uses power at an annualized rate of 127 terawatt-hours, which is more than the annual consumption of all of Norway.
Many Bitcoin miners are finding cooling methods for their equipment to reduce expenses and stay efficient while still improving hashrates. An effective approach is liquid immersion cooling, which involves submerging hardware into a tank filled with non-conductive coolant to remove heat. Fans or pumps circulate the liquid to a heat exchange that lowers the temperature, and then the system pumps the cool liquid back into the tanks.
Pros and Cons of Crypto Immersion Cooling
There are many advantages to incorporating immersion cooling into a Bitcoin mining operation.
Immersion Cooling Pros:
- Easier overclocking: When the hardware stays cool, you can increase the clock rate of the GPU (making it run faster and boosting hashrate) without worrying about overheating.
- Quiet operation: Just one ASIC can be noisy! Immersion cooling methods like Intelliflex reduce operating sounds to an almost undetectable level.
- Mine in extreme climates: Some areas of the world are unfavourable for Bitcoin mining simply because it is too hot, and the tech could fail in the heat. With immersion cooling, hardware can be used in any environment.
- Longer hardware lifespan: When dust and air particles build up on hardware, it can impact the overall performance of the mining rig. Pollutants can’t get into an immersion cooling system.
- Less e-waste: When mining rigs use liquid immersion cooling, there is a low failure rate, which means less hardware needs to be disposed of.
Immersion Cooling Cons:
- More expensive upfront: While liquid immersion cooling helps in the long run, installing it can be pricey. Although it is costly, many Bitcoin miners view it as insurance for the long-term viability of their operation.
- Complex design: There are many pieces in a liquid immersion cooling system. While not a deal breaker, some Bitcoin miners may seek something simpler.
Air vs Liquid Immersion Cooling for Bitcoin Mining
ASICs can work much more efficiently when the pieces within them are cool. The most popular cooling options involve either the movement of air from fans (air cooling) or immersing hardware in a non-conductive dielectric fluid (liquid immersion cooling). There are several key differences between these cooling methods for Bitcoin mining.
Air cooling is the most basic and affordable option. It is useful when you begin mining Bitcoin but can be limiting if you wish to grow the mining farm. In air cooling, the air is circulated with fans to dissipate heat. Think of a fan you’d run in your home on a hot summer day – it’s the same idea, just on a larger and noisier scale. Fans push and pull the air around the rig to cool the components. Air cooling is still the most common method of cooling Bitcoin mining rigs, although it has its limits.
On the flip side, with liquid immersion cooling, computing equipment is cooled more quickly since the liquid is denser and has a more efficient heat transfer than air. Dunking the mining rig components in the liquid protects the hardware from pollutants and is much quieter than air cooling. With this method, you can fit more mining rigs into a smaller space, helping Bitcoin miners scale their operations more quickly, and therefore increase their hashrates. Liquid immersion cooling is still a fairly new technology, but it is worth it to take the plunge.
Immersion cooling is the future of Bitcoin mining
Immersion cooling is the clear winner when determining a cooling method for Bitcoin mining. It is much more energy efficient, protects mining rig hardware, can work in all climates, is way quieter than air cooling, has a smaller carbon footprint, and enables safer overclocking and scaling operations.
If you care about boosting Bitcoin revenue while keeping costs down, immersion liquid cooling is the way. Contact us today to get started.
FAQs on Setting Up Efficient Crypto Mining Rigs
Does immersion cooling increase the hashrate?
When immersion cooling methods are used on mining rigs, it is much safer to overclock the GPU. When the mining rig is overclocked, it can then consume more power and boost the hashrate.
Should mining rig fans push or pull?
Since GPU fans push away air, you’ll want your mining rig fans to pull to help extract the hot air out of the space.
What temperature should a mining rig be?
You’ll want your GPU as cool as possible during Bitcoin mining. The ideal temperature range is between 60°C and 75°C.
How long will an Antminer S19 last?
The Antminer S19 is one of the newest ASICs available. It can last up to five years if kept cool and properly taken care of. You should perform regular maintenance to avoid failure.
What is a safe fan speed for mining?
You may want to run your GPU fans at 100% while mining, but that will cause them to wear out more quickly. It is best to keep your fans at 75% or lower.
How many CFM do I need for a mining rig?
It depends on the ASIC, but a good rule of thumb is 200 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) for a typical mining rig.
What is the lifespan of a crypto miner?
A new ASIC miner can last for around five years if properly cared for. However, a lack of cooling, ventilation, and maintenance can severely shorten the hardware’s lifespan.
How much CO2 does crypto mining produce?
Crypto mining produces up to 22.9 million metric tons of CO2 emissions each year, according to a 2019 study. That’s about the same as all of Sri Lanka.