Episode 6

CRYPTO MINING
LIQUID COOLING SOLUTIONS

Since Bitcoin was launched in 2009, the cryptocurrency market has become increasingly attractive for investors and as a convenient method of paying for goods and services. Cryptocurrency, a type of digital currency, uses blockchain, a secure, unalterable, decentralised ledger that keeps track of transactions. The technology allows peer to peer transactions with no intermediary, such as a bank, which allows them to take place efficiently. Blockchain could also be used for transactions in a variety of industries, including finance, retail and real estate.

Cryptocurrency mining can be roughly divided into two segments: Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) mining and Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) mining. However, mining requires a high energy consumption, which is why reliable cooling solutions are essential for improving energy efficiency.

In this episode we focus on liquid cooling solutions for cryptocurrency mining, which is more efficient than traditional air cooling, especially at scale.

 

Liquid cooling can be used for direct to chip, as well as for immersion cooling, which involves submerging computer hardware into a dielectric fluid.

 

There are two types of fluids: single phase and two-phase coolants. Single phase coolants are water or synthetic-based and always remain in their liquid state and two-phase coolants boil and the rising vapour facilitates heat transfer.

 

The system is available as a single loop, double loop or condensation loop.

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SINGLE LOOP
SYSTEM

ADVANTAGES

  • Simpler system with less components;
    1 pump, 1 cooler, 1 loop

  • Better approach temperature with
    1 heat transfer process

  • More capable to meet fluid cooling temperatures in hotter ambient conditions 35°C / 95°F

NOTICE

  • Requires more dielectric fluid cost and management, having to account for the volume to fill the dry coolers, all the plumbing, and then managing all the fluid at the site

  • Must take precautions to manage tank, fluid balancing if pumps lose power with check valves and shut-in valves. 

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DOUBLE LOOP
SYSTEM

ADVANTAGES

  • Requires less dielectric fluid, contained to the tanks and therefore, less to purchase and manage inside the facility

  • Tanks are naturally balanced 

NOTICE

  • Worse approach temperatures with 2 heat transfer processes to meet desired temperature targets

  • More complex system: dielectric & water; 2 pumps, 2 coolers, 2 loops

  • Less capable to meet fluid cooling temperatures in hotter ambient conditions over 35°C/95°F

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CONDENSATION LOOP
SYSTEM

ADVANTAGES

  • Can remove more heat per the same space/volume as a 1 phase system

  • Dielectric fluid boils transforming into a vapor and is condensed back into a liquid not requiring any pumping of the cooling fluid

NOTICE

  • 2 Phase systems are more expensive than 1 phase systems due to fluid and tank costs

  • Tanks need to be pressurized to contain the vaporized dielectric fluid

  • Cooling requires a 15°C lower delta from the dielectric fluids boiling point for the vapor to condense back into a fluid.

INDEPENDENT MINERS

Independent miners are the heart of decentralisation for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Any computing miner connected to the network and processing the cryptography is part of the ecosystem. This guarantees that no single entity is capable of processing and validating over 51% of the transaction blocks, allowing for the potential overwriting of the Bitcoin protocol and counterfeiting the cryptocurrency. The amount of energy consumed by the Bitcoin network is determined by the hash rate: the price of the currency and the cost of electricity.

There are many practical reasons for independent mining farms to adopt liquid cooling, including higher rack densities,

pressure to reduce energy consumption and space constraints.

 

Turnkey solutions include complete mechanical liquid cooling systems, comprising a highly efficient heat exchanger, energy efficient fans and a reliable pump. Additional controls and options are available to improve the total efficiency of the system.

 

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These turnkey solutions are easily integrated in the cooling loop. They offer fluid and tank agnostics, work with all 1 phase dielectric fluids on the market and can be sized accordingly to provide your required cooling at desired duty. Furthermore, they can be connected to any tank size or design and provide the required fluid flow rate for keeping your mining hardware cool.

 

STRANDED ENERGY | CONTAINERIZED

Bitcoin mining strives for the cheapest energy, making stranded sources, such as flare gases, geothermal, and solar and wind power, the ideal solution. Stranded energy is converted to electricity on site and supports containerised immersion mining centres in remote areas.

 

Solutions for containerised mining can be configured as air cooled or liquid cooled systems. These cooling containers enable the integration of higher density applications, especially when using customised V-Bank or Dielectric Modular Air Coolers.

Complete turnkey solutions for liquid cooling containers are a flexible and scalable solution. These modular systems can be configured and optimised for duty based on ambient conditions with 1-4 fans. The highly efficient heat exchanger core is perfectly balanced with the compact and robust pumps, as well as controls and options.

 

Balancing the heat exchanger to the process fluids, available space and ambient conditions is crucial for ensuring that the system operates efficiently. Dry and adiabatic cooling solutions can be tailored and adapted to the pump and placed next to or on top of crypto mining containers.

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SITE LAYOUTS

The cryptocurrency market is expected to increase over the next few years, driven by distributed ledger technology and growth in venture capital investments. To accommodate this demand, large farms are on the rise around the world. They are densely packed with high tech equipment that run 24x7, 365 days a year. 

There are many practical reasons for adopting liquid cooling in these site layouts, including increasing mining densities, pressure to reduce energy consumption and maximise profit, space constraints in existing facilities, harsh IT environments and challenging ambient conditions.

Liquid cooling can be divided between direct to chip – also known as cold plate – and immersive cooling. There are two primary types of dielectric liquids, which are oil and water based. Depending on the properties of the fluid, they can be used in single or two-phase  applications. Both may be adapted as single loop or double loop systems.

Balancing the heat exchanger to the process fluids, rack designs and available space is crucial for ensuring that the system operates efficiently.

The approach for large duty scale heat exchanger (HX),
in terms of layout and thermal sizing, can differ depending on several factors, such as plot plan restrictions, compacting  multiple individual heat duties into one large duty, air intake into each HX, possible need to avoid hot air recirculation and installation preferences (a large array of  fans pre-tested and factory assembled, or site-erected with fewer fans and larger capacity steps).

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The different ways of adopting liquid cooling all need to be weighed against the characteristics of the fluids, the type of system, design, costs and available space. You need to consider the design as a whole and select the heat exchanger that is best suited to the  performance requirements and specifications. It is therefore recommended that you find a partner that can offer  an extensive portfolio, backed by quality and experience, and that can tailor the  coil or plate configuration to suit  your application. Finding the right solution brings peace of mind as it ensures that your system will run efficiently while having a positive impact on your total costs.

OUR SOLUTIONS FOR
CRYPTO MINING | LIQUID COOLING

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Condenser &
Dry 
Cooler

Adiabatic

Cooler

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Air Fin
Cooler

Dielectric Modular
Aircooler

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Gasketed Plate
Heat Exchanger

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Service

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Brazed Plate
Heat Exchanger

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Dielectric
Pump

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Shell & Tube
Heat Exchangers

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White Space Cooling

AIR BASED

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White Space Cooling

LIQUID BASED

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HEAT REJECTION

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HVAC

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UTILITY COOLING

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CRYPTO MINING