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Author Topic: Best Way to Power an ASIC / Free Power ?  (Read 2686 times)
colinistheman
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July 24, 2013, 09:54:36 PM
 #1

What are the best ways people have thought of to power their ASICs?


Running an ASIC with free power would basically make it always worthwhile to run. It would never hit a GH/electricity cost limitation that way. This would be perfect.

Does anyone have this figured out? Aside from straight stealing electricity which I don't want to do. I want to be ethical about it.

Solar power seems to be a good choice as it would offer free electricity, but I don't know a lot about it. If I were to invest in some sort of solar power device then my ASICs could be powered for free from here on out. I did a little research but it looks very expensive to power things with solar. I couldn't find a solution that put out enough watts and that was inexpensive enough to make it worthwhile.

I estimated that my electricity costs will be about $60 per month to power my ASICs and after a year that is $720 of electricity costs. My electricity is abour 14 cents/kwh. (I live in Florida)

Anyone have any better ideas for this??
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Sergio_Demian_Lerner
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July 25, 2013, 12:47:01 AM
 #2

What about using the wasted electricity to heat your shower water? Or to cook?
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July 25, 2013, 07:49:16 AM
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The issue with solar power is the need for 24x7 uptime on your rigs (your ROI would drop precipitously if you only ran them during the day when the sun is up). So you're looking at battery backup, which at a rough guess doubles the cost (plus maintenance and replacement every few years), or a grid-tie system (in which case you're only running on solar for roughly 25% or your power).

Just putting those issues out there for you to consider. Good luck!

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July 25, 2013, 08:06:31 AM
 #4

Solar isn't free.  You are simply buying the lifetime power output up front.

(Total purchase costs + total lifetime maintenance cost) / (lifetime power  produced = cost per kWh.
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July 25, 2013, 11:46:19 AM
 #5

What about using the wasted electricity to heat your shower water? Or to cook?

There was talk that if the BTC price was high enough, you could have heaters that pay for themselves.

Has anyone looked into "night time" electricity rates.  Apparently, some places offer cheaper electricity, as long as you use it during midnight to 8am.

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colinistheman
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July 25, 2013, 11:58:14 AM
 #6

Solar isn't free.  You are simply buying the lifetime power output up front.

(Total purchase costs + total lifetime maintenance cost) / (lifetime power  produced = cost per kWh.

That's true. You're right, it's not free. It just gets less and less expensive the longer it runs... but it could need replacement too. I suppose I didn't look at it this way-- thanks. You have helped me come to grips with the modern power grid and not waste my time and money lol


Quote from: Sergio_Demian_Lerner
What about using the wasted electricity to heat your shower water? Or to cook?
How would one do this?


Quote from: J35st3r
The issue with solar power is the need for 24x7 uptime on your rigs (your ROI would drop precipitously if you only ran them during the day when the sun is up). So you're looking at battery backup, which at a rough guess doubles the cost (plus maintenance and replacement every few years), or a grid-tie system (in which case you're only running on solar for roughly 25% or your power).

Just putting those issues out there for you to consider. Good luck!
Good points. I guess I was imagining a grid-tie-in system with battery backup, so it would run off the house's electricity at night when the battery power ran out.
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July 25, 2013, 02:28:25 PM
 #7

The issue with solar power is the need for 24x7 uptime on your rigs (your ROI would drop precipitously if you only ran them during the day when the sun is up).

That isn't necessary with net metering and grid tie system.  Batteries are only necessary if you want power during a power outage.  Kinda useless for mining (as likely your ISP will be down as well) but useful for other things (like having AC and refrigeration).

IF your miners use (hypothetically) 1000W then in a day it would use 1KW * 24 hrs = 24 kWh.  If your local solar insolation (# of hours of peak sunlight) is 5 then you would need a ~5KW system.  The output will vary durring the day.  Durring peak sunlight (say noon on a clear day) the unit may output as much as 5KW, earlier and later in the day it may output only 2KW-3KW, in the morning or evening it may only produce a small fraction of that.  It doesn't really matter the individual output each hour.  In the  long run over a year a 5KW system located where solar insolation is 5 will produce 5 * 5 * 365 = 9124 kWh.  Sometimes it is producing more than your miners need, and sometimes it is producing less.  When it is producing an excess your meter "spins backwards" and when it not producing enough your rigs will draw from the power grid.  You can think of the entire power grid as a "battery" of sorts.  In the end you are just billed for your NET USAGE.  That is the total power drawn from the grid minus the excess power returned back to the grid.

