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China cracked down on its massive bitcoin industry in June, citing environmental and regulatory concerns. The decision accelerated an exodus of crypto miners heading to new and affordable nations such as Kazakhstan, Russia and Canada. Crypto miners are also moving their operations to energy-producing U.
The U. Whereas Chinese provinces were concerned that energy-guzzling bitcoin mining centers would undercut their climate goals, Texas has used incentives like generous demand response programs for large industrial and commercial customers to lure crypto miners to the Lone Star State. Under such programs, miners that offer to turn off their computers and curtail their energy consumption by at least kWh on days when energy demand peaks can expect to receive tens of thousands of dollars annually from the state.
Such arrangements can offset whatever business miners lose by turning off their computers and ease energy costs. The demand response programs serve as a magnet for bitcoin miners, said Katie Coleman, a Texas energy attorney and expert on the state's electricity market. It is a huge draw not only for bitcoin mining but for any energy-intensive industry. Those with the most powerful and fastest systems have the best chance of being rewarded with digital coin.
A single bitcoin transaction requires 1, kWh of electricity, about what an average U. That same transaction produces kilos of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the carbon footprint of 1. So how would bitcoin mining not affect their energy supply? In Kazakhstan, which draws half of its energy from coal and the rest from oil and gas, individual miners will have a larger carbon footprint than their Chinese peers because they do not use hydro, industry analysts say.
To what extent the crypto industry's changes and move out of China will ultimately grow or shrink its energy consumption and emissions remains unknown. Secondly, the amount of power required to power a miner increases as the temperature rises. At this temperature rise, you are wasting power in the form of heat, which means you are paying for power that is not being used for mining.
Europe has lower ratings for the same outlet. One thing to look out for is the power cord used to power the PSU. Due to the fact that many types of electronic equipment use an IEC C or IEC C that are rated for much lower than a miner PSU, manufacturers make power cords that have the right connector types on them, but the wire itself is not rated to handle the current needed for a PSU.
Power cord manufacturers always list this specification about their cords due to a wide disparity in current ratings required for different electronic equipment. The voltage range can be tricky. Make sure that you know what voltage configuration is available at your facility and that it matches the rating from the PSU manufacturer. Always choose the highest voltage you can that your miner and facility will accommodate.
Volts, Amps, Watts and How they Relate Understanding the difference between volts, amps and watts and how they relate is vital to creating a calibrated power system for your crypto farm. A good way to understand the difference between these is to envision electricity as water moving through a pipe. Amps are the amount of water that flows through the pipe. The pressure of that water would be the voltage. The amount of power that the water provides is the watts. A good analogy is a water power mill.
The amount of power it can generate is based on the amount of water and the rate at which that water is moving. To calculate watts, take volts x amps. It is important to know how to make this conversion because PSUs are always rated in watts, but circuit breakers are always rated in amps. When it comes time to set up your circuit breaker panels you will have to do these calculations to ensure proper rating and safety.
Voltage Configurations There are three main types of voltage configurations that are available: 3 phase, dual phase, and single phase. A miner will always run on single or dual phase. Facilities are always fed with 3 phase power. What are the differences between these and how do you get from 3 phase to dual phase or single phase? First, we must define what a phase is and how they interact with each other.
A phase in electricity is the relative displacement between electrical waves of the same frequency. This relative displacement of oscillating current s is in respect to each other. Above shows a single-phase AC voltage wave in green with a neutral in blue.
Like the waves found in water, electrical waves of different wavelengths travel at different strengths, which is where the terms single phase, dual phase, and three-phase power come from. Each of these systems of power is measured by their voltage, which is equivalent to water pressure. The other form of measurement is current, which is measured in amps and is the rate of flow, or how fast the amount of pressure is behind the electricity's desire to relocate, as well as its ability to move from one location to another.
The speed and manner of flow in the electrical current are both important and rely on each other. In a single or dual phase system, the electrical phases do not and cannot cancel each other out to create a zero-balanced load. Due to the manner in which they oscillate around each other, there is just no way for them to be able to generate a canceling effect to form a balanced load of energy.
In a three-phase power system, however, the three oscillating phases are able to cancel each other out to create a zero-balanced load with the two live wires canceling out the third. This third wire can act as a neutral by carrying back the excess current. Single phase power is the distribution of an alternating power current where all the voltages of the power system vary in unison. This phase of power is mostly found in the home and it supplies electricity for our heating, lighting, and household appliances.
The advantages of single-phase electricity are that it is not a complex configuration, the mechanical design is simple, and this type of electrical distribution is abundant and always available. As we saw in the previous image of the single-phase AC voltage wave, the disadvantage of using a single phase power system is that, because there is only one wave current in oscillation around a neutral line, the wave current does not and cannot cancel out even when the electrical input load is balanced.
Above shows a single phase AC voltage wave in green with a neutral in blue. Dual phase, or split phase, power is the least common power system of the three. However, it can still be found in some control systems. It is least commonly used because, although two wires are used with a neutral, they alternate together like two bike pedals around the neutral wire.
The power behind them may be slightly greater than that of a single phase, but the manner of propulsion has not changed and, like the single phase power system, the two phases still provide an inconsistent push forward. Above is a visual of dual phase waveforms with phase 1 in green, phase 2 in blue, and neutral is red. Three-phase power is the most powerful conductor of electricity of the three. It is used to distribute large amounts of electricity and is found in industrial businesses and electrical power grids.
