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Author Topic: Surge protector required to run Antminers off genset?  (Read 98 times)
VentMine
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February 23, 2018, 08:59:21 PM
 #1

I am running Antminers off a genset and I have a surge protector installed on the panelboard to protect the Antminers and PSU's in case of a surge. I am wondering if surge protection is really needed? Maybe the APW3++ PSU's have adequate protection in place in case of a surge?

Being a genset, I'm not sure what kind of scenarios may require a surge protector, lightning? Maybe if half the mining load drops and there's a voltage spike?

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February 24, 2018, 02:31:08 AM
Merited by OgNasty (1)
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Please tell us more.  I would think a motor/generator (what I think of as a genset) would produce fairly constant power, since minor variations of a few cycles would be leveled out by the inertia of the unit.  That said, its ALWAYS a good idea to protect electronic equipment with surge protectors.  I have one on each of my mining distribution panels.  Presuming your miners are close to your distribution panels, this is very cost effective.  Believe I paid something like $45 each from my electric Coop for mine and each one protects 20 miners.

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February 26, 2018, 06:58:17 PM
 #3

Is it required?  No.  Is it a good idea?  Yes.

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February 27, 2018, 12:14:36 AM
Merited by frodocooper (1)
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Surge suppressors are typically MOVs.

Utility lines carry many surge opportunities with them. As you can imagine, the substation and typically the overhead distribution circuits are all outside. They are susceptible to lightning strikes and very commonly nearby lightening events. They also suffer phase to phase arc over events which cause the protector to open. Those protectors have a re-trip feature which will reconnect the line after an arc over occurs. Distribution circuits are also switched to another source and voltage adjustments are done by a switching event. Lots of opportunity. These surge events present a high voltage, high frequency but low energy signal on the utility circuit. Well, all except direct lightening strikes.

An MOV shunts when the potential difference exceeds it's voltage rating. An MOV is only a small component wired between the two input power lines. It can and will shunt (short) any voltage presented above the rating. However, it can only handle a very small amount of energy. This makes it a good device to mitigate the effects of utility surges, again except lightening strikes.

Surge suppressors typically have many MOVs to increase the amount of energy they can shunt. These are sized based on the electrical storm frequency and severity of the area. MOVs do not last forever so the type with failure indicators is nice to have. A single surge suppressor cannot be effective protection against near or direct lightning strikes. I typically specify one at the service entrance, another at each distribution panel and the final MOV contained within the equipment PSU . If there is not one in the PSU, that device gets a small surge suppressor. The result is three MOV devices in series to protect each critical load.

Almost all electronics have an MOV in their circuit. I took apart a Bitmain PSU and looked but I didn't find one. There are two thermisters for start up surge protection but I didn't find MOVs.

If they did have an MOV in the circuit I would say no you don't need one unless your genset is exposed to potential direct or nearby lightening strikes. Obviously, you need one because the PSU is not equipped just to cover the mile away lightening surges. If you want to protect against nearby strikes, you'll need 3 surge suppressors. This would be good to do if you are in an area prone to frequent electrical storm activity. You can study the "let-through" voltage and energy specifications to see how to properly size each suppressor.

Can you just put in whatever you found... LOL no. That will not protect your system from lightening induced surges.

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February 27, 2018, 01:07:42 AM
 #5

Is it required?  No.  Is it a good idea?  Yes.

Agreed.  How far is your genset from your devices?

Please also confirm your talking about a motor/generator device - which does do a good job of power isolation.

Curious why you are using one though???

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February 28, 2018, 10:57:14 PM
 #6

Is it required?  No.  Is it a good idea?  Yes.

Agreed.  How far is your genset from your devices?

Please also confirm your talking about a motor/generator device - which does do a good job of power isolation.

Curious why you are using one though???

Genset is about 3-4 feet away. Yes talking about a natural gas genset Smiley

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March 01, 2018, 01:35:02 AM
 #7

Oh, well that's different.

The NG generator will require an earthing ground which will be connected to your PSUs via the power cord. Just be certain all earthing connections are welded. This system will be sufficient to provide surge protection without an MOV protection scheme. I'm assuming there is no utility power supplied so there is no switch over between generator and utility.

The surge suppressor will not hurt anything if it makes you feel better.

VentMine
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March 01, 2018, 10:43:37 PM
 #8

Yes there is no utility power at all. Only reason i'm asking is because the surge protector isn't cheap, so I'm looking at different ways of reducing costs.

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March 02, 2018, 02:03:55 AM
 #9

Yes there is no utility power at all. Only reason i'm asking is because the surge protector isn't cheap, so I'm looking at different ways of reducing costs.

Is the genset going into any sort of normal electrical panel that you then fan off of?  If so, panel surge devices ARE cheap, like $45-$65.  (Well, that is at least cheap relative to the cost of a miner...)

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March 03, 2018, 04:23:09 AM
 #10

Almost all electronics have an MOV in their circuit. I took apart a Bitmain PSU and looked but I didn't find one. There are two thermisters for start up surge protection but I didn't find MOVs.
We stopped putting those MOVs inside appliances long ago for some very obvious reasons.

A surge that is a voltage between to wires is rare and is made irrelevant by what a power supply does.  If the surge is so large as to harm a power supply, that MOV vaporized long ago.  In short, the MOV is only a potential fire.  And does nothing (is woefully too tiny) to increase protection.

A transient that does damage is best described by numbers.  Let's say that MOV has a 330 volt let-through voltage.  A 5000 volt surge is incoming on the AC hot (black) wire.  Now it is 5000 volts incoming to the supply on one wire and 4670 volts on the neutral wire.  Where is protection?

Best protection for a miner is best as distant as possible to a miner (and everything else since all other appliances also need that protection).  And is as close as practicable to single point earth ground.  Protection increases with every foot shorter to earth.  Protection increases with increased separation between miner and protector.  A concept called impedance applies.

Best protection is a 'whole house' solution provided by companies known for integrity.  Including Intermatic, Square D, Ditek, Siemens, Polyphaser (an industry benchmark), Syscom, Leviton, ABB, Delta, Erico, General Electric, and Cutler-Hammer (Eaton).

Which less robust appliance most needs this protection?  Plug-in protectors.  Since these near zero joule devices (from companies not known for integrity) can also make electronic damage easier.  And sometimes even create fires.

As another has also demonstrated, this superior solution is also a least expensive solution - about $1 per protected appliance.  Because and again, if a miner needs protection, then so does a dishwasher, clocks, furnace, GFCIs, all recharging electronics, clock radios, dimmer switches, refrigerator, central air, garage door opener, and every smoke detector.
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