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Author Topic: Guide: Building a Solar Powered Mining-Plant  (Read 29287 times)
Bitcoinbernd
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June 13, 2013, 09:40:08 PM
 #1

Hi to everyone. Smiley

In this post I will share my knowledge about building a solar power island like the one I build myself to power my computer and router. Of course everything you are about to learn from this guide can be used to set up a raspberry-pi-driven mining-plattform thats brings mining for essentially free (of course: assuming you got enough sunlight.)

I. Hardware


II. Setup

  • Step 1: Make sure you get the most efficiency out of your solar panel.

    Use the following chart to find out the best setup:
    "Dachausrichtung" means roof orientation.
    "Dachneigung" means roof pitch.



  • Step 2: Connect solar panels, solar charge controller, battery and USB-Power-Output

    2.1: Always take care of correct polarity.
    2.2: Connect the solar panels positive pole with the controllers positive solar-panel-jack and then connect the negatives.
    2.3: Connect the batteries positive pole with the controllers positive battery-jack and then connect the negatives.
    2.4: Connect the Autek-12V-to-5V/3A-USB-Converters positive pole with the controllers positive load-output-jack and then connect the negatives.

  • Step 3: Connect your Raspberry Pi along with your ZTEX/Cairnsmore/whatever-you-may-want-to-use

    Congratulations! You are now mining bitcoins using free sunlight. Consider yourself being a champion.

III. Useful links and tools


IV. Comments


  • One can of course also interconnect multiple batteries in parallel to increase the capacity. Is possible, for example, the use of used truck or particularly hot: Forklift batteries such as this one.
  • In principle both, direct current and alternating current devices can be operated with such an investment. However, if you want to run AC appliances, this requires an inverter. These are available in cheap and expensive. Attention: The inverters output side provides either true sine wave or only a rectangle "wave". Rectangle wave voltage can permanently damage electronic circuit boards. The difference between rectangle wave and sine wave voltage is as follows:



V. A closer look at my setup

Charge Controller
Battery
80Wp-Panel
PC with PicoPSU
Raspberry
3x USB-Erupter

If you have any further questions, feel free to ask. Smiley
If you want to send me a little tip, please use: 1F3sT3RQA76fnnUtimTFzaoQTrgetdoiCV
If you want to flattr this guide, feel free to flattr me over here.

Disclosure: All product links Ive posted are Amazon. I receive a little commission for sales generated from your orders.

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turtle83
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June 13, 2013, 10:19:55 PM
 #2

What would change if we don't want an off-grid system?

I.e. use power from panels, and use AC/DC PSU for the shortage/night time usage?

Say i need to run ~120 W miner. Backing up with grid means id use 0 to 120W from grid... How to loadbalance keeping consistent 12V supply?

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June 13, 2013, 10:32:50 PM
 #3

Dscheisse Bernd, das ist für mich der Elektrobitcoiner

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erpbridge
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June 14, 2013, 04:48:56 AM
 #4

What would change if we don't want an off-grid system?

I.e. use power from panels, and use AC/DC PSU for the shortage/night time usage?

Say i need to run ~120 W miner. Backing up with grid means id use 0 to 120W from grid... How to loadbalance keeping consistent 12V supply?

Well, you wouldn't be using the battery or battery connection cable... instead you'd be using a grid-tie box, and probably be needing to call in a licensed electrician to tie that into an auxiliary panel. You'd also need to get permit from your town to do grid tie, some small towns don't allow it under their code. The DC-USB converter would also go as well... you'd be plugging into normal power outlets.

Depending on your town codes, and power company, you might be selling any excess power generated at a set rate (usually less than the generation rate you pay for receiving generated power), ultimately reducing your bill while giving the power company cheaper power. OR, the electric company might have a pass from the town or state in which they do not have to pay for excess power from your grid tie (some do... which REALLY sucks, because then they're getting anything you generate in excess for free.)

