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Author Topic: Harnessing wasted heat? Post your pics and ideas!  (Read 6060 times)
Fuzzy
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March 21, 2013, 04:45:01 AM
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Following a recent discussion, I thought it would be cool to start a thread so people can bounce ideas off of each other on all the possible ways of capturing the heat that mining rigs give off.

Since ~99% of the power consumed is converted to heat, there's a lot of potential for recouping or re-purposing that energy.

Obviously if you ever turn the heaters on in your house, a mining rig can offset some of the heating required, but I'd like to see what other creative ideas people might have.


Here are a few suggestions I've seen on this forum:


If I was generating that much heat, I'd probably figure out a way to heat my hot water with it too...lol.



I have a liquid cooled miner.  It is dead silent,  but the main point is that it heats our bathroom floor.  Pictures says more than words, so I attached a few.

Tubes under my bathroom floor and one of the temperature sensors (inside a blue shrink hose).  This is now buried in cement and covered with nice tiles.

The best thing about my water cooling and floor heating is that my wife keeps nagging me to buy a second 5970 to make the floor warmer.  Beat this with a air cooled system. :-)



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March 21, 2013, 05:06:32 AM
 #2

That is the end-all and be-all of efficiency.  It's called co-generation on an industrial scale, and you are harnessing the concept of entropy to its fullest.  Electricity is a very high quality form of energy, and heat is the lowest.  If you live in a place where electric heat is economical, there is no cost associated with mining in the winter, at least as far as the electric component  is concerned.  I like the food dehydration picture.  Bitcoin permaculture.  Let me be the first to put those words in the same sentence.

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March 21, 2013, 03:31:44 PM
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You should totally put those dried strawberries up for sale!

Don't know about you, but they're super expensive here. That's if you can find them.

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March 22, 2013, 05:32:57 AM
 #4

When I build my rig a month or two down the track, I'll run it during the night in my bedroom instead of using the reverse-cycle air conditioner to warm it, as it'll be near the end of autumn by then. I'm also planning to install thermal curtains with pelmets on both windows along with possibly external blinds and rechecking the insulation in the roof for maximum effect in keeping the heat in and making things cozy.

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March 22, 2013, 03:22:26 PM
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Besides having one in each room to provide free heating from waste power..

..in the past I've used it to heat a tropical fish aquarium and a lizard vivarium.

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March 22, 2013, 09:26:16 PM
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Electricity is a very high quality form of energy, and heat is the lowest.

This would suggest that converting heat to any other form of useful energy may not be worth the effort.

So any method of harnessing heat would most likely still involve heating something.

Add a pinch of thermodynamic law and you're looking at a theoretical maximum temperature of whatever your Rig temp is (50-80'c).


So those are more or less your boundary conditions, do something creative with a 50'c air source.
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what is this "brake pedal" you speak of?


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March 23, 2013, 06:25:03 PM
 #7

move your mining kit down to your basement and use an air source hot water heater.

http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/heat-pump-water-heaters

I have geothermal AC/heat/hot water preheat (desuperheater), with one of these air source heat pump water heaters as the final heat source for my hot water.

it cools and dehumidifies your basement, transferring that waste heat into the tank.

basically, as close to free hot water as you can get, as the more you use, the cooler and drier your basement will be. I no longer need a dehumidifier running 24/7 in my basement in the summer. win!

the only minus is they are noisy (two stage fan on mine).
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March 25, 2013, 05:04:00 AM
 #8

I'll bet those strawberries taste like they were steamed by thermal paste. :/

Breathing the heat generated from computers/ electronics/ cars ect.. is NOT safe !

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March 25, 2013, 05:07:39 AM
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I am planning to place a PET between my GPU chips and the heatsink to claw back an estimated 40W of the 110W consumed for each 6770. Pics pending Easter hols.

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March 25, 2013, 05:25:20 AM
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I'll bet those strawberries taste like they were steamed by thermal paste. :/

Breathing the heat generated from computers/ electronics/ cars ect.. is NOT safe !
Breathing the air heated by cars is perfectly safe. Breathing the heated exhaust from a car is NOT safe. See the difference? One is simple air that has been heated, the other is chemically imbalanced to be toxic.

Heat generated by GPUs are perfectly safe, as there is no combustion or chemical reaction. The "exhaust" air that is being vented by a GPU has simply been heated, not altered in any way.

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March 25, 2013, 05:30:14 AM
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I'll bet those strawberries taste like they were steamed by thermal paste. :/

Breathing the heat generated from computers/ electronics/ cars ect.. is NOT safe !
Breathing the air heated by cars is perfectly safe. Breathing the heated exhaust from a car is NOT safe. See the difference? One is simple air that has been heated, the other is chemically imbalanced to be toxic.

Heat generated by GPUs are perfectly safe, as there is no combustion or chemical reaction. The "exhaust" air that is being vented by a GPU has simply been heated, not altered in any way.

Actually he has a point. Computers/electronic are a source of positive ions which are unhealthy, it's good to have salt lamps.
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March 25, 2013, 04:03:48 PM
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I'll bet those strawberries taste like they were steamed by thermal paste. :/

Breathing the heat generated from computers/ electronics/ cars ect.. is NOT safe !
Breathing the air heated by cars is perfectly safe. Breathing the heated exhaust from a car is NOT safe. See the difference? One is simple air that has been heated, the other is chemically imbalanced to be toxic.

Heat generated by GPUs are perfectly safe, as there is no combustion or chemical reaction. The "exhaust" air that is being vented by a GPU has simply been heated, not altered in any way.

