Guide for Cooling Crypto Miners

When you are facing peak summers, the temperatures will be very high. This high temperature will not only have an adverse effect on humans but also on crypto miners. In this guide, we will have a look at the different cooling options that can be employed to cool crypto miners. It is essential for the smooth functioning of the miners.

 

What is the Source of High temperatures?

 

There are two types of miners out there. They are the GPU miners and the ASIC miners. When you compare the GPU miner with an ASIC miner, the hashrate will be more for an ASIC miner. So, why is the GPU miner having less hashrate than the ASIC miner? The ASIC miners make use of ASIC chips for mining cryptocurrencies. These ASIC chips are known to produce a good amount of heat when they make heavy calculations. So, it is the ASIC chip that is responsible for a large amount of heat.

 

It is better to explain it with an example. Consider the case of Antminer S9. When you run this miner in the automatic mode with the cooling fans at an ambient temperature of 28 degrees Celsius, the temperature on the air inlet will be 31 degrees Celsius. There will be a temperature of around 44 degrees Celsius near the air outlet. The temperature on the chip will be as high as 61 degrees Celsius. During this time, if you measure the chassis temperature, it will be around 35 degrees Celsius.

 

The temperatures can go as high as 35 or 40 degrees Celsius during peak summers. This temperature is very dangerous for crypto miners. It is because of the reason that the miners also generate a good amount of heat. So, when it adds up with the ambient temperature, it will be very high. When you run your miners in such an environment, it will shorten the life of the miners. It can even damage the miners when the temperature exceeds a certain value. So, you need to employ some techniques to cool down the miners, especially during summer times.

 

Can you Share the Multiple Techniques for Cooling that are Prohibited by Engineers?

 

As you all know, the noise generated by the miner during its operation is very much disturbing for the persons inside it. If the temperature is also high, it will have some adverse effects. One direct impact will be the reduction in the life of the crypto miners. But there are some other impacts also. The mental and physical health of the persons who are working on the mining farms will get affected. These two things make the people come up with multiple cooling techniques to keep the mining farm cool at all times.

 

Worker 1 – When the worker decides to use a completely air-conditioned environment for the mining farm.

 

Engineer’s Response

 

There are small mining farms run at homes and garages. These farms will have around 10 to 12 miners. They are not professional miners. In the case of these small farms, a normal room air-conditioner will be good enough to cool down the heat generated by the miners as well as the ambient temperature. When you have more miners on your mining farm, this room air-conditioner will not be able to cool down all the miners. Thus, the temperature will be still high even if you use a room air-conditioner in this situation.

 

The amount of energy consumed by a typical room air-conditioner can be around 1.4 kWh per hour. When you convert it for a day, the power will be 33.6 kWh. If you see the power consumed by the S9 Antminer, it is only around 35 kWh per day. So, there will be lots of energy wastage when you bring the air-conditioner into the picture. Thus, this solution is not an economically viable one.

 

Worker 2 – The worker suggests opening up all the doors and windows in the miner room.

 

Engineer’s Response

 

It is a good idea to open up the doors and windows in the room for the miners. It will help to remove the extra heat generated. But you will have another issue when you open up the windows and doors. There will be dust coming and settling in the miners. The cooling fans provided by the miners will collect all the dust present in the atmosphere. This dust accumulates on the heatsink side can result in the trigger of temperature protection circuitry. Thus, the miner functioning may get halted, and you will end up in a lower hashrate. It can even cause damage to the hashboard of the miner. These dust particles need to be cleaned at regular intervals for smooth functioning of the miner. Otherwise, there will be a temperature buildup happening in the miner.

 

Worker 3 – The worker suggests the installation of a couple of high-speed fans for the miner

 

Engineer’s Response

 

You can actually replace the fans that are running at low speed with high-speed fans theoretically. If you see the miners from Antminer, they are utilizing different models of fans that come at different speeds. So, there must be some reason to use these low-speed fans. The engineers from Antminers have designed the miners with the fans in such a way that the miner provides the best possible efficiency. Thus, you can expect great output from our miners. When you switch the low-speed fan in the miner with a high-speed fan, you will end up spending more energy on the high-speed fans. Thus, it will have a negative impact on the miner’s performance and efficiency.

 

Can you Share the Scientific Way of Cooling Miners?

 

I will share the list of methods that can be used to cool the miners from Antminer. This list is prepared based on the inputs from a technician of Antminer.

 

  1. You must use the original colling fans for the Antminer. You cannot expect good performance from the miners if you replace the original cooling fans with third-party ones.

 

  1. It is possible to replace the fans that run at low speeds with high-speed fans. But you cannot replace high-speed fans with low-speed ones. It will affect the smooth functioning of the miner. It can even damage the boards in the miner.

 

  1. You must remove the dust accumulated on the miner on a regular basis. Never try to dismantle the miner for the dust removal process. Instead, get a high-pressure air blower to remove the dust particles. Blow it backwards on the miner. You can do this activity every month.

 

  1. It is essential to measure the temperature of the miner at regular intervals. If you find any deviations in temperature, it is good to stop the miner temporarily for some time. There is a threshold limit for the hashboard temperature. It must not go beyond 10 degrees Celsius.

