How Do We Build Our Crypto Mining Containers?
The transactions are all encrypted with powerful equations to protect Bitcoin from ever being stolen, making them the most secure form of currency in history. Because of the complex nature of the equations, purpose-built Bitcoin mining devices are needed to solve mathematical problems. Solving the problems is called “hashing.”
Over the last two years, the total hash rate across the global network (or “Blockchain”) has grown exponentially. Technological shifts (like moving from GPU-based mining to ASIC-based mining) have increased global power, and Bitcoin demand has grown in tandem.
As a result, the growth in the Bitcoin mining hash rate has reached over 250% annually for the last two years.
How to Model Bitcoin Mining on Energy Efficiency
The more Bitcoin mining happens, the more electrical power is needed to feed it. Opponents of cryptocurrency have called the energy requirements a serious defect. The mining and technology industries supporting Bitcoin miners, however, have answered the energy demand with improved solutions.
The power supporting the current Bitcoin network was recently estimated to be 129 terawatt-hours (TWh). That’s more than 1,700% of what Google consumes.
Designing an efficient mining farm container became the new focus for Bitcoin miners to gain a competitive edge (and help save the world while they were at it).
Miners’ incentives for modeling greater energy efficiency are many:
- Power is expensive, and miners who are useless for the same hash rate will create bigger margins.
- Bitcoin mining power needs aren’t always something local grids can support, either.
- Public perception is central to greater cryptocurrency adoption, too, and if the Bitcoin mining industry invests in green energy, it will benefit their bottom line and the community that sees benefits in supporting them.
The efficiencies that today’s Bitcoin miners seek to optimize include:
- Better use of energy for cooling equipment
- More powerful computers for faster hash rates
- Better mining farms for optimal computational environments
Building mining farms on-site inside facilities also takes away the cost control miners have when sourcing their electricity.
Enter: the Bitcoin mining container.
What is a Bitcoin mining container?
Bitcoin mining containers are a kind of Bitcoin mining farm, and a Bitcoin mining farm is any space where Bitcoin mining equipment is used. That could even be a server room or someone’s garage.
Bitcoin mining farms and mining containers have been terms used interchangeably by some, but the competition in cryptocurrency mining today demands a closer look. A Bitcoin mining container is specifically a mobile data center built in a shipping container-like unit.
Bitcoin mining containers have become the new industry norm. They’re purpose-built spaces with complex structures to support engineering needs and optimal performance.
Types of Mobile Data Centers
The original Bitcoin data centers imitated Google’s and Facebook’s “open approach” to server hardware.
In those original iterations, Bitcoin data centers used actual shipping containers. They were retrofitted to support a set number of mining computers installed with all the fans and cooling systems needed to keep the machines from overheating.
Datacenter temperature is one of the biggest engineering considerations for any mobile mining container. The sophisticated computers inside run 24/7 and can easily overheat. If they overheat, they shut down; and if they shut down, sometimes they can damage the electrical port they’re on, which in turn damages any other machines on the same port.
The electrical setup, as it turns out, is one of the biggest challenges to designing an efficient mobile data center. The data centers currently in production are much newer than the electrical component industry supporting them, meaning there are no successful models to build from. This makes it hard to source the necessary components since the electrical industry never had this kind of demand before.
Bitcoin mining has changed the landscape of almost every industry it’s touched. The market is responding fast.
Types of BTC Portable Mining Farms
There are three principal types of portable mining farms:
2. Bitcoin containers – The earliest iterations of mobile data centers were the shipping containers retrofitted for Bitcoin mining.
These are still considered a relatively professional solution, however, the manufacturing differences between dedicated containers designed for mining versus retrofitted shipping containers has drawn a line in the sand that few miners are willing to ignore.
3. Mobile data centers – The mobile data centers designed from the ground up for high-power computation are the third and most competitive type of mining farm. This Bitcoin container miner architecture includes more sophisticated cooling systems and is built with special walls and insulation.
The capacity of a mobile data center versus a retrofitted container is where performance starts to deviate. How many miners should a container hold?
EZ Blockchain, for example, installs twice the number of data ports in our mobile crypto containers that container retrofitters do. This is what allows the EZ Smartbox to reach better energy efficiency and avoid crashes.
Not all mobile mining centers are created equal. For clients interested in self-regulated and efficient Bitcoin mining operations, the mobile data centers designed for Bitcoin will be the option with the fastest and biggest ROI.
EZ Blockchain Bitcoin Crypto Mining Container
EZ Blockchain’s mining-specific design, the Smartbox, has evolved through multiple iterations.
When we first asked ourselves how to build a Bitcoin mining farm, we started with retrofitted containers. This design was short-lived. Temperature control was not realistic, meaning large-scale mining operations in USA geography would be limited to mild-weather climates.
This was not viable.
It was three iterations of the EZ Blockchain Smartbox that got us to the current iteration.
If you’re asking how long does it take or how to set up a Bitcoin mining farm, contracting the right manufacturer is what makes the difference. The answer will vary depending on the company and its experience.
Operationally, here’s how to roll out your own small or medium Bitcoin mining farm:
- Start with a shift in thinking. For businesses like oil and gas producers (OAGs) that are faced with greater stranded energy problems year after year, a mobile data center is the one solution they can easily implement. Other industries are now ready to “see the light” and visualize Bitcoin mining as a new revenue stream.
- Contact Bitcoin mining container manufacturers and be ready to compare. How many ports does the unit use? Is the unit retrofitted or an original design? Are miners, space, cooling, and bandwidth all included?
- Install your mobile data center. If you work with the right crypto mining box manufacturer, your data center installation should be as simple as opening the door. The right manufacturer will come and install the unit with all systems included.
