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Author Topic: Outdoor Heated Flooring System Driven With Bitcoin Mining  (Read 1467 times)
Shane Walsh
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December 16, 2014, 12:13:13 AM
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I work for an electric radiant floor heating systems manufacturer. Eighteen months ago I convinced my employer to start a bitcoin mining farm. That farm is no longer making a substantial profit and is being disassembled. My employer wanted to continue working with bitcoin and made the decision to allow a small team to design a bitcoin powered floor heating system in our downtime using some parts we have laying around. We have designed a few prototypes but the noise needed to generate the necessary airflow was a challenge we were unable to overcome for indoor units. This is why I am here. We were able to build an outdoor unit with excellent results. I do not wish to get overly specific but to put it simply - burying the miners underground and exhausting the heat through a pad and out between tiles creates a very nice warming effect outdoors in cold weather. There are some significant issues that remain. We have not yet come up with a long term solution for keeping rain or other moisture from finding the miners without compromising the airflow. We have to build a controller that will read the floor sensor temperatures and up/down clock the miners automatically. We need to test literally hundreds of components and materials to see what will work best. My employer is optimistic about the project and does not mind it being worked on when we are not busy with other projects but is unwilling to purchase the necessary materials we need to do the proper testing and complete a product that could be taken to market.

I am looking for feedback on whether this is a project worth putting my own money or possibly money from investors in. If anyone has experience keeping moisture from buried electronics or is interested in investing in the project we could use your help. Private message me if you wish to discuss or feel free to ask questions here.
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starsoccer9
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December 16, 2014, 02:53:07 AM
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I work for an electric radiant floor heating systems manufacturer. Eighteen months ago I convinced my employer to start a bitcoin mining farm. That farm is no longer making a substantial profit and is being disassembled. My employer wanted to continue working with bitcoin and made the decision to allow a small team to design a bitcoin powered floor heating system in our downtime using some parts we have laying around. We have designed a few prototypes but the noise needed to generate the necessary airflow was a challenge we were unable to overcome for indoor units. This is why I am here. We were able to build an outdoor unit with excellent results. I do not wish to get overly specific but to put it simply - burying the miners underground and exhausting the heat through a pad and out between tiles creates a very nice warming effect outdoors in cold weather. There are some significant issues that remain. We have not yet come up with a long term solution for keeping rain or other moisture from finding the miners without compromising the airflow. We have to build a controller that will read the floor sensor temperatures and up/down clock the miners automatically. We need to test literally hundreds of components and materials to see what will work best. My employer is optimistic about the project and does not mind it being worked on when we are not busy with other projects but is unwilling to purchase the necessary materials we need to do the proper testing and complete a product that could be taken to market.

I am looking for feedback on whether this is a project worth putting my own money or possibly money from investors in. If anyone has experience keeping moisture from buried electronics or is interested in investing in the project we could use your help. Private message me if you wish to discuss or feel free to ask questions here.

Well from some previous reading, I am quite sure it is more efficient to heat the the floor with straight electric then use an asic to generate the heat to produce it. There was a long article comparing the cost and the only way it made sense was if you had free electricity
Shane Walsh
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December 16, 2014, 04:05:51 AM
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Well from some previous reading, I am quite sure it is more efficient to heat the the floor with straight electric then use an asic to generate the heat to produce it. There was a long article comparing the cost and the only way it made sense was if you had free electricity

This is the conclusion we reached. That is the reason for us deciding to use fan powered air cooling and exhaust the heat upward from the ground as an added feature. In an outdoor area this gives you a warming sensation like you would get standing next to an outdoor heater. We have many miners that we will not be able to sell. The idea we are trying to get off the ground is to offer this system as a free upgrade to our other systems and set them up to mine bitcoins to our account. There is much work to be done but we are motivated to get something put together. It is our intent to seek ideas or funding that can help us get a working prototype installed in a location. This idea is not likely to make any person wealthy soon. We would like to step towards manufacturing purposeful bitcoin miners. Clothes/hair/shower/hand dryers all could be powered with bitcoin miners. We hope with a working outdoor flooring prototype we will be able to obtain more funding for other products.
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December 16, 2014, 07:54:49 AM
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Will it not be cheaper, doing it the normal way? Central heating is cheaper than Asic's right?