Overall, the initial hardware outlay would be cheaper because of the lack of battery. Your maintenance over time would be less too, also because you wouldn't have to change the battery at end of life (approx 8-10 years.) However, your TOTAL cost over time using panel+battery would be less than using panel+grid tie, and that would be less than grid-only. The break even point between each is usually about 2-3 years. (Longer time to pay off if you live in an area that has a lower solar efficiency, and less amount of hours of sun in a day. Las Vegas gets more hours per day and more direct solar than Chicago, which gets more hours and more direct solar than Finland. Google Photovoltaic Map)

 

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turtle83
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June 14, 2013, 05:06:27 AM
 #5

What would change if we don't want an off-grid system?

I.e. use power from panels, and use AC/DC PSU for the shortage/night time usage?

Say i need to run ~120 W miner. Backing up with grid means id use 0 to 120W from grid... How to loadbalance keeping consistent 12V supply?

Well, you wouldn't be using the battery or battery connection cable... instead you'd be using a grid-tie box, and probably be needing to call in a licensed electrician to tie that into an auxiliary panel. You'd also need to get permit from your town to do grid tie, some small towns don't allow it under their code. The DC-USB converter would also go as well... you'd be plugging into normal power outlets.

Depending on your town codes, and power company, you might be selling any excess power generated at a set rate (usually less than the generation rate you pay for receiving generated power), ultimately reducing your bill while giving the power company cheaper power. OR, the electric company might have a pass from the town or state in which they do not have to pay for excess power from your grid tie (some do... which REALLY sucks, because then they're getting anything you generate in excess for free.)

Overall, the initial hardware outlay would be cheaper because of the lack of battery. Your maintenance over time would be less too, also because you wouldn't have to change the battery at end of life (approx 8-10 years.) However, your TOTAL cost over time using panel+battery would be less than using panel+grid tie, and that would be less than grid-only. The break even point between each is usually about 2-3 years. (Longer time to pay off if you live in an area that has a lower solar efficiency, and less amount of hours of sun in a day. Las Vegas gets more hours per day and more direct solar than Chicago, which gets more hours and more direct solar than Finland. Google Photovoltaic Map)

Grid tie is getting too complex. The panel generates 12V which my equipment needs. I do not want to convert it to AC and send excess to the grid. All I want is to suck in the deficit from the grid.

Say the panel is 120W . My equipment needs 140W . at peak solar performance id be pulling in 20W from grid, and at night id pull in 140W.
So i get a 140W AC --> DC PSU. Now I got 2 12V sources... What minimalist equipment would I require which would use the solar 12V and make up for deficit from the PSU ?

suryc
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June 14, 2013, 05:19:30 AM
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Grid tie is getting too complex. The panel generates 12V which my equipment needs. I do not want to convert it to AC and send excess to the grid. All I want is to suck in the deficit from the grid.

Say the panel is 120W . My equipment needs 140W . at peak solar performance id be pulling in 20W from grid, and at night id pull in 140W.
So i get a 140W AC --> DC PSU. Now I got 2 12V sources... What minimalist equipment would I require which would use the solar 12V and make up for deficit from the PSU ?

I'd also be interested if there is a simple solution to make up any deficit from the grid without grid tie.
J35st3r
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June 14, 2013, 08:12:18 AM
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I'd also be interested if there is a simple solution to make up any deficit from the grid without grid tie.

Something as simple as a couple of blocking diodes should do the trick (ideally high current schottky to reduce the voltage drop). Run a 12V mains PSU (always on, so make sure its an efficient one with low quiescent draw), blocking diode to prevent reverse-feed, and run in parallel with the solar panel (use another blocking diode). Panel will supply power when the sun is up, mains when its down. Make sure you include fuses and size your cables appropriately.

The PRO's would use an auto-switching UPS, but you asked for simple.

