Immersion cooling for ASIC miners: What is it and how does it impact?
As you install more miners on your mining farm, you must be coming across the problem of machines producing intense heat. To combat this issue, miners mostly have two sets of options; immersion cooling and air cooling.
Immersion cooling has proven to be more efficient in comparison to air cooling, particularly if you have ASIC miners at a larger scale. Since it is a common solution to this problem, we would like to dissect it for you and bring everything it offers.
What is immersion cooling?
It’s commonly called liquid submersion cooling. As the name suggests, it incorporates submerging computational hardware in a dielectric coolant. Immersion cooling is a commonly used method to keep transformers cool. It is not readily used for IT components.
The dielectric liquid is not a good conductor of electricity, hence the ideal candidate for the job as it won’t create a hindrance to your operations.
Why should we shift from air cooling?
It is claimed by Engineered Fluids that with air cooling 40 % to 50 % of energy is consumed by the setup of the miner. Whereas the fans originally attached to the cryptocurrency mining machine use up to 5% of total power consumption.
Those opting for immersion cooling will be able to run their machines at a higher hash rate. It also reduces maintenance of the machine as dust does not build up the way it does with air cooling. The immersion fluid makes sure to cater to the dirt built up.
Moreover, immersion cooling also assists in containing the noise better than air cooling. Even though an air-cooling setup can offer possibilities to make it less noisy, immersion cooling is effortlessly quieter.
Who can go for an immersion solution?
It is important to bear in mind that immersion cooling setups are on the expensive end. While these setups are great for miners and can increase the life of a machine, they don’t come cheap. However, it is the ideal solution if a miner wants their machines to be durable and reliable.
To set up immersion cooling can cost you anywhere between hundreds to thousands of dollars. It is recommended that you invest your money wisely as it can also be complex to put together. The most basic setup is S9 in a tank attached to a radiator. This is the simplest immersion setup and would give you an overview of the experience and its pricing. As you would set it up on a larger scale, it’ll get more complex and expensive.
What you need for an immersion setup
As discussed earlier, this is an ideal option as it provides zero electrical conductivity and is a conductor of thermal energy. Other materials can be chosen, such as rubber. However, this part is one of the most expensive components in an immersion setup
A container that keeps ASIC miners and dielectric coolant retrained. This is made of aluminum, steel, or glass.
This helps the fluid transfer heat from one end to the other without contacting directly.
Water to the air heat exchanger
This assists in removing the heat from the liquid and venting it into the air.
This ensures the mobility of the dielectric coolant so it may flow through the system.
The dielectric fluid goes through the radiator which colds it before pumping it back to the ASIC miner(s).
The coolant is pumped into the heat exchanger which moves it to the water reservoir which would intake all the heat. The water then gets pumped to a dry cooler to get cool. The water is usually mixed with glycol as it is a good conductor of heat.
These components are found in an immersion cooling setup. Their variations can be altered according to the scale of your operation.
Before you begin with your setup and submerge your ASIC miners in the coolant, you would need to prepare your machines to ensure they are compatible with the liquid. You may need to purchase components or remove the thermal conductor attached to ASICs before submerging them. This is a precautionary measure and is not proven to be essential in this process.
It’s always better to remain risk-free.
However, you would definitely need to install specialized firmware and fan spoofers. As ASIC fans are not meant to be compatible with immersion solutions, submerging them in the liquid will alter their speed which directly impacts how miners function. If you decide to remove the fans, that may also cause malfunction. You’ll have to check if your miners require a spoofer of 4 or 6 pins, then you may replace it with the fans. Better than this solution would be installing an immersion-friendly available. Some manufacturers provide immersion cooling-specific components, however, most of the time your miner won’t remain within warranty.
To avoid electrical short circuits, it is recommended you do not excel 80% of your total electrical threshold. Moreover, technically mineral oil can be used and is safe for an immersion cooling setup. However, it can pose damage in the long hall, so it is recommended to remain clear of its usage.
An immersion solution is the best call if you want to enhance the life of your machines while also controlling heat and noise. It will make your ASICs efficient in their work. Single loop setups are ideal for a small operation, whereas a double loop is recommended for a large-scale setup.
We would urge you to give immersion cooling a try with a small setup before investing in it completely for your farm or fleet of miners.