To Southern Miners: A Guide to Heating for Miners

Source: Medium

Author: Gado Images co-founder and CEO Thomas Smith

Translator: Odaily Planet Daily Moni

How to say goodbye to northerners for heating in the cold winter, and for the southerners to rely on the righteousness for the winter, and find the greenest and cheapest thermal energy?

If you are a cryptocurrency miner, don't know if you have ever stayed around the miner, if you have, you can express your feelings in one word, that is: hot!

In fact, cryptocurrency mining is a very energy-consuming operation. According to data reported by the BBC, global cryptocurrency mining consumes more electricity than Switzerland as a whole. Once the miner is connected to the power and starts the mining operation, the excess heat will be released to the environment.

So, what effect would we gain if we use this energy for heating? According to relevant research, it is found that the energy consumption of bitcoin for a year can allow us to obtain 209,232,575,034,000 BTU / hrs of heat, which is equivalent to 2,092,325,750 sam of natural gas thermal energy. (Planet's Note: Sam is the unit of heat used to measure gas in the United Kingdom, and BTU is also the unit of heat in the United Kingdom. 1BTU is the heat required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit, which is approximately 251.9958 calories per 0.293 watt hours / 1.055 kJ.)

Heat of this size can heat 4.2 million homes throughout the year or run 139 million barbecue grills throughout the barbecue season.

In short, the amount of heat that the miner can provide is very large. But until today, most of the miner's heat has been wasted, some are directly discharged into the environment, and some are processed, but only for environmental protection purposes rather than fully utilizing this energy.

So I was wondering, if we can find a good way to use all the heat of the mining machine for heating the house, wouldn't it be beautiful in this cold winter? But what should I do? I decided to experiment with this and develop a cryptocurrency miner heater on my own.

First principle

Everything is difficult at the beginning. Let's start with the first step.

The first step is to figure out the principle, the first law of thermodynamics. The first law of thermodynamics states that different forms of energy are conserved in the process of transfer and conversion, energy will not be created or destroyed, and the total value remains unchanged during the conversion. This means that all the ability to enter your house will not disappear out of nowhere. Whether it is used to cook food, run a dishwasher, or be powered by a miner, energy just becomes something else, and in these " "Other things" is what we need: heat.

At first glance, the law of conservation of energy can be a bit "counter-intuitive", because the heat we usually understand comes from the stove or boiler, but in fact, every watt of energy that enters the house will eventually be converted into heat, including From electricity provided in wall sockets, natural gas used in water heaters, computing power allowed by computers, and even sunlight flowing through windows.

Since heat is never destroyed, the ideal energy consumption is 1: 1 conversion. So, if your miner consumes 500 watts of electricity, it means that it will generate 500 watts of heat (although many people will spend their own money to buy a 500 watt heater)-well, so far we will first Learned theoretical knowledge.

Maybe some "smart" companies understand the law of conservation of energy, so they produce commercial heating miners, but most of these types of mining machines are more expensive. In fact, you only need a little DIY, you can build a cheaper 2, better performance mining machine heater.

My gear

In order to test the idea of ​​using a cryptocurrency mining machine to heat a house, I decided to develop a basic cryptocurrency mining machine heater myself.

My equipment includes: a simple motherboard, an EVGA Platinum power supply, a Windows operating system loaded on an old hard drive, and an NVIDIA 1070 graphics card-this is the card that plays a key role in cryptocurrency mining. I don't need a monitor, but access it from another computer through Teamviewer.

In order to simplify the testing work, I use Nicehash software for actual mining. This software is very simple to install. It only requires some basic knowledge to complete the setup. Then, with a click, you can start all available hardware to mine different cryptocurrencies, and Deposit the proceeds into your designated Bitcoin wallet.

Obviously, if I want to heat my house, I must move this miner into the house. So, I put this miner behind the TV in the living room, where the miner can blow hot air into the room without disturbing daily life. Generally speaking, miners can run quietly without causing interference.

Next, I used Afterburner to control power consumption. But in fact, I want to consume more energy in the test because the purpose of this test is to generate heat. The more wattage I burn, the more heat is generated. Ordinary heaters generate heat by energizing resistance coils, while miners generate heat more intelligently in the process of finding cryptocurrencies.

Effects and effects

I ran the miner for a few months and it was mining cryptocurrency at full load. The power consumption was about 220 watts, and the heat value per hour was 716 BTU, which is equivalent to 17,184 BTU per day. During the test, my daily mining profit was $ 0.76, and the winter electricity bill was $ 0.24 per kWh. Therefore, if the daily full load operation is 220 watts multiplied by 24 hours, the daily energy consumption is 5.28 kWh, so the daily operating cost of the miner is $ 1.26. After deducting the mining revenue of $ 0.76, the daily “heating” net The cost is $ 0.50.

So how does it compare to other forms of heating? Well, compared to ordinary electric heaters, the cost of a miner heater is much lower (regardless of the equipment cost). Ideally, a 220 watt indoor heater will consume 220 watts of electricity and generate 220 watts of heat, and you will not get any return on encrypted Hubei revenue. Therefore, even if the cryptocurrency mining income is only one cent a day, compared with other forms of indoor heating, using a mining machine to heat is still saving money.

If compared with natural gas heating, does a crypto mining machine have an advantage in indoor heating?

