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AIR COOLING vs IMMERSION COOLING container: What’s better for bitcoin mining?

It is a globally acknowledged fact that Bitcoin mining is an energy intensive and heat generating process. Thus, bitcoin miners are constantly looking for methods to cool their mining equipment without compromising productivity and profit. So what are the ways to cool equipment? Is immersion cooling better than air cooling? We will answer all your questions in this article as we guide you through the best mining practices. Let's go!

Overview Of Bitcoin Mining 

Evolution Of Mining Equipment
Source: Cryptocompare

Bitcoin mining is a widely recognized process dating back to 2009 when the first Bitcoin was mined. It is the process of creating new bitcoins by using specialized equipment to solve complex mathematical puzzles. 

Also, people who mine new bitcoins are referred to as miners and are rewarded with bitcoins for their contributions to the network. Due to the constantly adjusting mining difficulty as well as the intense competition between miners, mining equipment has evolved from Personal computers to Application-specific Integrated Circuit devices also referred to as ASICs. These mining equipment are also referred to as miners. 

Currently, the Bitmain AntMiner S19 is considered the most efficient and powerful bitcoin miner. 

However, even the most efficient miners are prone to overheating. Why is this a problem? What happens when mining equipment overheats?

Keep reading as we uncover the reasons miners need cooling. 

What Happens When Crypto Mining Equipment Overheats? 

It is not news that miners often resort to unconventional methods to prevent their equipment from overheating.

Some of the reasons to avoid overheating in mining equipment include: 

  • Decrease in hash rate:

Before we continue, we must define what the hash rate is. Hash rate is a measure of how fast a cryptocurrency miner’s machine processes complex computations. 

This is inarguably the most important feature in selecting mining equipment because it often determines productivity. 

When overheating occurs, the machine attempts to reduce workload which forcefully reduces the hash rate. Till the miner cools, the hash rate remains lower than average.  

  • Lower Power Efficiency: 

It is common knowledge that bitcoin mining is an energy-intensive process. Already, the electricity consumed by mining equipment is discouraging yet it worsens when a machine overheats. Overheating results in increased consumption of electricity while producing fewer results due to the decreased hash rate. This combination hampers productivity and profit. 

  • Maintenance and Lifespan:

A major disadvantage of overheating is the random shutdown it causes in miners. Mining equipment will not only shut down when they overheat but will also break down more frequently. Finally, equipment that constantly overheats will experience drastic reductions in lifespan. For example, mining equipment with lifespans of 3-5 years can deteriorate in a few months when subjected to high temperatures. 

  • Cost Efficiency:

This is related to the previous points. The majority of mining expenses are due to electricity consumption as well as maintenance. When miners frequently overheat, they require twice as much money for both maintenance and electricity costs. This often reduces the profitability of mining equipment. 

  • Overall Reduction in Efficiency:

This conclusion is because overheating affects both power usage, cost, and even lifespan of the equipment. When all these are combined, the equipment falls short of its expected productivity. Thus overheating is directly responsible for profit reduction, increase in power consumption as well as the breakdown of equipment. 

Overheating is disastrous. It affects both equipment productivity as well as profitability for the miners. So how can we prevent overheating? What methods can we adopt? 

Cooling Methods Adopted By Miners 

In a bid to prevent overheating, there are two methods adopted by miners. They are: 

  • Air cooling 
  • Immersion cooling 

Let’s explore them in-depth. 

AIR COOLING

This method of cooling is exactly as the name implies. It involves the use of ventilation fans and atmospheric air to regulate the temperature of mining equipment. Here, heat is dissipated by increasing the flow of air over the mining rig. Although most mining rigs come with inbuilt high-velocity fans which force airflow across their internal components, it is often necessary to buy additional air cooling containers

EZ Smartbox 3000 - Air cooling crypto mining container

In cold weather, ambient air mixed with hot recirculated air is used to cool the mining equipment. 

To increase the effectiveness of air cooling, energy-sapping refrigeration components like chillers and air handlers are often needed. 

IMMERSION COOLING 

This is a rapidly-evolving technique for cooling mining rigs without compromising profit. Immersion cooling is the practice of completely submerging, or immersing, the mining rig in a thermally-conductive liquid with greater insulating properties than ordinary air. 