That being said solar (even with subsidies) in most countries is still relatively expensive.  The break even point is often 10-15 years out and the lifetime (yes solar panels have a finite lifespan) is generally a pretty low ROIC%.

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July 25, 2013, 02:43:59 PM
 #8

Solar isn't free.  You are simply buying the lifetime power output up front.

(Total purchase costs + total lifetime maintenance cost) / (lifetime power  produced = cost per kWh.

That's true. You're right, it's not free. It just gets less and less expensive the longer it runs... but it could need replacement too. I suppose I didn't look at it this way-- thanks. You have helped me come to grips with the modern power grid and not waste my time and money lol

Well it isn't they "may" need replacement.  Solar panels have a finite lifespan. Even excluding things like damage due to hail, wind, etc the panels will slowly lose output.  Not electronic circuit will last forever.  Every single solar panel ever produced (and everyone one which will be produced) will eventually become worthless.  Now the lifespan is measured in decades (most panels have a 20 yr or 30 yr rating) but the output will slowly degrade, a 0.25% to 0.5% drop in output annually is a good starting point.  The inverter generally won't last more than a decade.  It is under a lot of stress and heat.  Even a high efficiency one say 94% means 6% is converted into heat and 5KW * 6% = 300W which is a lot of heat for 24/7 operation over a decade).  Add to that annual maintenace (cleaning panels, replacing frayed wiring, checking connectors, etc) and it is hardly infinite power with no additional work/cost.   

Solar power is simply a source of power.  With the right prices, right location (amount of solar insolation) and right subsidies it can be cheap power (well cheap for you paid on the backs of taxpayers) but it is still power at a certain cost.  Another thing to consider is cost of capital.  With a solar power plant (much like a nuclear power plant) most of the cost if upfront.  This means you are essentially buying 20-30 or even 40 years of power on day 0.  If your return is low say 3% return (lifetime cost is 3% lower than buying grid power on an annualized basis) it may be "cheaper" to invest that money and earn a return of say 6% and use that to buy grid power.


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July 25, 2013, 04:11:32 PM
 #9

Does anyone have a good link with info on solar such as whether it is worth it to do a solar install in a particular state at a particular electricity cost and usage, what the return is, how easy it is to get a loan for it, what sort of APR, etc?

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colinistheman
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July 26, 2013, 03:54:25 PM
 #10

Solar isn't free.  You are simply buying the lifetime power output up front.

(Total purchase costs + total lifetime maintenance cost) / (lifetime power  produced = cost per kWh.

That's true. You're right, it's not free. It just gets less and less expensive the longer it runs... but it could need replacement too. I suppose I didn't look at it this way-- thanks. You have helped me come to grips with the modern power grid and not waste my time and money lol

Well it isn't they "may" need replacement.  Solar panels have a finite lifespan. Even excluding things like damage due to hail, wind, etc the panels will slowly lose output.  Not electronic circuit will last forever.  Every single solar panel ever produced (and everyone one which will be produced) will eventually become worthless.  Now the lifespan is measured in decades (most panels have a 20 yr or 30 yr rating) but the output will slowly degrade, a 0.25% to 0.5% drop in output annually is a good starting point.  The inverter generally won't last more than a decade.  It is under a lot of stress and heat.  Even a high efficiency one say 94% means 6% is converted into heat and 5KW * 6% = 300W which is a lot of heat for 24/7 operation over a decade).  Add to that annual maintenace (cleaning panels, replacing frayed wiring, checking connectors, etc) and it is hardly infinite power with no additional work/cost.   

Solar power is simply a source of power.  With the right prices, right location (amount of solar insolation) and right subsidies it can be cheap power (well cheap for you paid on the backs of taxpayers) but it is still power at a certain cost.  Another thing to consider is cost of capital.  With a solar power plant (much like a nuclear power plant) most of the cost if upfront.  This means you are essentially buying 20-30 or even 40 years of power on day 0.  If your return is low say 3% return (lifetime cost is 3% lower than buying grid power on an annualized basis) it may be "cheaper" to invest that money and earn a return of say 6% and use that to buy grid power.