 

  1. You must not use oil to dissipate the extra heat generated by the crypto miner.

 

  1. It is recommended to operate the miner at an ambient temperature of 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. So, make sure to have some method to control the ambient temperature.

 

  1. There is a temperature range for the chips inside the miner. It is in the range of 70 to 80 degrees Celsius. If the temperature goes beyond this limit, it will result in the accumulation of dust particles. So, avoid it.

 

  1. If you see a lower temperature on the chip, no need to worry. It is normal. In this case, the miner fans will be running at lower speeds. Less power will be consumed during this time.

 

Now, the question would be, how is it possible to remove the heat scientifically. So, we will look at the different heat transfer techniques.

 

There are three ways to transfer heat. It can be through convection, conduction, and radiation.

 

Conduction of heat

 

Here the heat transfer takes place through direct contact with the objects. Heat is transferred from one body to the other with the help of internal particles. For example, when you hold a hot pan, you will feel the heat.

 

Convection of heat

 

When the heat is transferred from one body to the other by the relative displacement of different parts of the two bodies, it is said to be heat transfer by convection phenomenon. For example, when you mix cold water and hot water, you will get warm water. Here, the heat from the hot water will get mixed with cold water, and the temperature of the entire mixture of water will come down.

 

Radiation of heat

 

In the case of radiation, the heat transfer will happen between two bodies, and there will be no direct contact between the two bodies. Here, the energy transfer occurs with the help of electromagnetic waves. It will be mostly the infrared waves that help to do the heat transfer. The heat that we get from the sun is an excellent example of heat radiation.

So, you can adopt three types of cooling methods to cool the miners.

 

  1. Getting the miner in contact with objects that are at low temperature

 

For the direct contact method, there are two methods used. They are the water cooling method and the oil cooling method. Here, a coolant will be in direct contact with the miner to transfer the heat. In this method, there won’t be any noise generated since there are no fans involved in the cooling process. This method is not a popular one amongst crypto miners. But this method may come into the picture at a later stage when there is a demand for replacing the fans used for cooling.

 

  1. Placing the crypto-miner in a location that provides proper ventilation and low room temperature

 

It is essential to provide good ventilation as well as protection from dust. If you look at the professional mining farms, you can see louvers and window screens. These things are provided on the farms to lower the number of dust particles and to prevent the return of the air. You can also find negative pressure fans installed in large mining farms. These fans are very good at removing the heat generated inside the farm.

 

The temperature will be low near the rivers and mountains. You can also get lower temperatures at higher altitudes. Another advantage of higher altitude is that the temperature will remain low throughout the year. These are some of the best places for mining.

 

  1. Lowering the Amount of heat from different sources

 

You cannot shut down the miner. But you can clean the miner to remove the dust particles. One efficient way of lowering the heat is to remove the dust particles. It will reduce overheating issues. One of the effective ways to do dust removal is to make use of the high-pressure air blowgun. You can use it to blow out the dust from the air outlets.

 

Some Creative Cooling Methods

 

There are few other creative cooling methods adopted in many crypto mining farms. These are not verified methods. So, if you are planning to use any of these methods, you must use it with caution.

 

  1. You can use the water curtain to lower the temperature at the air inlet. Also, install the negative pressure fans on the air outlet side of the miner to insulate the heat. It will help to keep the miner temperature within 70 degrees Celsius.

 

  1. Another method is to dig eight 100-meter wells. You need to place heat exchange bars in these wells. Now, you must blow the air into the closed room. This method is found effective for mining farms with up to 300 miners. It will help to lower the temperature for the whole year. You need only a one-time investment for digging the wells and buying the heat exchange bars. You will have to pay for the fan’s electric power cost. The maintenance fee will also be very less. There will be zero dust particles if you use this technique. It is possible to maintain an ambient temperature of 28 degrees Celsius even if the external temperature is around 40 degrees Celsius.

 

  1. Another method is the ice cube technique. You can get a block of ice inside the mining farm daily to lower the room temperature. So, it will be a part of your daily routine. The ice block can melt quickly if the temperatures are very high. So, you may need more blocks of ice.

 

  1. Next method is the frozen bottle method. You can keep water bottles filled with water inside the refrigerator and freeze them. Position the frozen water bottles near the miners. There should be at least a 10 cm gap between the bottle and the miner. It is to ensure that the condensed water does not get into the miner. You need to use fans to blow the cold air towards the air inlet of the miner to remove the heat. It is a good idea to keep a plate below the frozen bottle to collect the condensed water.

 

  1. Many experienced miners do not like using water curtains for cooling miners. They prefer to use the natural wind to cool the miners. Here, you need to know the direction of the wind. You need to make it blow towards the inlet of the miner. Bellmouth air inlets are known for this kind of cooling setup. The bell mouth design helps compress the air when it enters the inlet. The working is similar to that of a refrigerator. You will also need negative pressure fans on the air outlet of the miner.

 

Appendix

Series articles on crypto miner maintenance:

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