PS Probably not such a good idea to use this as a raw 12 volt supply to your kit as a 12 volt solar panel can output up to 18 volts in full sun under no load. You will need some power conditioning to regulate this down (eg the charge controller described in the OP unless you are really into DIY electronics and want to homebrew a regulator).


1Jest66T6Jw1gSVpvYpYLXR6qgnch6QYU1 NumberOfTheBeast ... go on, give it a try Grin
forensick
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June 14, 2013, 09:50:45 AM
 #8

Hi to everyone. Smiley

In this post I will share my knowledge about building a solar power island like the one I build myself to power my computer and router. Of course everything you are about to learn from this guide can be used to set up a raspberry-pi-driven mining-plattform thats brings mining for essentially free (of course: assuming you got enough sunlight.)

I. Hardware


II. Setup

  • Step 1: Make sure you get the most efficiency out of your solar panel.

    Use the following chart to find out the best setup:
    "Dachausrichtung" means roof orientation.
    "Dachneigung" means roof pitch.



  • Step 2: Connect solar panels, solar charge controller, battery and USB-Power-Output

    2.1: Always take care of correct polarity.
    2.2: Connect the solar panels positive pole with the controllers positive solar-panel-jack and then connect the negatives.
    2.3: Connect the batteries positive pole with the controllers positive battery-jack and then connect the negatives.
    2.4: Connect the Autek-12V-to-5V/3A-USB-Converters positive pole with the controllers positive load-output-jack and then connect the negatives.

  • Step 3: Connect your Raspberry Pi along with your ZTEX/Cairnsmore/whatever-you-may-want-to-use

    Congratulations! You are now mining bitcoins using free sunlight. Consider yourself being a champion.

    If you have any further questions, feel free to ask. Smiley
    If you want to send me a little tip, please use: 1F3sT3RQA76fnnUtimTFzaoQTrgetdoiCV
    If you want to flattr this guide, feel free to flattr me over here.

    Disclosure: All product links Ive posted are Amazon. I receive a little commission for sales generated from your orders.

interesting, do you think it is possible to use it on balcony as well? I do not have an access to the roof in building i live in
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June 14, 2013, 09:56:04 AM
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I'd also be interested if there is a simple solution to make up any deficit from the grid without grid tie.

Something as simple as a couple of blocking diodes should do the trick (ideally high current schottky to reduce the voltage drop). Run a 12V mains PSU (always on, so make sure its an efficient one with low quiescent draw), blocking diode to prevent reverse-feed, and run in parallel with the solar panel (use another blocking diode). Panel will supply power when the sun is up, mains when its down. Make sure you include fuses and size your cables appropriately.

The PRO's would use an auto-switching UPS, but you asked for simple.

PS Probably not such a good idea to use this as a raw 12 volt supply to your kit as a 12 volt solar panel can output up to 18 volts in full sun under no load. You will need some power conditioning to regulate this down (eg the charge controller described in the OP unless you are really into DIY electronics and want to homebrew a regulator).


Thanks for the advice, I think I may give it a shot.
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June 14, 2013, 10:07:56 AM
 #10

yes on a Balcony would be nice, as this Panels getting more efficient it would be intresting to do some Calculations.


theres also
-Footfall harvesting





does someone know is it possible to fool a Solar Panel with a LED Light for Plants ?
something like use 90w LED on 130w producing Solar Panel

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J35st3r
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June 14, 2013, 10:08:08 AM
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Thanks for the advice, I think I may give it a shot.

Just be careful not to overvolt your mining rig (slightly undervolting the 12V supply will probably be OK), you'll want a multimeter to check the voltages, and also the currents from the mains and solar supplies to ensure you've balanced them OK.

1Jest66T6Jw1gSVpvYpYLXR6qgnch6QYU1 NumberOfTheBeast ... go on, give it a try Grin
zackclark70
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June 14, 2013, 10:13:24 AM
 #12

I'd also be interested if there is a simple solution to make up any deficit from the grid without grid tie.