Hardware Requirements to Build a Bitcoin Mining Farm
The design of the EZ Smartbox is a direct response to the requirements of the top hardware for large-scale mining.
The in-house originally engineered design takes an innovative approach to the heat and power needs of an efficient and well-built data center. Within that data center are multiple—usually hundreds—of mining rigs.
A crypto mining rig is essentially a computer with quite a bit of hash power. It has a motherboard, RAM, and storage. Where it does differentiate from a standard PC is that it requires the most powerful graphics cards developed. It’s those cards (GPUs) that are essentially doing the work in deciphering blockchain equations, which is why they have to be so powerful.
Most of the best mining rigs require multiple GPUs per bitcoin miner at a time.
A motherboard has to be equipped to handle these GPUs, too. These sophisticated parts are why crypto mining equipment requires so much power supply to run.
If you build any of your mining rigs, remember that you aren’t building a regular PC. Building your own will become a game of trial and error to ensure your equipment is ready for the demands of crypto mining.
Computers and Temperature
The equipment required to mine cryptocurrency tends to run hot. These highly-sophisticated ASIC miners run 24/7, which adds to the wear and tear on each mining rig and individual data center components.
That’s why the EZ Smartbox was designed to optimize airflow as well as power efficiency. This keeps operating costs while the ASIC miners are also kept in the best condition for as long as possible.
One EZ Smartbox can hold up to 720 ASIC miners. The power consumption is colossal as a result, which is factored into the design of the Smartbox. For instance, look at the redesigned Smartbox installed at one facility that was optimized for even greater airflow. This enabled the installation of 720 Bitmain S17 miners while still keeping machines cool and in peak condition.
Another piece of the hardware puzzle is understanding what IT infrastructure is required for profitable large-scale mining.
The EZ Smartbox is equipped with the newest infrastructure by Ubiquity. The router itself has a firewall, and—more importantly—each unit can have its network security.
Ethernet cables can be connected to each rack for simpler installation, too, plus more rapid deployment and ease of maintenance. This is something that EZ Blockchain discovered and implemented in the EZ Smartbox design in the most recent iteration.
Then there’s the electrical hardware. The electrical components in a mobile mining container have to protect the ASICs from power failures and surges.
Cue the ultimate circuit breakers.
The EZ Smartbox uses the highest quality circuit breakers by Hyundai and ABB & Schneider Electric. These act as a failsafe if the rest of the equipment fails to do its job. The machines are also guarded by a minimum of three layers of surge and heat protection.
Can you imagine a surge damaging dozens of ASIC stations in your crypto mining container? On second thought, better not imagine it. Protect your equipment instead of with layers of heat and surge protection plus top-grade circuit breakers.
A high-performing crypto mining farm will also use copper wiring for continuous operation while retaining and preserving as much of the power supply as possible.
Cost of Bitcoin Mining Containers
The cost of Bitcoin mining containers evolved with the iterations of the containers themselves.
In the case of EZ Blockchain’s Smartbox, we’ve found new and more efficient ways to engineer the shelves, the incoming air systems, the cooling systems, and the materials used for the containers.
The electrical system, for example, is now on the outside of the data centers, giving them a characteristic and recognizable look no matter where they’re installed.
The resulting operational improvements have impacted our clients and set new industry standards as a result.
The current time required to build a three-megawatt Smartbox is 8-12 weeks. The essential electrical components take the longest to source because the electrical industry is just now catching up to new demand from Bitcoin mining.
The energy ports for EZ Smartboxes, take time to source as well, especially since our mobile data centers have twice the number of ports of any other mobile mining crypto container. This protects machines from the failure of anyone’s computer.
EZ Blockchain has the capacity to build 10 of these three-megawatt containers each month. The lights are always on at the manufacturing facility, where factory teams work round the clock.
The cost of an EZ Smartbox runs $100 per kilowatt of the finished box capacity.
See These Mining Rig Components In Action
There was a recent processing plant in the Uinta Basin that installed an EZ Smartbox with the goal to process excess flared gas into something productive (and profitable).
The single 30-foot Smartbox was installed in a couple of days and opened up immediate possibilities with the self-generation, gas-electric generator powered by what would have otherwise been flared gas.
The 30-foot container brought tremendous power potential. With 300KWs and 1MW capacity at the site, this extra high output wattage was a special case. A high output generator was picked specifically for this project because of the infrastructure and deadline required by the client.
Other challenges directly impacted the efficiency of the parts and components, too. Specifically, the drastic temperature changes after nightfall meant that standard mining hardware voltage input would have to be adjusted.
The client’s goal was to eliminate flaring at the gas processing plant, and that return was almost instantaneous. The client also wanted to monetize that flared gas, which is where Bitcoin mining came in and hit another priority right out of the park.
EZ Blockchain Bitcoin Mining Services
Comparing the efficiency of a mobile data center with that of a retrofitted container—or even an on-site mining server room—leaves no doubt: investing in a Bitcoin mining farm for sale with the design and components already accounted for is the fastest way to ROI. It’s also the most sustainable way.
The infamous “weakness” of Bitcoin mining is its growing power consumption requirement. That same “weakness” has also led to one of EZ Blockchain’s most influential innovations and services: gas crypto mining.
Specifically, OAG companies are burdened with systemic challenges like stranded natural gas. Now, they can employ mobile data centers in what EZ Blockchain calls the Smartgrid. This has turned Bitcoin mining’s need for more cheap electricity into an asset for miners and for OAGs previously forced to waste fuels.
EZ Smartboxes are for sale for other mining operations, too, not just in the OAG industry. All boxes come equipped and ready for plug-and-play Bitcoin mining with all its cryptocurrency mining rewards.
Read more about EZ Blockchain or get in touch with us today.