Should You Invest in Immersion Cooling Crypto Mining Container?
Immersion Cooling At a Glance
The immersion liquid cooling technology came into use as early as the 1940s when scientists applied it to cooling high-voltage transformers in data centers. The concept also hit the headlines in 2006 when Hardcore Computer integrated immersion cooling to add more power to PC gaming. However, it never reached a fair due until the advent of crypto mining.
Crypto mining refers to the energy-intensive process through which new crypto coins are created and the maintenance of a ledger for all transactions of the existing crypto coins. The process generates a considerable amount of heat that is potentially catastrophic. In February 2018, overheating computers caused an inferno that destroyed eight apartments in South Europe. But generally, miners have been banking on air cooling methods since the onset of Bitcoin mining in 2009.
However, the present-day immersion cooling systems are much more complex and high-tech due to the need to catch up with the current demands. Crypto mining companies have been experimenting with immersion cooling, and while it’s a lesser employed method, it is a more practical alternative that is slowly getting into the mainstream.
The cooling method involves submerging or completely immersing the mining machines (mining rigs) into an immersion cooling container filled with a liquid substance that dissipates heat much faster than ordinary air. The liquid substances used are dielectric and have higher heat transfer capacities than air. Just like a plastic coating on electric cables, the fluid does not conduct electricity, and this allows the powerful computers to function even when immersed in the fluid.
This cooling technology provides the Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs or the mining rigs) with more advantages over air cooling methods, including a low death rate of the mining rigs, less dirt accumulation, and overall better performance which translates to additional profits.
Stay with us to understand why companies use liquid immersion cooling for large-scale mining operations and how it can help us in different climate zones.
How Immersion Cooling can Help Us Work in Different Climate Zones
The immersion liquid cooling system works in two approaches.
- Single-phase immersion cooling
- Two-phase or double-phase immersion cooling
The first approach is known as the single-phase immersion cooling system. Here, the mining rigs are usually submerged in the thermal conductive dielectric fluid that absorbs the heat emitted. The liquid coolant does not change state even after absorbing the heat. It remains in liquid form and then circulates into a heat exchanger with a cooler water circuit to remove the heat.
The other approach is known as the two-phase liquid cooling system, which proves to be more effective in mitigating the catastrophic effects of climate change. In this immersion liquid cooling technology, the mining computers are submerged in the dielectric liquid, which absorbs the heat from the mining rig’s components. The fluid absorbs the heat and undergoes low-temperature evaporation, changing from liquid to vapor. The vapor is then cooled to change it back into a liquid state to be reused in the cooling system.
According to scientists’ reports, global warming could hit 1.5 degrees in the next 12 years, and about 700 million lives are already at stake. Vulnerable countries have already requested an assembly of pathways that could curb global warming, and this immersion technology can help mitigate the effects in different climate zones.
In the simplest terms, immersion cooling technology proves to be the next-generation sustainability solution for the digital world. Technological advancements come with increased demands for computing power and equipment performance, and they are the future of the world.
However, more computational power means more power demands, and more heating, and cooling needs. Conventional cooling methods like air cooling systems design lack the sustainability aspects as they are still energy-intensive and will only get power-hungrier with increased cooling demands.
With immersion cooling, the hot new technique in computer cooling, the high-performance computing sectors like cryptocurrency mining have a solution. Further, it comes with several key advantages they need to work even in extreme climate zones. Miners can work safely in any weather conditions, including extremes of as high as 120 degrees and as low as -40 degrees.
Longer Equipment Lifespan
Mining cryptocurrencies has massive resource requirements. Therefore, every miner endeavors to have mining equipment that can last as long as possible and ensure they extract the highest possible performance. However, with overheating, corrosion, contamination, vibrations, and dust, the equipment tends to break down often, so the mean time before failures (MTBF) is significantly reduced.
This is usually the case with air cooling as the equipment is exposed to dust contaminants and the vibrations from fans. On the other hand, a liquid cooling system keeps the dust particles and other pollutants away and protects the equipment from possible corrosion. It effectively tackles the overheating problems and boosts the equipment’s lifespan altogether. Further, the engineered fluid used in immersion liquid cooling technology is compatible with most systems, prolonging the MTBF.
Miners using air cooling systems are prohibited from overclocking to avoid exceeding the mining rig’s thermal load. Overclocking means running the ASICs at a speed higher than what the manufacturer prescribes. However, with immersion cooling containers, miners can safely overclock. Overclocking and fine-tuning using custom firmware can increase the hash rate by between 40% and 60%.
The hash rate here means the computing power of all the mining rigs in the network, which directly affects how fast the miners solve the complex computations. Since the miners receive rewards from each block, the hash rate is the primary determinant of mining productivity and profitability.
Notably, a liquid cooling system also increases the hash rate by preventing overheating and reducing energy waste. The equipment generally tends to reduce the workload when it overheats, and this undermines the hash rate. Also, no fans are running, so less energy goes to waste, and the ASIC can run efficiently and deliver maximum output.