The unit of natural gas heat is also Sam. The calorific value of ordinary natural gas heaters is about 100,000 BTU, and the miner can generate 17,184 BTU of heat per day. If calculated based on the electricity cost of $ 1.42 per sam, heating with cryptocurrency mining machines can save a part of the natural gas cost, which can save about $ 0.24 per day (although there may be other costs). In my tests, in order to achieve the effect of natural gas heating, my heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) used heat pumps and fans. When the system was running, the power consumed was about 1000 watts, and the result was my mining machine heating Compared with natural gas heating equipment, electricity heaters cost 10-15 cents more per day.

In summary, the daily operation of my miner heater became approximately $ 1.26 (calculated based on the pure electricity cost), and the mined cryptocurrency revenue earned $ 0.76, and the other $ 0.35 was due to the reduction in natural gas usage and Reduced heating, ventilation and air conditioning electricity costs. Therefore, I spend about $ 0.15 per day using a miner heater.

Although it looks good, my house heating cost has actually not reached expectations, and even has not reached a balance of payments, but the cryptocurrency profits that have been mined have offset some heating costs and greatly reduced my expenditure for 220 watt heating. Electricity bill.

If I live in a place with low electricity costs, using a mining machine for indoor heating may reach a break-even, and even make me a small profit if the house heating is met. Or, if the price of cryptocurrencies rises, my cost gap will further narrow, and I will break even in heating costs.

Can the use of mining machines to heat houses be promoted?

What I want to say is that mining machine heating is a clean energy. In my concept test, only 220 watts of heating equipment were explored. If I want to further expand the scale and use cryptocurrency mining machines to heat the entire house, the reality ?

For an average family, the daily heat consumption using natural gas heating is about 1.16 sam, which will be used for daily heat equipment such as stoves, water heaters, dryers and so on. For the sake of analysis, we assume that a household needs about 1 sam per day, which means that if it is necessary to heat an ordinary home, 6 mining equipment may be needed, based on the above-mentioned single miner's net cost of $ 0.15 per day , Then the net cost of heating a home using a mining machine per day is about $ 0.90-considering that the cost of heating 1 sam per day using natural gas is about $ 1.42, the cost of heating a mining machine is not bad.

If you use electric heating for heating, it will take 29 kWh to get the same amount of heat, and the daily cost will be as high as $ 6.96. Electric heating is very expensive!

However, we must also consider hardware costs. The total cost of a mine heater designed by me is about $ 450, and if it is configured with six, it will cost $ 2700. For the average family who can save less than $ 1 a day, this hardware cost is actually quite high! In view of this, we cannot help asking: Is it practical for ordinary households to use mining machines for heating?

According to my proof-of-concept test, if you use a crypto mining machine to heat a house in a place like California, it doesn't really make any sense (on the one hand, California is very hot, and on the other hand, the local electricity bill is very high).

However, in some other "slightly different" conditions, it is still feasible to use a mining machine to heat the house, especially in places where electricity costs are low, where it is possible not only to reach a heating balance, but even to use cryptocurrencies. Make money. For example, in some places outside Philadelphia, where the electricity cost per kilowatt-hour is about $ 0.065, in this environment, if my miner heater can still make $ 0.76 a day, and the daily operating cost is only $ 0.34, That means I can make $ 0.42 a day from each mining / heating facility. If you own 6 miner heaters, you can earn $ 2,700 in hardware costs in less than three years.

Similarly, let's compare the use of alternating current to heat a house, and find that using a miner heater instead of an ordinary electric heater is actually very worthwhile. You know, the cost of heating an average home with electric heat is about $ 6.96 per day, and the net cost of using a miner heater is about $ 3 per day ($ 0.50 multiplied by 6), which means that I can save nearly 4 per day The US dollar can basically recover the cost of mining equipment in less than two years.

Finally, if the price of cryptocurrencies rises, even in high-electricity areas like California, you can use a miner heater instead of natural gas heating. After all, my miner can make more money every day, which is enough to offset the cost of electricity and achieve profitability. .

Greener choice

However, there is a cooler and more realistic reason to consider promoting miner heaters: environmental protection!

For an average home, burning natural gas for heating will release 11.7 pounds of carbon dioxide, and for one reason alone is enough to consider the use of mining machine heaters, as this is a much cheaper alternative to traditional natural gas and electric heating Solution, and the cost of electricity is offset by cryptocurrency profits. Although electric heating has no carbon dioxide emissions compared to relying on fossil fuels such as natural gas (or worse, petroleum heat), heating millions of homes seems a bit unrealistic because its cost is too high.

So, can mining machine heaters that can dig up cryptocurrency and heat at the same time will spread to the house heating industry in the future? Maybe not, but at least we will see more and more cryptocurrency mining companies try to make full use of their abandoned thermal energy to find productive uses for these energy sources. In addition to heating homes and corporate buildings, thermal energy from mining machines can also be used in agriculture. For example, a startup called Heatmine is exploring the heating of crops in cold Canada. The company uses waste heat from mining machines to heat the greenhouses where strawberries are grown. In addition, the medical cannabis industry is also paying attention to the problem of using waste heat from mining machines.

In the final analysis, humans consume more and more electrical and thermal energy, as a society can no longer afford it, so we must find a more green and environmentally friendly way. The mining machine may be a solution. Matching with solar energy or other renewable energy sources, if cryptocurrency miners use the remaining heat for production purposes, it may open up a whole new green path for the entire industry.

So, if you are mining cryptocurrency now, please consider how to effectively use the waste heat of the mining machine. You can introduce the waste heat to your home, or place the mining machine in a warehouse, or other business places that require thermal energy.

By the way, I heard that the strawberries grown in the greenhouse are delicious.

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