Something as simple as a couple of blocking diodes should do the trick (ideally high current schottky to reduce the voltage drop). Run a 12V mains PSU (always on, so make sure its an efficient one with low quiescent draw), blocking diode to prevent reverse-feed, and run in parallel with the solar panel (use another blocking diode). Panel will supply power when the sun is up, mains when its down. Make sure you include fuses and size your cables appropriately.

The PRO's would use an auto-switching UPS, but you asked for simple.

PS Probably not such a good idea to use this as a raw 12 volt supply to your kit as a 12 volt solar panel can output up to 18 volts in full sun under no load. You will need some power conditioning to regulate this down (eg the charge controller described in the OP unless you are really into DIY electronics and want to homebrew a regulator).



use a dc dc converter direct from solar pannel with a 18v psu and a couple of diodes

150w dc dc converter ebay 37 gbp

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HellDiverUK
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June 14, 2013, 10:36:12 AM
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Awful lot of money to get "free" electricity, considering how little a Pi uses in the first place.
J35st3r
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June 14, 2013, 10:40:21 AM
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Awful lot of money to get "free" electricity, considering how little a Pi uses in the first place.

Agreed, these solar powered mining threads are rather insane, but he did ask a good question (how to do solar UPS el cheapo).

BTW What is it with all these strange HOW-TO-DO-XXX threads recently? Someone opened up a competition or what?

1Jest66T6Jw1gSVpvYpYLXR6qgnch6QYU1 NumberOfTheBeast ... go on, give it a try Grin
Bitcoinbernd
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June 14, 2013, 10:52:03 AM
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interesting, do you think it is possible to use it on balcony as well?
I do not have an access to the roof in building i live in

Yes, you can use this on your balcony.
In fact, I am using my solar-island on my windowsill (behind the windows!) because I dont even have a balcony. I am loosing around 40% efficiency that way. But its still working like a champ. Smiley

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June 14, 2013, 02:22:22 PM
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interesting, do you think it is possible to use it on balcony as well?
I do not have an access to the roof in building i live in

Yes, you can use this on your balcony.
In fact, I am using my solar-island on my windowsill (behind the windows!) because I dont even have a balcony. I am loosing around 40% efficiency that way. But its still working like a champ. Smiley

ok, thanx, i will try... not maybe for mining as I wait for my devices, but to cut myself from electric slavery Cheesy
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June 14, 2013, 04:01:55 PM
 #17

I. Hardware


What is your breakeven period to recover your capital investment?
In Canada it would be about 20 years, without government subsidies.

We had a program where government paid 80 cents/kwh, and the return on those subsidized solar projects was 7-8 years.

It is "nice to have" but probably not a good idea if you are trying to reduce mining costs.






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June 14, 2013, 05:00:01 PM
 #18



Congratulations! You are now mining bitcoins using free sunlight. Consider yourself being a champion.[/li][/list]

hell yes!

This post sums up why all this bullshit is a scam
Read It. Hate It. Change the facts that it represents.
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1606638.msg16139644#msg16139644
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June 14, 2013, 05:05:58 PM
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AWESOME!

Shame that I don't get enough sunlight in the UK to make this worth-while.  Cry

Bitcoinbernd
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June 14, 2013, 06:56:42 PM
 #20

What is your breakeven period to recover your capital investment?

One cannot compare my situation to lets say yours if you bought all the stuff right now. That is because my setup has originally not been build to mine bitcoins but to power my computer and several other things like router, TFT and so on.

Also I did not buy a complete new battery. I bought a used one with 100Ah capacity for just € 20 from a friend oft mine. Furthermore if you compare the power consumption for lets say one Raspberry, a powered USB-hub and say four Block Erupters, you end up with something like 20W. My setup has been build for about 100W load at about 3 hours a day.

If you really want to run this for pure profit, you should maybe stay away - at least in man scenarios.

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