These grids are used to transfer large amounts of power into homes and businesses worldwide. This makes such a massive power source usable in smaller, more manageable quantities and, therefore, more applicable in the homes in which they power. The neutral wire in a three-phase power system is used to provide a return path for the excess current. Above shows three phase voltage waveforms. Green is phase 1, red is phase 2 and blue is phase 3. The advantages of using three-phase is that the amount of conductor material required is less and the voltage is able to remain stable and regulated.
This is because, if you picture the different types of phases in terms of an oar propelling a boat through the water, a single oar provides an inconsistent push forward. This also holds true for the dual, or split phase power system where the two oars act together at the same time. The power behind them may be slightly greater than just the one oar, but the manner of propulsion has not changed and, like the single phase power system, the oars still provide an inconsistent push forward.
Each oar, or phase of electrical current, in the water is providing a push forward while the other two are above the water. Just as one oar, or phase of current emerges from the water, the next oar, or phase of current, enters. This is likened to what you would see on one of those big Casino riverboats that are continuously propelled with the rotating paddles located at the rear of the boat.
The continuous propulsion by the many oars provide a smoother and more stable and regulated stream of electrical current of energy from one location to another. Whereas, the canoe that is being propelled forward by one or two oars provide an inconsistent push forward and has a much slower movement from one location to another.
That said, it is still easy to create an imbalanced load if you are not plugging things in carefully. This is because the three-phase power system is essentially made up of three single phases that are shifted degrees from each other.
Above is a picture of an unbalanced system. Phase or line 3 has a higher load than the other two phases. Also, the loads that are plugged in have to be similar. You cannot plug in a watt light bulb and a watt motor into the different banks of plugins because the characteristics of their electrical current are not the same. The efficient power source of the three-phase system cannot be created from a single or dual-phase system.
These two, more manageable power sources, must be broken off from a three-phase system. Additionally, 3 phase power comes in two different forms, delta and wye. Delta power is three hot lines and ground. Wye power is 3 hot lines, a neutral, and a ground.
We recommend using wye power whenever possible. Beyond being easier to balance your load with a wye configuration, circuit breakers at the branch level are much cheaper as they only are required to breaker 1 hot line, vs 2 hot lines in a delta configuration. What power is typically available from my utility and what voltage should I use?
This is a question I get every day. What voltage will my power company give me and what is the best one to use? This is a pretty complex question. Power companies generate power at a main plant, whether it be coal, solar, wind or hydroelectric. This power is distributed via high voltage power lines over long distances to sub-stations.
Sub-stations are a collection of transformers and switchgear that route the power to residential and commercial buildings. A large facility may even have its own sub-station. The voltage at a sub-station will usually be between 12,V and 36,V. When power gets to a building, there is a transformer that drops the medium voltage down to a useable low voltage. This presents a problem for crypto farms. Even if the PSU could run on V, it requires a higher current to achieve the same wattage, which is problematic when it comes to price and size of circuit breakers in your power system.
This power configuration provides the highest efficiency and has the lowest circuit breakers costs in your main panel and the branch breakers in your PDUs. Major Components of a Crypto Mine When setting up a crypto mine it is important to understand all of the critical components that are used and their relationship to each other.
A complete power system starts with a mains transformer. This transformer is used to step the utility voltage from 12,V,V down to either V, V or V. After the main transformer, there is a main disconnect. This is a large switch that is used to cut all power off for maintenance or in an emergency. Not only is it a good idea to have a main disconnect, but it is also usually required to meet electrical codes in the USA and Canada.
After the main disconnect, the power is fed into a main circuit breaker panel. After the circuit breaker panel, the power is routed to PDUs. In summary, the major components of a crypto mine power system are the mains transformer, the main disconnect, a circuit breaker panel, a PDU, and a PSU. A transformer has 5 major specifications you need to consider. This is the voltage that is provided by the utility.
This is the voltage that will power your crypto mine. Power rating is expressed in kVA, kilo volt-amps. In an isolation transformer, the windings can be constructed as a step-up or step-down transformer to match the load in the power system for your crypto mine. Some advantages of using an isolation transformer are that it prevents the attached electronics from getting harmonics and spikes from the main input power.
There is no connection between the power lines and earth ground. With an isolation transformer, there is no danger in touching the live lines while the body is earth grounded. By connecting the electrical system ground to the neutral conductor on the transformer secondary output , it eliminates neutral-to-ground voltage and noise. This creates the cleanest possible power for your PSUs. An autotransformer is lighter in weight and smaller in size as it has fewer windings and a smaller core.
In addition to being lighter and smaller, an autotransformer is less expensive than an isolation transformer. The advantages listed above are for autotransformers with a voltage ratio up to , meaning the voltage drop is less than that ratio. Beyond this range, an isolation transformer is more economical. There is no isolation between the primary winding and the secondary winding. This means that the protection of the equipment is dependent on the electronics that are attached to the transformer.
Standard PSUs have enough protection built in to be powered by an autotransformer. The primary and secondary side of an autotransformer share a common end, if the neutral side of the primary voltage is not grounded, the secondary side will not be either. The disadvantage of this is if a failure of the transformer occurs it will result in the full input voltage being pushed to the output.
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