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Author Topic: High altitude mining would it be better or worse for equipment?  (Read 219 times)
DaveF (OP)
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July 12, 2022, 11:20:25 AM
Merited by hugeblack (4), mikeywith (4), vapourminer (1)
 #1

So I was thinking with the other posts about electric price in different locations and politics in some areas and so on.
As a purely hypothetical question would mining at would it be better or worse for equipment?

At higher elevations the air is less dense so the fans would run harder BUT overall it tends to be cooler and less humid.
There also tends to be less change in temperate and it is also more gradual so things would be more constant in terms needed cooling.

Not planning to start a mine in El Alto, Bolivia just thinking about stuff.

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July 12, 2022, 12:26:33 PM
Merited by mikeywith (4), stompix (1)
 #2

Since you don't need that air for burning like an engine, I don't see any problems than what you stated: less dense air may give more work to the coolers.
Another idea could maybe be that if the altitude is too high you may not find so easy (qualified) people who would work on the maintenance of the mining farm. (But that's in case of a remote area, El Alto is a big city so it's not the case).

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July 12, 2022, 06:04:34 PM
Merited by mikeywith (2)
 #3

I think the cooler temps would offset any density altitude issues.
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July 13, 2022, 01:26:47 AM
Last edit: July 13, 2022, 02:39:31 AM by mikeywith
Merited by DaveF (3), stompix (2), NotFuzzyWarm (1)
 #4

I think the cooler temps would offset any density altitude issues.

It pretty much depends on how "cooler" the temps are, because altitude and temperature are keys when evaluating fan performance, at sea level and at 100F you are looking at a factor of 1.06 which is a slight loss in performance, it's equal to the performance of the same fan running at 70F and 1,500 feet above sea level if so happens that temps are higher than 70F then it's worse than running at sea level with temps being 100F.

But that example was more like cherry-picking, it doesn't mean it won't exist, but more often than not, the gains from cooler temps will offset the altitude, but if you happen to find a place where the temp is 70F and the altitude is 10,000 then what would be as bad as running the fan at sea level with temps being as high as 300F.  Cheesy

Keep in mind, however, that the cooler climate isn't always a good thing, for two reasons, one, most miners won't run at temps near zero, and they will have a very hard time starting up, you are going to need to generate some sort of heat before you get them going, some people will trap the miner inside a box for it to heat well and then put the exhaust of the hot miner into another miner's intake to get it running, I don't know at what temp exactly all of this will start to be a problem, but too cold is too bad.

Another reason would be the miner increasing voltage to stay at desired temps, thierry4wd explained that in detail on one of his posts, but long story short, if the miner is running cool, it will drop the fan speed to a minimum (which I think is 10% or so) if that does not help bring temps up to the desired number, it will increase the voltage to generate more heat, that simply put is a waste of energy.










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July 13, 2022, 03:26:45 AM
Merited by DaveF (2)
 #5

I think the cooler temps would offset any density altitude issues.

It pretty much depends on how "cooler" the temps are, because altitude and temperature are keys when evaluating fan performance, at sea level and at 100F you are looking at a factor of 1.06 which is a slight loss in performance, it's equal to the performance of the same fan running at 70F and 1,500 feet above sea level if so happens that temps are higher than 70F then it's worse than running at sea level with temps being 100F.

But that example was more like cherry-picking, it doesn't mean it won't exist, but more often than not, the gains from cooler temps will offset the altitude, but if you happen to find a place where the temp is 70F and the altitude is 10,000 then what would be as bad as running the fan at sea level with temps being as high as 300F.  Cheesy

Keep in mind, however, that the cooler climate isn't always a good thing, for two reasons, one, most miners won't run at temps near zero, and they will have a very hard time starting up, you are going to need to generate some sort of heat before you get them going, some people will trap the miner inside a box for it to heat well and then put the exhaust of the hot miner into another miner's intake to get it running, I don't know at what temp exactly all of this will start to be a problem, but too cold is too bad.

Another reason would be the miner increasing voltage to stay at desired temps, thierry4wd explained that in detail on one of his posts, but long story short, if the miner is running cool, it will drop the fan speed to a minimum (which I think is 10% or so) if that does not help bring temps up to the desired number, it will increase the voltage to generate more heat, that simply put is a waste of energy.










 hmm but thinner air won't cool so well due to lack of density and some firmware does allow a fixed fan.

My interest in higher altitude would be liquid cooled  I wonder if the liquid cooled is sealed and under pressure (not water) would it be effective.
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July 13, 2022, 06:19:48 PM
 #6

Meh, at sea level 1 atm is 14.7 lbs and at 10,000 feet it's 10.2.. About 69% density at the same temperature.

Factors of temp and humidity play a paramount roll. Moisture conducts about 10 times the rate air does (general terms).

