5 reasons to switch to ASIC immersion cooling in summer

Every year with the onset of summer, the miners face problems that cause ASIC interruptions, overheating, downtime and loss of profits. ASIC cooling takes a lot of resources and the result does not often meet customers' expectations. How comes it?

The reason is in the most common, but inefficient air cooling. Any climate system must solve four main tasks:

  • heat removal from working equipment;

  • removal of excess heat energy from the room;

  • air dedusting and humidity maintaining at the correct level;

  • mining farm status monitoring to ensure smooth operation.

During summer, the load on the system increases due to:

  • heat from the working equipment is mixed with fresh air;

  • not all excesses of heat are removed out of the room in time;

  • dust and small debris get into ASIC cases;

  • the supply air temperature is too high, so a powerful and expensive air conditioner for cooling is a must.

In other words, cooling the supply air, preparing it (cleaning), and quickly and without fail removing heat from the equipment operating 24/7 requires a lot of effort.

Cons of air cooling

95% of mining farms in the world use stock ASIC air-cooling and forced ventilation / air conditioning systems. This is aimed at maintaining a stable microclimate in the room occupied by mining farm, its smooth and safe operation during any time of the year.

But the cooling conditions of the equipment differ in winter and summer. For example, one of the most popular ASIC model - Antminer S9, has the following characteristics:

  • power consumption with a stock power supply unit of 1400 W;

  • operating temperature range - from 0 to 40 degrees Celsius;

  • cooling fan capacity - 338 cu.m per hour.

This kind of equipment has a thermal capacity. For instance, we take the consumed electric power in the ratio of 1 to 1 to the thermal output. In fact, all the electricity consumed goes into heat. Thus, 1400 watts of thermal energy must be removed from each ASIC. Otherwise, the indoor climate will change, the ambient temperature will rise, the equipment will overheat, shut down, or even fail.

To remove heat from 100 ASICs, you need to organize a ventilation and air conditioning system for 150 kW. For hundreds of devices, it is necessary to pump almost 34,000 cubic meters of air per hour. It will require the assistance of specialists, because improper installation of the filtration system or illiterately designed cooling system leads to a number of troubles:

  • the drop of equipment operating frequency;

  • the occurrence of errors;

  • overall performance reduction by 5-20%;

  • dust, debris and insects;

  • equipment lifespan reduction by 1.5-2 times;

  • shutdowns and failures.

Aspects of ASIC cooling in winter and summer

Generally, when the room temperature is about 40 degrees Celsius, the performance drops by 5%. At 45 degrees it drops by 10% already and so on. And if in winter such temperature is almost unattainable in a cold room, in summer, with an ambient temperature of 25-30 degrees Celsius, it is quite a normal value. In other words, the higher the temperature of the supply air or air itself in the room, the higher the temperature will be at the outlet due to the heat generation of each device.

In winter it is easier to cool the ASIC. The average air temperature values ​​remain at zero level or slightly above. However, it is important to remember that equipment behavior is unknown at negative temperatures. The loss of condensate is also possible, which can be disastrous for sensitive elements of electronics. Therefore, in winter, the air should rather be heated so that the air supply to the ASIC does not occur at temperatures below zero.

Those who are thinking of how to cool the ASIC in summer experience more serious troubles. The supply air temperature is usually above 25-30 degrees Celsius. These are the maximum values allowed ​​for the operation of mining equipment. Air conditioners are used to cool the incoming air. Commonly, the ventilation system consists of:

  • fan - blows the air in for cooling from the street;

  • filtering system - provides air purification from dust, debris, insects, creates dust-free environment;

  • control and automation system - regulates the flow and supply of air, monitors the temperature in the room;

  • air ducts - supply fresh air through “cold” corridors to the equipment;

  • hood - creates a "hot" corridor for heat.

To understand how to cool the mining equipment effectively, you need to take into account the seasonal difference of fluctuations in between the external and internal temperatures when designing a ventilation and air conditioning system. This leads to a "floating" energy load on the system. You also need to provide a backup power supply in case of power surges or outages.

However, there is a solution that does not rely on environmental temperature fluctuations and the temperature in the room, since it does not use air as a coolant. With immersion cooling the equipment is fully submerged into dielectric liquid. There, it is evenly thermostated to an ideal microclimate for ASIC operation. Heat is removed through a heat exchanger and is either sent to the heating system or discharged into the environment through a dry cooling tower.

Immersion cooling of ASIC

Summer is the exact time of the year when it is much more profitable for miners to switch to immersion cooling and “fix” them in a homogeneous environment, which is free from climatic changes, uneven supply air temperature and organization of corridors. There are at least five reasons to do this:

1. The possibility of overclocking equipment up to 40%. Miners can only dream of overclocking their equipment in summer. Immersion cooling allows not only to effectively and evenly remove heat from all elements of the equipment, but also to overclock the ASIC and get the maximum hashrate. The microclimate inside of BiXBiT cells remains constant regardless of the ambient and the room temperatures as well as of their fluctuations.

2. Protection from overheating. The monitoring and control systems of BiXBiT installations prevent overheating and equipment failure. Automatic systems are installed that receive data from temperature sensors regularly. They can turn off either individual cells, or emergency shut down the entire rack. This increases the equipment lifespan by about 2 times.

3. 100% protection against dust, debris and small insects. Almost complete lack of noise. The cells are isolated from the external environment and typical summer “sores” disappear when using immersion cooling.

4. You can submerge old equipment. Before submerging, after you thoroughly cleaned your ASICs once, you can forget about this procedure for years. By the way, our calculations show that even if taking into account the cost of buying immersion baths, mining with old equipment currently is still more profitable than buying new ASIC models. On top of that, savings in man-hours and system administration also take place, as the expenses on farm maintenance are reduced by 75%.

5. Reduction of heat dissipation operating costs by 50%. You can forget about the "cold" and "hot" corridors, air preparation, air ducts, exhaust and air conditioning. Since air (one of the most inefficient coolants) is not used at all, so no manipulation with it is required. The only external element is a street dry cooling tower, which hungs outside and dissipate the heat. More detailed calculations on the comparison of air and immersion cooling systems for ASICs can be found in our presentation.

Thus, main advantages of the immersion cooling system are mostly noticeable in summer. You can forget about air preparation, unstable miners operation, constant cleaning, repairs and down times. But get an uninterrupted smooth work, stable temperature conditions, the absence of noise and dust, overclocked performance and savings on staff instead.

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