COOLING FOR CRYPTOCURRENCY MINING FARMS

What are cryptocurrency miners?

Cryptocurrency comes in many different forms, whether it be Bitcoin or Ethereum, they all require compute power to generate or “mine” new currency.  There are two types of hardware which are usually associated with mining, GPU servers (Graphical Processing Units) and ASIC servers (Application Specific Integrated Circuit).  ASIC miners are single purpose and they are usually used to mine Bitcoin. GPU servers are more flexible, being software defined, and can be used for mining a number of currencies as well as rendering or standard HPC uses. The main difference between the two types of server from an airflow perspective is the processing density (kW per m³/), which is fundamental when working out the number of coolers required for a facility.  When sizing a cooling system, whether for GPU servers or ASIC miners, the airflow required to service the heat load must be calculated.  This is determined by the air temperature rise between the intake and exhaust of the hardware, ΔT, and the heat rejection arrangements will, as ever, vary between different hardware types. An increase in temperature rise indicates an increase in heat carried away from the hardware by a fixed flow rate of air, which with fresh air cooling leads to less cooling plant.

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Why do I want less coolers?

The simple answer is in order to reduce that important “cost per kW” we discussed earlier. By reducing the cooling requirement per MW your reduce the power usage of your facility and also the ground space required to house the coolers, meaning you can fit more miners into the facility!

Choosing the right cooling system

EcoCooling have developed modular, plug and play cooling units, designed with rapid deployment commercial strategies in mind, that can provide unparalleled cooling efficiency for mining facilities.  They use direct fresh air cooling which is widely considered the most efficient way to cool a data centre using air.  When the weather is cold outside, ambient air mixed with hot recirculated air is used to cool the data centre.  In hot weather or low humidity environements, evaporative cooling can be used to reduce the ambient temperature to increase the humidity,

  • Our ECV CloudCooler is a our basic free cooling offering. The ECV is is simple to install and maintain and has proven popular with mining facilities based in the Nordics, where ambient temperatures are very low and no supplementary cooling is required.

  • Our ECT CloudCooler contains an evaporative cooling an optional humidification loop. This has been used by facilities in central Europe and the UK who require supplementary cooling on the warmest days to avoid high supply temperatures.

EcoCooling’s inhouse design team can help you develop an installation scheme based on either GPU servers or ASIC miners in different configurations, depending on the business requirement at that time.  This means that the cooling system does not have to be changed if the client decides to repurpose their servers for different currencies or processing requirements (e.g. rendering/HPC).  For more details please contact us on sales@ecocooling.co.uk.

 

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 Mining facility in Sweden

Mining facility in Sweden

Advantages of CLOUDCOOLER Miner Cooling Solutions:

  • Low total cost of ownership

  • Plug and play solution

  • Simple installation and maintenance

  • Remote support

  • Natural low energy ventilation based cooling

  • Supports rapid deployment

 

Fresh air cloudcooler  - the go to choice for mining farms

Using efficient EC fans and natural evaporative cooling, EcoCooling units contain no refrigerants and 99% of the power draw to the unit is used to drive the fans, meaning a PUE of 1.05 is achievable.  The units are simple to install and maintain, meaning capital and operational costs are significantly lower than refrigeration or liquid cooling alternatives.

EcoCooling’s experience in cooling large scale HPC and colocation data centres positions us as the ideal manufacturing partner for mining facilities looking to install fresh air cooling systems.  We work closely with end users to ensure their cooling systems are designed with both efficiency and cost effectiveness in mind. We have extensive experience in the design of facilities incorporating large airflows and can advise clients on the best layout for their miners and racking to ensure they get the lowest capital and operational “cost per kW” in their data centre.

“COST PER KW”– For every 1kW of mining compute power there is an associated operational and capital cost (e.g. power to the cooling system, ground rent, water use). Higher PUE (Power Utilisation Effectivness) and WUE (Water Utlisation Effectivness) metrics contribute to a higher cost per kW and therefore a more expensive facility.

Types and sizes of facilities

Over the last few years we have received an increasing number of enquiries for the cooling of cryptocurrency mining facilities and the miners that they house.  The cryptocurrency market is growing rapidly and miners are now buying up large facilities in remote locations. These remote locations include Northern Sweden and The Arctic Circle. In these areas, free cooling can be expolited the majority of the time and renewable, cheap power is available.  We are also seeing an increase in smaller facilities based in the UK and other European countries, where operators are looking at building up equipment in warehousing or repurposed buildings. 

As the requirements for mining are similar to that of HPC data centre cooling we have developed a modular cooling system which can be designed and installed simply to provide cool air to the miners.  We can establish how many coolers are required for a mining facility by knowing the ΔT over the equipment. This is used to calculate the flow rate and therefore number of coolers required.  See below examples:

 In the last example 14 ECT10800 CloudCoolers required to provide cooling for 1MW of miners.  If there is a larger ΔT this in turn means that less coolers are required per MW of compute power. Solutions must be carefully engineered to ensure the right amount of air reaches each server to avoid hotspots and failures in facilities. Once we know how many miners and cooling units are required, we can begin to optimise the layout of the facility to achieve the best airflows through the equipment. Below are some examples:

In the last example 14 ECT10800 CloudCoolers required to provide cooling for 1MW of miners.

If there is a larger ΔT this in turn means that less coolers are required per MW of compute power. Solutions must be carefully engineered to ensure the right amount of air reaches each server to avoid hotspots and failures in facilities. Once we know how many miners and cooling units are required, we can begin to optimise the layout of the facility to achieve the best airflows through the equipment. Below are some examples:


MD and CTO of EcoCooling, Alan Beresford, shares what he’s learned working closely with the new breed of data centres- ‘The Crypto Miners’. Read his article from DataCentre Management here


Not sure about your requirements?  Our team of application engineers can provide analysis for your location to advise on the right equipment for your supply temperature requirements.  Contact us at sales@ecocooling.co.uk