I would be happy with the cool, dry and CLEAN air generally found at altitude.

Sure I compensate when I fly into my South Lake Tahoe place or Scuba dive there, it's a factor for sure. I wouldn't get too wrapped around the axel on it as far as a miner goes.

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July 13, 2022, 07:03:02 PM
Merited by mikeywith (2)
 #7

If you were to determine the amount of "high altitude", then the assumptions would be better. If we assume altitudes that reach less than 1500 meters, then the effects will not be significant, and therefore cheap electricity will give you an advantage in addition to the low temperature, but it is desirable to reduce the efficiency of the device's work (Low rate.)

If you reach altitudes higher than 2000 m, then the air density and atmospheric pressure may function poorly.

For example, at high altitudes, less effort will be required to cross a distance, which increases the possibility of electrical arcs, and it also affects the electrical insulation properties of the air, which means a significant increase in the internal temperature of these devices, which may mean indirectly reducing their efficiency/work.

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July 13, 2022, 07:13:06 PM
 #8


For example, at high altitudes, less effort will be required to cross a distance, which increases the possibility of electrical arcs, and it also affects the electrical insulation properties of the air, which means a significant increase in the internal temperature of these devices, which may mean indirectly reducing their efficiency/work.

This is 1000% false.  Stop talking about subject matters you know nothing about.

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July 13, 2022, 08:58:36 PM
Merited by hugeblack (4)
 #9

For example, at high altitudes, less effort will be required to cross a distance, which increases the possibility of electrical arcs, and it also affects the electrical insulation properties of the air, which means a significant increase in the internal temperature of these devices, which may mean indirectly reducing their efficiency/work.
This is 1000% false.  Stop talking about subject matters you know nothing about.
The reasoning in the bit about it increasing internal temps is wrong but the increased risk of arcs is 100% correct when you are talking about altitudes over 5000 ft. If you check specs, many time various things like TV's, PSU's and other line powered devices WILL have altitude restrictions. Grant you the 5k limit is very conservative but nonetheless it is fact that as air pressure goes down so does the breakdown voltage which means that greater spacing between PCB traces is required to pass hipot testing. It is not until pressure goes below 0.05mbar (approaching a hard vacuum) that the breakdown voltage of the remaining air starts to rapidly climb again.

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July 13, 2022, 11:30:09 PM
 #10

For example, at high altitudes, less effort will be required to cross a distance, which increases the possibility of electrical arcs, and it also affects the electrical insulation properties of the air, which means a significant increase in the internal temperature of these devices, which may mean indirectly reducing their efficiency/work.
This is 1000% false.  Stop talking about subject matters you know nothing about.
The reasoning in the bit about it increasing internal temps is wrong but the increased risk of arcs is 100% correct when you are talking about altitudes over 5000 ft. If you check specs, many time various things like TV's, PSU's and other line powered devices WILL have altitude restrictions. Grant you the 5k limit is very conservative but nonetheless it is fact that as air pressure goes down so does the breakdown voltage which means that greater spacing between PCB traces is required to pass hipot testing. It is not until pressure goes below 0.05mbar (approaching a hard vacuum) that the breakdown voltage of the remaining air starts to rapidly climb again.

Ok within I understand extreme altitudes in the aerospace business. With in context of a 12 volt device and human livable altitudes is not even applicable. I haven't seen an altitude rating on my extension cord at 7200 feet, my dryer didn't arc flash. The insulators on the 13.2 kv powerlines (@9000 ft) are the same ones from sea-level.

Nothing skydiving or in my plane over 15k feet seems to flame out, I guess if you put my 172 into sub orbit it may have a problem or two.

We might as well debate if things work different in the southern hemisphere. It doesn't matter.

I guess he knows something he read, but massively miss applied.


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July 14, 2022, 12:17:37 AM
Merited by hugeblack (4)
 #11

Ok within I understand extreme altitudes in the aerospace business. With in context of a 12 volt device and human livable altitudes is not even applicable. I haven't seen an altitude rating on my extension cord at 7200 feet, my dryer didn't arc flash. The insulators on the 13.2 kv powerlines (@9000 ft) are the same ones from sea-level.

What Husires and NFW mentioned about air insulation is scientifically correct even if you want to disagree with it, in fact, it's a standard followed by most PSU manufacturers, for example, the "China Compulsory Certification" requires a certain clearance between any two conductive materials inside a PSU, at an altitude of 2000m or below, it has to be 8mm, at 5000m, on the other hand, it needs to be 11.84mm.

In fact, it is mandatory to write the max altitude a PSU can safely operate at. And if you happen to own any mining equipment the altitude will be on the PSU's specs, an example is Bitmain's PSU, it's rated at an altitude of <2000m because they use a factor clearance of 1 or in other words 8mm.

of course, that doesn't mean that if you run a Bitmain PSU in Mexico city at 2200m above sea level you are going to toast it right away, it just means that the chances of that happening are higher than happening in Florida, it also means if you run them in La Paz at close to an altitude of 4000m where the spacing needs to be 30% more you simply are asking for troubles.


