A new white paper from Allied Control, a technology cooling solutions provider, surveys the current large-scale bitcoin mining ecosystem and explores the implications of current and future cooling technologies.
According to author Alex Kampl, Allied's vice president of engineering, there are significant deficiencies in how mining hardware is manufactured and deployed worldwide. As a result, investors already involved risk losing money and new ones may be dissuaded from taking part at all.
He told CoinDesk:
The ins and outs of a billion-dollar industry
Over the course of the paper's 30-odd pages, Kampl explores the designs of some of the world's large-scale mining operations and the implications of their cooling efforts.
This includes KnCMiner's 3MW facility in Sweden, which according to Kampl is in the process of expanding by another 9,000 square meters to reach a capacity of roughly 10MW.
With tens of thousands of fans running simultaneously, Kampl estimated that an airflow of 75 million cubic feet per minute (CFM) is required to adequately cool the facility.
Kampl also researched the MegaBigPower Company's 1.4MW mining facility in the United States, the owner of which was recently interviewed by CoinDesk.
Cooling concerns prompted the MegaBigPower team to invest in bigger air conditioning infrastructure, resulting in an average air flow of 150,000 CFM.
Yet the concern of providing sufficient airflow to a mine is only one part of the greater challenge of running a bitcoin operation. Instead, cooling is a multi-faceted process that fits into the broader challenges facing mine management teams.
Kampl writes in the paper:
Immersion cooling as a viable option for mines
For Kampl, a key solution lies in the use of immersion cooling. This negates the need to maintain fan systems prone to malfunction or breakdowns. Kampl argued that immersion cooling is actually more beneficial for miners compared to other computing needs in the private sector.
He told CoinDesk:
Addressing the argument that immersion cooling is too costly, even for investors with deeper pockets than the average miner, Kampl said: "The point of immersion is that it saves money."
Bitcoin mining ecosystem continues to evolve
Given the potential payoff for investing in mining operations, the environment for both large- and small-scale miners continues to grow – and complicate.
Earlier this week, KnCMiner announced that it will offer modified versions of its Jupiter line of mining products for those who don't want to wait for deliveries of KnCMiner's Neptune device.
DigitalBTC, an Australia-based company which was recently listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, signed a strategic supply deal this month with hardware manufacturer BitFury.
On the malware front, unsuspecting users of the Google Play Store found themselves the targets of mining software uploaders, a discovery made late last month by cybersecurity experts from Trend Micro.
Image credit: Computer server farm abstract via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.