Makes sense. This is a good putting it in perspective "reality" for me. My time alone in learning and setting it up would add to the cost too.
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July 26, 2013, 07:25:53 PM
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I got solar before I knew what mining even was.  Cost was $40K to cover about 75% of my needs. $12K paid by the State and $8K back on taxes. This is with battery backup. And no, the internet has nothing to do with the power. They often go down separately from each other. I've cruised the net during many outages since. Only certain streets lose power, etc. The system will be paid-off most likely in 12 years, and that timeframe was doubled because of the pricey battery backup. The most shocking thing to me was that without battery backup I would have no power during an outage even if it was sunny! I was like "huh??".  lol

One thing that is hard to predict when doing calculations is how much the cost will increase per kw during the life of the system. We have almost doubled in 10 years here. You could also get a smaller system just to cover mining, but solar makes economic sense longterm, so buy the biggest you can.

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July 27, 2013, 10:55:59 AM
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In the UK we can instal solar panels and get paid for feeding it into the grid. Which essentially means it's a reduction on your bill.
No batteries, just a rate per unit fed into the grid. IF this payment could pay the cost of mining and over time pay for your panels ...that would work ?

If you search moneysavingexpert.com for this subject you'll find some pretty detailed figures and stats on this from members in the forum who are well into solar and have been for some time.

Directly powering a rig using solar may not work, but indirectly by using solar to offset what you would have paid to heat water for example...that could help? Saving the amount it costs to run your rig elsewhere is the same thing at the end of the day isn't it ?
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July 27, 2013, 11:02:58 AM
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and i do believe no ones mentioned wind turbines.... by far the cheaper option and in the UK if your under a certain height you dont need planning permission XD
most wind turbines even the small ones manage a good 300w for around $300 probably less and in most places theres always enough wind to keep them going, you can always mix in a few wind turbines and solar panels to get the best of both worlds

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July 27, 2013, 11:29:39 AM
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Quote from: Sergio_Demian_Lerner
What about using the wasted electricity to heat your shower water? Or to cook?
How would one do this?



You have to hook your shower waste pipe up to your arc reactor.  Roll Eyes

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July 27, 2013, 12:23:22 PM
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I'm considering adding some solar panels with a grid-tie inverter with net metering.  Unfortunately I'm not in a very good location for solar (in the US on a northward-facing hillside with trees).

This month my power bill was over $700.  I'm worried about trouble from the law (that they'll think I'm using the power for things they oppose.)

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July 27, 2013, 01:52:19 PM
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and i do believe no ones mentioned wind turbines.... by far the cheaper option and in the UK if your under a certain height you dont need planning permission XD
most wind turbines even the small ones manage a good 300w for around $300 probably less and in most places theres always enough wind to keep them going, you can always mix in a few wind turbines and solar panels to get the best of both worlds

Good thinking. You can also use various govt. schemes like Green Deal to pay some or all of the upfront cost.
Long term that looks quite good if you can manage enough wind to make it work where you live.
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July 27, 2013, 02:03:24 PM
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I'm considering adding some solar panels with a grid-tie inverter with net metering.  Unfortunately I'm not in a very good location for solar (in the US on a northward-facing hillside with trees).

This month my power bill was over $700.  I'm worried about trouble from the law (that they'll think I'm using the power for things they oppose.)

Most bitcoin mining farms look like drug dens from aerial infra-red, expect to be raided at some point.

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July 27, 2013, 02:48:06 PM
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If your in the US try one of the kits from Harbor Freight. Its like $150 for a 45 watt kit. Add some deep cycle golf cart batteries and a inverter. Im going to try it out this weekend. I have a BFL jally and a netbook that draws a little over 38 watts.
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July 27, 2013, 03:01:14 PM
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If your in the US try one of the kits from Harbor Freight. Its like $150 for a 45 watt kit. Add some deep cycle golf cart batteries and a inverter. Im going to try it out this weekend. I have a BFL jally and a netbook that draws a little over 38 watts.

That would take 1480 days to payback, assuming it worked all the time.

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July 27, 2013, 03:22:43 PM
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or raid eBay and get an old bicycle and a couple of generator motors from a wind turbine and get your ass pedaling..... keeps you fit and you get free electric XD if you have a family take shifts free electric 24/7

iv got alot of ideas for free electric XD

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