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July 14, 2022, 12:47:38 AM
 #12

Ok within I understand extreme altitudes in the aerospace business. With in context of a 12 volt device and human livable altitudes is not even applicable. I haven't seen an altitude rating on my extension cord at 7200 feet, my dryer didn't arc flash. The insulators on the 13.2 kv powerlines (@9000 ft) are the same ones from sea-level.

What Husires and NFW mentioned about air insulation is scientifically correct even if you want to disagree with it, in fact, it's a standard followed by most PSU manufacturers, for example, the "China Compulsory Certification" requires a certain clearance between any two conductive materials inside a PSU, at an altitude of 2000m or below, it has to be 8mm, at 5000m, on the other hand, it needs to be 11.84mm.

In fact, it is mandatory to write the max altitude a PSU can safely operate at. And if you happen to own any mining equipment the altitude will be on the PSU's specs, an example is Bitmain's PSU, it's rated at an altitude of <2000m because they use a factor clearance of 1 or in other words 8mm.

of course, that doesn't mean that if you run a Bitmain PSU in Mexico city at 2200m above sea level you are going to toast it right away, it just means that the chances of that happening are higher than happening in Florida, it also means if you run them in La Paz at close to an altitude of 4000m where the spacing needs to be 30% more you simply are asking for troubles.



Those numbers have some 'safety' built in.

An example of over voltage with 120volt edison style light bulbs is something I used to like to illustrate with a variac.

They are rated with 120 -130 volt number here in the USA when you crank a variac to 145-160 volts they blow.

but if you crank to 132 volts they will last for months sometimes even as long as the hour rating set for 120 volts.



If you think about most all lightening starts up in thinner air. So I tend to believe the light air bigger spark rule.

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July 14, 2022, 01:30:14 AM
 #13

Those numbers have some 'safety' built in.

Generally that's correct, but that does not mean you can abuse that safety line, almost everything is underrated and that includes your car engine or anything else that has a max operation speed/temp/voltage and whatnot, but then when I remember how cheap Bitmain was trying to save a couple of bucks on the solder used on the 17 series gears which they sold for $4000, I can't help but wonder, didn't Bimtian abuse the safety line themselves by using maybe 7.5mm spacing instead of 8mm.

Don't get me wrong but I tend to believe the things made in China are usually overrated, here is an example, I used to deal with power generators, engines, and alternators from all over the world, when we test a Genset that has a Yanmar or Perkins engine with a Mecc alte or Stamford alternator for an example, we knew we could push it well passed it rated power, and that was true like all of the time, but when dealing with most Chinese brands, they would collapse way before reaching their max rated power, there are exceptions of some well-built Chinese brands that stick to their words like YangDong, they pretty much try to follow the Japnese and EU or US standards of "ratings" of course at a very higher cost than the average Chinese manufacturer.
 
However, the others who make the majority are not to be trusted when it comes to ratings, So if Bitmain tells me not to operate their PSU at >2000m, I would not operate it above >1500m at most:D.

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July 14, 2022, 03:37:36 AM
 #14

Those numbers have some 'safety' built in.

Generally that's correct, but that does not mean you can abuse that safety line, almost everything is underrated and that includes your car engine or anything else that has a max operation speed/temp/voltage and whatnot, but then when I remember how cheap Bitmain was trying to save a couple of bucks on the solder used on the 17 series gears which they sold for $4000, I can't help but wonder, didn't Bimtian abuse the safety line themselves by using maybe 7.5mm spacing instead of 8mm.

Don't get me wrong but I tend to believe the things made in China are usually overrated, here is an example, I used to deal with power generators, engines, and alternators from all over the world, when we test a Genset that has a Yanmar or Perkins engine with a Mecc alte or Stamford alternator for an example, we knew we could push it well passed it rated power, and that was true like all of the time, but when dealing with most Chinese brands, they would collapse way before reaching their max rated power, there are exceptions of some well-built Chinese brands that stick to their words like YangDong, they pretty much try to follow the Japnese and EU or US standards of "ratings" of course at a very higher cost than the average Chinese manufacturer.
 
However, the others who make the majority are not to be trusted when it comes to ratings, So if Bitmain tells me not to operate their PSU at >2000m, I would not operate it above >1500m at most:D

thats funny

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July 17, 2022, 02:26:14 PM
 #15

Well sounds like immersion cooling could solve all the issues. Just need to oversize your dry cooler enough to get the heat out. If the psu isn't in air, there would be no issue with arcs vs altitude.

But where would you find a location >2000m elevation with cheap abundant power?

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