The cryptocurrency mining process is generally noisy. Setting up a mining facility requires the most powerful GPU for the maximum output or an ASIC to set up the mining rig. Just like is the case when gaming with an ordinary CPU, the GPU tends to overheat in extreme loads, triggering the fans to run at maximum speeds to cool the system. The fan’s running can get pretty loud, especially if you are in a room all alone, and for crypto mining, it’s pretty different.
Crypto mining farms require hundreds or even thousands of high-power computers, so their sounds can be pretty loud. A single ASIC miner can generate noise of up to 75dB, and the machines run day and night. The noise can be unbearable with a farm of only four mining rigs. Last year, residents of Sherbrooke, Quebec, complained about noise coming from Bitfarms, a cryptocurrency mining company. According to the news report published by The India Times, the noisy Bitcoin mining was driving them crazy.
However, mining under an immersion cooling container ensures a silent and low-profile mining. You can mine quietly from your home or move where it’s more convenient. The immersion liquid cooling technology does not require any fans, which are the primary source of the noise. Also, the engineered liquid prevents dust accumulation on the equipment, so the machines do not strain due to accumulated particles like with air cooling systems.
Lower Power Consumption on Cooling
The rise of cryptocurrency mining and GPU-based computer systems increased energy consumption and costs at an alarming rate. In response to the energy-intensive nature of Bitcoin mining and its effect on environmental sustainability, China ordered a crackdown on crypto mining and banned cryptocurrency services in totality.
The energy consumption occurs in two phases, including running the high-power computers used in crypto mining and cooling them. The conventional air cooling systems comprise fans that must run 24/7 to prevent overheating. Despite using more energy to run the fans, the heat energy is released into the atmosphere, creating more environmental hazards.
However, shifting cryptocurrency mining with immersion cooling systems solves the problem entirely by:
- Eliminating the need for fans. The mining hardware is cooled using an engineered liquid that cuts down the consumption and cost of the energy used in running the fans. The computers also run efficiently due to the elimination of dust and corrosives, so there is less energy wasted.
- Recycling heat energy. In the double-phase immersion cooling system, the cooling fluid absorbs the heat energy and changes state to gas. The gas is then pumped to a water circuit that cools the vapor that gets re-used in the cooling system. Therefore, innovative miners are using the cooling water circuits for their water heating needs, thereby saving on their daily power consumption and costs on water heating.
Higher Upfront Cost vs. Better Long-Term ROI for Certain Businesses
When comparing the cost of an immersion cooling system with the conventional air cooling system, the latter is less costly. However, it would only be preferable when considering the initial cost alone. Immersion liquid cooling systems are more costly to install, which means a higher upfront cost.
The immersion liquid cooling technology can take different configuration options. As such, the initial cost may vary depending on the type chosen.
Each mining rig can be enclosed in a single system separate from the others, or they can all be placed in a large container that accommodates the entire hardware components of the mining farm. Alternatively, the miners can still decide on different combinations and configure the components for effective heat distribution.
The liquid cooling system guarantees a better long-term return on the investment due to its host of benefits, including monetary and non-monetary advantages over the air cooling systems.
For instance, lower power consumption on cooling means reduced power costs, plus the heat generated can get channeled to other cost-saving uses. Also, the mining hardware operates at the highest efficiency, with minimal maintenance requirements and a longer lifespan. Fewer repairs mean more uptime for the mining rig and more profitability.
Who Can Benefit from Immersion Cooling?
Immersion cooling systems provide a range of benefits that can accrue to both individual and business miners in different climate zones. Whether you are mining from low temperatures or extreme highs, you can benefit from a liquid cooling system through:
- Increased mining hardware lifespan
- Reduced long-term operational costs
- Lower power consumption on cooling
- A certified mPUE
- Increased hash rate and ROI
Though it’s not purely ‘new’ technology, immersion cooling is an innovative technology that is fast taking shape in data centers and cryptocurrency mining farms. The technology provides a glimpse of hope for a trillion-dollar industry that was thriving at the expense of the environment.
It provides practical solutions for cryptocurrency mining which was otherwise unsustainable and unlocks new use cases outside the cryptocurrency realm.
If you are looking to integrate immersion liquid cooling technology into your farm, look no further. EZ Blockchain got you covered for all your immersion cooling container needs.
Our immersion cooling system will help prolong the lifespan of your mining hardware, increase your hash rate and profitability, ensure 100% noise reduction, and cut down on operational costs.
At EZ Blockchain, we endeavor to save the environment using sustainable energy without compromising on the benefits for our partners. We are heavily invested in engineering, research, and development to provide sustainable crypto mining solutions including wind and solar mining, and a liquid cooling solution that will transform cryptocurrency mining. Also we offer bitcoin hosting services.