17 Jun Utilizing the by-products of Mining Rigs: Miners get creative with solutions!
For all the contribution cryptocurrency has made in the world, it comes with its downside and drawbacks. It’s common knowledge how bitcoin mining machines produce heat making it one of the primary byproducts of rigs along with noise.
The heat produced can be captured, transferred and repurposed. This helps with saving on costs, reduces energy wastage and can potentially generate revenue for miners.
Let’s have a look at how creative miners get with their heat recycling solutions.
The founder of MintGreen, Sullivan, has used the heat from bitcoin miners to keep his home warm for years. This intrigued him into wondering what else he could do?
MintGreen is now in a commercial partnership with Shelter Point Distillery, a Vancouver-British Columbia based company which produces whiskey, vodka and gin. Shelter Point adds heat to their barrels to enhance the ageing process. MintGreen has provided eight S9 miners, which will be placed on a wheel-like rotator. The heat will be generated from the ASIC miners in the room.
The aim of MintGreen’s sustainable mining model is that the energy is not only used to mine Bitcoin but also believes in no carbon industrial heating. Their managed system persists on generating a fixed amount of heat all year round.
MintGreen has entered another partnership with Vancouver Island Sea Salt. They use liquid immersion mining systems to heat evaporation tanks and produce flake salt.
Genesis Mining Greenhouses
Genesis Mining has partnered with a couple of private organisations in Sweden to develop mining containers with specifically designed airflow systems. Their purpose will be to direct air flow into the greenhouse nearby which grows fruits and vegetables. These greenhouses use 600 k air-cooled decenter containers.
While this project is fairly new and developing, Genesis plans to expand mining operations which will be powered by renewable energy.
Industrial projects between miners and greenhouses are being widely explored in Europe. In the Netherlands, GreenMine, a tomato greenhouse, is co-locating with a liquid immersion cooled mining container. GreenMine, whose strategy is similar to Genesis Mining, will mine cryptocurrency and direct the heat generated into the greenhouse nearby. The heat from the miners will be removed using a non-corrosive oil, then converted into hot water that will eventually heat up the greenhouse.
The best feature of this solution is that the containers are standardized and can be easily transported and installed. They can be located next to greenhouses, buildings, or facilities which require the amount of heat that they produce.
Sato from WiseMining
WisElement, a French startup initiated a project, in which they develop a Bitcoin water boiler. This building solution by the name of WiseMining, will remove ASIC hashboard from their typical container and place it in a custom designed container below the water boiler.
This idea increases the up-front costs compared to a traditional water heater. It may potentially increase responsibility towards maintaining the device as well. However, WiseMining shows a promising prototype which might be worth the additional costs and would prove fruitful in the longer run.
SPA-256 Hot Tub
A miner in the USA arranged his ASICs in an oil bath, similar to the hashboard in WiseMining and GreenMine Container; The heat absorbed by the fluid is exchanged by a liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger, which makes heating the spa possible. Cooling fluid has a greater heat density than air, which allows it to safely absorb more heat from the ASIC machines. Mining byproducts have been engineered in the most creative ways possible!
Bitcoin meets nuclear
Talen Energy Corp, which owns a nuclear power plant, began a joint venture with TeraWulf, a bitcoin mining company. Their goal is to create zero carbon coins by developing a bitcoin mine which is powered by nuclear energy. Their venture seems optimistic, promising clean energy.
Swimming in mining pools
By using a combination of S9s and S17s, a US based bitcoin miner, heats his home and 17,000 gallon swimming pool. He monitors the power by using software, and considers the weather and profitability of the present time. Mostly keeping the power at a low to maintain a warm temperature of the pool rather than hot. However, when China banned cryptocurrency mining, he saw his opportunity and used his miners on full power. This would heat up his pool to 115 degrees, making it unusable for the time.
Using ASICs instead of heating systems is a solution which has existed since the early days of cryptocurrency mining. Now it has also gained popularity amongst student miners as they cover a chunk of their tuition fees with the mining revenue while heating their dorms in winters. Heat repurposing uses the law of thermodynamics when energy can not be created or destroyed, just converted from one form to another. ASIC heat re-usage is a utilization of science and mathematics, just like Bitcoin.
Generation of Green Mining incoming
The creative uses account for repurposing heat and letting it provide different benefits to miners. This also helps lower the environmental impact that Bitcoin mining projects. It’s a bonus for miners as they get to utilize energy which would otherwise become a waste product.
As the mining industry evolves in the coming years, we expect miners to come up with even more innovative ideas. The Bitcoin market will inevitably shrink and the competition will grow, making these solutions more cost effective and popular.
Many countries fund projects which try their hands at cleantech. Their policies promote low-carbon and energy efficient manufacturing. Hence, in the future, the Bitcoin mining industry will be more prone to exploring fully integrated systems where heat and carbon dioxide will be repurposed for beneficial outcomes.