Bitcoin (BTC) mining is an energy-intensive operation. But if you do it well, it can be a lucrative one! One of the waste products of bitcoin mining is heat. In our Tip of the Month for November, we showed you how to get rid of the heat and how to keep your ASIC miners nice and cool. Instead of just dumping the heat outside, you can also decide to use the heat for something useful! This article will show you two innovative ways of using the waste heat of your bitcoin mining operation.
Warming your house while mining crypto
When your bitcoin miners or crypto miners are doing the hard work of finding the solution to a complicated mathematical problem, it produces heat. Usually, you’d want to get rid of this heat as quickly as possible so that your operation runs as efficiently as possible. But what if you could use this heat for something else?
According to the First Law of Thermodynamics, energy cannot be destroyed nor created. This means that energy is constant but can be transformed, basically what your bitcoin miner is doing when generating hash keys. Every watt of energy that goes into your rig also comes out. For example, let’s look at the iBeLink BM-N1. This rig consumes 2.400 watts, and thus it ultimately generates 2.400 watts of heat.
Theoretically speaking, you could use the heat that comes from these rigs to warm your house by water cooling the rigs and pumping this water around in a floor heating system, for example. By mining crypto, you would receive a reward, which is worth money of course, and at the same time warm your house saving on heating costs. Unfortunately, it isn’t as straightforward as it may sound.
For it to be profitable, you’ll have to consider multiple things. What kind of heating do you currently use? What are the electricity costs in your country? How big is your house? And, are you technically skilled? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself; after all, heating your home with crypto mining rigs is not very common and is more of an experiment. An example where it might work would be a semi off-grid cottage in a country with low electricity prices!
Using crypto heat to produce food
On a larger scale, there are already many projects that aim to leverage the heat that comes from crypto mining. Genesis Mining, a large mining company, recently started a pilot in Sweden to recycle this heat to warm up greenhouses. In the announcement, a comment can be read made by Andreas Johansson, a Senior Lecturer at the Luleå Technical University, which shows the complicated calculations that are part of this project. Nevertheless, Johansson is optimistic that it will work:
“For the cold climate in the north of Sweden, our calculations show that a 300 m2 greenhouse can easily be heated with a 550 kW container, even with outdoor temperatures reaching almost -30℃. But the potential is much bigger than that. The temperature difference over the greenhouse is in this calculation only 10 degrees since we assume a DC output temp of 35℃ and a GH temp of 25℃. If the DC output is increased to 55℃, then the GH area can be tripled to 900 m2.”
In short, crypto mining can be so much more than just crypto mining. Imagine a future where monetary transactions and other processes on the blockchain are facilitated by a decentralized crypto network, where banks are unnecessary and thus don’t need big offices anymore, and greenhouses produce sustainable food with the help of crypto miners. Can you imagine it?