EZ Smartbox 1500i - Immersion liquid cooling crypto mining container

There are two basic approaches to immersion cooling namely single and double phase immersion cooling. 

In a single phase, the components are immersed in a dielectric fluid, typically an oil or engineered fluid of some kind. The heat generated by the IT components is absorbed by the fluid and then the fluid is pumped and circulated around a tank to help remove the heat. 

EZ Immersion cooling system

On the other hand, the double phase involves the sealing of servers inside a bath of specially engineered fluorocarbon-based liquid. The boiling of the liquid causes a phase change from liquid to gas. The vapor is then condensed back to the liquid form to be recycled through the system. 

Regardless of the approach used, immersion cooling is very effective and around 40% of the heat is recaptured and used to power the mining rig. It also boasts about 10 times the heat rejection capacity of air cooling.

Air Cooling VS Immersion Cooling technologies

Although air cooling is commonly used, it is universally agreed that immersion cooling is the future of Bitcoin mining. 

Immersion cooling technology for crypto mining is more efficient than air cooling for multiple reasons. They include: 

  • Hash Rate Increase: 

The importance of hash rates in cryptocurrency mining can not be overstated. However, air cooling often involves the installation of ventilation fans which reduce hash rate. By removing fans and installing immersion ware instead, immersion cooling achieves a dramatic increase in a hash rate ranging from 25-55% for various mining equipment. In addition, no fans or air handling results in less energy wasted.

  • Longer Equipment Lifespan:

Miners are constantly on the lookout for ways to extend and maintain the lifespan of mining equipment. Moreover, Air crypto mining farms are filled with airborne particles that are sucked into the heatsinks of each ASIC, which leads to overheating and a shortened lifespan. Also, air cooling often results in contamination and corrosion of equipment. 

To combat these flaws, immersion cooling is preferred. It supports ASICs operating at maximum capacity for longer periods than air cooling. It also increases hardware lifespan by 4-5 years by eliminating contamination, overheating, and corrosion. 

  • Noise and Dust Reduction:

In typical air-cooled mining rigs, heat and noise increase as the miner does more work. On the other hand, immersion cooling bitcoin miners provide absolute noise reduction. This is because the fans, which are the primary sources of noise, are removed before immersion. Liquid-cooled bitcoin miners are also dust-free. This increases the lifespan of equipment and saves the trouble of regular cleaning. 

  • Efficiency in Power Consumption:

A major contributor to energy consumption in mining is ASIC fans and facility fans. In switching to immersion cooling, miners no longer require those energy-draining equipment and can save up to 50% in energy costs. Also, the liquid is much more effective at conducting heat than air. This makes immersion cooling a more efficient cooling system because it requires minimal energy input. 

In addition, the reduction in electricity consumption allows miners to invest in more mining equipment if they wish. 

  • Cost Optimization:

Although air cooling containers cost less, the operational cost quickly makes them unprofitable. On the other hand, immersion cooling has the lowest long-term operational cost.  

By factoring in the reduced cost of maintenance and purchase of new equipment as well as considering the reduction in electricity bills, it is obvious that immersion cooling wins. This cooling method offers a mind-blowing 80% cost reduction for double the efficiency. 

When weighed on a scale, it is quite obvious that air cooling is inadvisable in comparison to immersion cooling containers. Apart from its numerous advantages, immersion cooling also provides a clean, quiet, stable, and comfortable working environment. 

Immersion cooling is a major technological leap in the cryptocurrency mining industry

Although not without flaws, the immersion cooling container promises a more efficient method of mining while supporting the sustainable movement in cryptocurrencies. 

If you are looking to maximize the hash rate of your miners all while increasing your ROI, there is no better place than at EZ Blockchain. 

At EZ Blockchain, our Immersion cutting-edge technology allows us to increase hash rates, cut down on heat and noise generation and increase the longevity of equipment.  

EZ Smartbox 1500i - Immersion liquid cooling crypto mining container

It is our mission to breach the gap between the energy sector and the blockchain ecosystem by innovative solutions to the global waste energy problems. We revolutionize crypto mining through the introduction of our immersive cooling crypto mining container as well as solar and wind crypto mining services. 

EZ Blockchain is an innovative company that believes in utilizing waste energy and that solving problems associated with gas flaring and stranded gas problems is a true win-win for both the energy and crypto industries.

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