The air is being altered by the fumes that the thermal paste, pcb, capacitors, ect. emit when running at those high temps.

I'm surprised that you do not smell it.

@malevolent +1 Smiley

Salt lamps eh ?.. I'll definitely look into that.

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March 25, 2013, 04:32:59 PM
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@malevolent +1 Smiley
Salt lamps eh ?.. I'll definitely look into that.
pEACe

Clarification: apparently salt lamps don't work. I used to use air purifiers while mining and thought salt lamps were superior but just now decided too look into it more and more. OTOH air purifiers are a completely different thing and advisable to use if one sleeps in the same room with mining rigs working.

http://aaqr.org/VOL11_No2_April2011/9_AAQR-10-06-OA-0048_179-186.pdf
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March 25, 2013, 05:14:50 PM
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Actually he has a point. Computers/electronic are a source of positive ions which are unhealthy, it's good to have salt lamps.
Positive ions are unhealthy? Wtf? Please link a medical journal or something that can backup what you're saying, cuz I think it's horse shit.

The air is being altered by the fumes that the thermal paste, pcb, capacitors, ect. emit when running at those high temps.

I'm surprised that you do not smell it.
Are we talking about positive ions, or toxic fumes? You guys seem like you're contradicting each other. And I'll ask you the same thing: please post a medical journal or some other legitimate source that proves that computer hardware or electronic equipment at high temps can release toxic fumes.

And no, I don't smell anything.

Clarification: apparently salt lamps don't work. I used to use air purifiers while mining and thought salt lamps were superior but just now decided too look into it more and more. OTOH air purifiers are a completely different thing and advisable to use if one sleeps in the same room with mining rigs working.

http://aaqr.org/VOL11_No2_April2011/9_AAQR-10-06-OA-0048_179-186.pdf

So according to you, salt lamps are a scam, and air ionizers (which are different than air purifiers with a filter) are what you really want, cuz they can "control ultrafine aerosol pollutants in cleanrooms... at a height of 60 cm (2 feet) from the floor."
Bold and parenthesis added by me.

I don't know about you, but I don't live in a clean room, and I usually breathe with my head more than 2ft above the ground, and this is the first I've heard of GPUs giving off "aerosol pollutants".

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March 25, 2013, 05:24:51 PM
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If your GPUs are running at temperatures that cause the cards to release any kind of smell they're not long for this world  Tongue

In the case of a GPU the air comes into contact with the aluminum and copper heatsink as well as the circuit board to a lesser extent. If breathing air blown over circuit boards was unhealthy datacenters would be deadly to humans  Shocked
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March 25, 2013, 05:29:05 PM
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If your GPUs are running at temperatures that cause the cards to release any kind of smell they're not long for this world  Tongue

In the case of a GPU the air comes into contact with the aluminum and copper heatsink as well as the circuit board to a lesser extent. If breathing air blown over circuit boards was unhealthy datacenters would be deadly to humans  Shocked

Have you ever been to a datacenter? They usually (at least in European ones I saw) have strict rules regarding air conditioning to ensure there is proper humidity and fresh air that doesn't affect hardware longevity.
As for the above I'll addess it soon.
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March 25, 2013, 05:39:08 PM
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If your GPUs are running at temperatures that cause the cards to release any kind of smell they're not long for this world  Tongue

In the case of a GPU the air comes into contact with the aluminum and copper heatsink as well as the circuit board to a lesser extent. If breathing air blown over circuit boards was unhealthy datacenters would be deadly to humans  Shocked

Have you ever been to a datacenter? They usually (at least in European ones I saw) have strict rules regarding air conditioning to ensure their is proper humidity and fresh air that doesn't affect hardware longevity.
As for the above I'll addess it soon.
Those air conditioning rules are, as you mentioned, designed to maximize the life of the hardware. They do not exist for any health-related reasons.

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March 25, 2013, 05:45:25 PM
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Actually he has a point. Computers/electronic are a source of positive ions which are unhealthy, it's good to have salt lamps.
Positive ions are unhealthy? Wtf? Please link a medical journal or something that can backup what you're saying, cuz I think it's horse shit.

Here you go:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7113513
http://www.ionovate.com/images/bioai.pdf

Those air conditioning rules are, as you mentioned, designed to maximize the life of the hardware. They do not exist for any health-related reasons.

Yes, but the 'side-effect' of enforcing those rules is that AFAIK breathing in a datacenter has no (or less) potential for harm.
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March 25, 2013, 06:30:47 PM
 #19

Wow, this got off topic pretty fast, barely half a page in  Shocked

I am planning to place a PET between my GPU chips and the heatsink to claw back an estimated 40W of the 110W consumed for each 6770. Pics pending Easter hols.

Are PET units nearly as efficient in reverse? And what do you plug the return power into?
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March 25, 2013, 10:43:33 PM
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I've worked on the building automation system for several large AT&T facilities that house massive amounts of computers and networking switchgear. The building ventilation systems are not set any different for the server rooms versus those that contain offices for the employees. All facility air handlers were set to minimum outdoor air quantity. (outside air dampers set to 10% unless running in free cooling modes) Any greater would waste large amounts of power from dumping conditioned air outside to bring in fresh.

Fancier facilities usually install carbon dioxide sensors to determine how much outside air to use. In the case of a datacenter, (low ratio of people to computers) the dampers would likely only run 5% or less to keep CO2 levels at desired levels.
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