How are you going to do maintenance on these Asic's when they fail?

Post some photo's ... I'd like to see, what you talking about. {Scale}

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December 16, 2014, 12:56:27 PM
 #5

Will it not be cheaper, doing it the normal way? Central heating is cheaper than Asic's right?

How are you going to do maintenance on these Asic's when they fail?

Post some photo's ... I'd like to see, what you talking about. {Scale}

Yes that is correct. The only way it becomes feasable is if your getting the chips for dirt cheap and even then overtime the unit will generate less and less bitcoins and eventually become worthless. Also not to mention any thing you plan to use an asic chip in needs a controller of some sorta as well as internet. Which means if your internet goes down the chips stop working. So you will need a fail safe that just generates useless work as well.
Shane Walsh
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December 18, 2014, 07:08:22 AM
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Will it not be cheaper, doing it the normal way? Central heating is cheaper than Asic's right?

How are you going to do maintenance on these Asic's when they fail?

Post some photo's ... I'd like to see, what you talking about. {Scale}

Yes that is correct. The only way it becomes feasable is if your getting the chips for dirt cheap and even then overtime the unit will generate less and less bitcoins and eventually become worthless. Also not to mention any thing you plan to use an asic chip in needs a controller of some sorta as well as internet. Which means if your internet goes down the chips stop working. So you will need a fail safe that just generates useless work as well.

It would not be cheaper to do it the normal way. There is no normal way because this is a new product. At least we do not manufacture anything that pushes hot air up from the ground for outdoor use. We also have miners already that we can use for this project for free. We have built a PVC pipe prototype that works but not very well. We need to replace the PVC with thin metal tubes to help heat the tiles. We would need to pay for these. We also need to pay to have the proper schematics drawn for a final product to go with various product and patent fees. Then we need to put together informational material for customers. This while we develop a software interface to monitor and adjust the temperature. We are not lawyers or designers. We will either need to find members of the community who want to help us fill the gaps in our expertise or we will look for investors to pay to have these things done correctly.

There are many obstacles to overcome but looking for ways to save money trying to do it without bitcoin miners defeats the purpose.

This is still very early in the process. I will continue to update on progress being made.
Shane Walsh
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March 05, 2015, 06:24:37 PM
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We have decided to abandon this project. The moisture issues were too much for us to overcome. We did set up a smokers patio for our new years party that was a big hit. All the smokers thought it was the greatest thing ever since they were able to smoke outside in the freezing cold without even needing a jacket! Even the non-smokers thought it was great how the airflow pushed the cigarette smoke high in the air above them instead of lingering around them. I saw non-smokers out talking with smokers for the first time ever. The problem is that miners die after only a couple of days because of moisture. We tried everything we could think of but we are apparently not smart enough to come up with a working solution and we've run so low on working miners that it would not make sense to continue trying to get this idea to work. So this was a failure as a product but it did make for a pretty cool scene at our new years party. Fun while it lasted. Someone smarter than us should pursue this idea. It made for an amazing smokers patio that was the talk of the night for the cigarette crowd.
DeathAndTaxes
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March 05, 2015, 06:32:14 PM
 #8

You would be better off using immersion ('two phase') cooling.  This would allow the miners to be sealed against the environment.   The sealed miner unit then acts as an electric 'boiler' for heating hot water by using a heat exchanger.  The rest of the parts would be standard radiant heating (hot water not electric) components.

The main obstacle with immersion cooling is the high cost of the working fluid such as Novec 3M but it is an interesting hobbyist project.
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