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Heating house with asic miners

empessah
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Just a though could it be done would it work and could it make you money. if the ltt team wants to heat Linus house with this idea it could be stupid funny to watch how it unfolds 

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Probably wont be efficient nor profitable, it is happinging in some cities in europe (i think iceland but i dont remember.

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5 minutes ago, empessah said:

Just a though could it be done would it work and could it make you money. if the ltt team wants to heat Linus house with this idea it could be stupid funny to watch how it unfolds 

The problem with using computers as heaters  is outside temperature is variable

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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could you do it? Yes you could. Would it be worth doing it with effective results (enough heat) probably not

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here's the thing. The energy you put in comes out the same amount one way or another

So to run both heating and mining, you're either doing inefficient heating or inefficient mining. 

Better off getting efficient solutions for heating because it uses a lot of energy

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Doing this effectively would be tricky. 


It'd likely only make economic sense if you have over-specified a system with a bunch of solar panels or you're in an area with cheap electricity. 

 

The cost per KWH appears to be ~13.3 cents in Vancouver. You'd basically need to figure out if the value of what is mined in 1KWH less 13.3 cents is cheaper than the cost of 1KWH heating with gas or a heatpump. 1KWH of heat from a heat pump would likely be something like 6.2 cents/hr. 

 

This also ignores capex costs. 

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#1 Yes of course you could do this

#2 It only makes sense when there's something that you want to heat up, ie it'd only work in very cold locations or for about half the year.

#3 Whether or not it would be "profitable" depends on a bunch of things. If the setup is profitable already, ie you make more money than you use in electricity, then you're basically just getting x Watts of heating for free. For large scale mining operations the cost of hardware is negligible(that's why they can gobble up every single 3080 ti in existence) compared to the cost of electricity. 

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It definitely works. Your PC is also constantly dumping heat in your room. How well it works depends on how much heat they put out, how many miners you put to work and how big your room is. In my tiny student room long gaming sessions could defnitely keep the room warm. Even now a good amount of heat comes out of my PC, but since the room is a lot bigger it's not as noticeable.

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So far, I have been using a ETH 10 head miner with Nvidia cards and it has done well. Have to open windows during the dead of winter as it gets 90 + if I dont.  Made $3K on top of what I paid out. This year will be less as they did a halving of the payouts. Still, cant bitch on free heat and elec for the pad.

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As noted, asic miners, as well as any electronics, do create heat. Thats pretty much only thing agreed to be valid in this thread.

 

Using any PC as space heater is more of meme than anything else. But thats not to say that using electronics as heating source is not a thing. Because it is a thing. Take Google's (and maybe others) datacenters as example. Those are cooled with water. Ocean water to be exact. But if they would be connected to local water-heating grid (in Finland, majority of urban area heating is done by water-heating which is heated in big factories burning oil or coal). the heat that currently is being dumped to ocean could be used to lower electricity costs and heating costs at the same time.

 

So yes, you could do this in single home too. But it would require much more than just one hot room. You would need to either transfer heat with water around the house (re: whole-room water cooling thingies) or place heat sources evenly across the house. Area of effectiveness for heat sources is key thing here. Even small electric radiator only covers the immedied area. And its effectiveness depends the size of the room, insulation of the room and how big differece there is between the desired in-room temp vs outside temp. So for example here north, desired room temp of 21C vs winter temps of -15C and below is much harder to do than something in southern countries with maybe 10-15C to 23C inside.

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If the machine is cheap it would work. 

 

I live in a house with electric radiators and in a cold climate.

 

But a thing you should consider is that my radiators have thermostats meaning they are not on at full blast all the time, for a miner to be effective as a heater it would also need a thermostat control to either turn it off or ramp it down when the desired room temperature is reached. Overheating the house is wasted energy. 

 

But at least in theory I could consider this to also make back some of the money I put in to heat my house (a thing I have to do anyway). But the miners would need to be in a size and shape to fit and be mounted on the wall under the windows to prevent cold drought from the inside surface of the window to give a comfortable climate inside when it's cold outside. 

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Extra credit if you use the cooling fans to power a generator, then you'd get electricity real cheap! 😉

 

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On 8/29/2021 at 2:08 AM, adarw said:

Probably wont be efficient nor profitable, it is happinging in some cities in europe (i think iceland but i dont remember.

An ASIC miner would have a 100% efficiency rating (AFUE to be more precise). Whether or not you think 100% efficiency is good or bad is up for debate. Compared to natural gas? It's pretty good, since those run at around 80% efficiency. Compared to a heat pump? ASIC mining would be pretty bad since a heat pump can get well above 100% efficiency (depending on outside temperature).

 

On 8/29/2021 at 2:08 AM, Bombastinator said:

The problem with using computers as heaters  is outside temperature is variable

I don't see why the outside temperature would matter at all. The computer will generate however much heat you want regardless of how cold it is outside. 

 

 

On 8/29/2021 at 2:57 AM, Jtalk4456 said:

here's the thing. The energy you put in comes out the same amount one way or another

So to run both heating and mining, you're either doing inefficient heating or inefficient mining. 

Better off getting efficient solutions for heating because it uses a lot of energy

That's not how it works. The heating would be 100% efficient (AFUE) regardless of whatever mining results you would get. It's not like you would have to trade heating efficiency or  mining efficiency. Both of those would be constant.

If what you mean is that the mining rate would fluctuate depending on how high temperature you wanted inside then you're correct, but the efficiency would be the same regardless.

Also, using mining for heat doesn't use THAT much energy. Again, it has 100% energy efficiency and a lot of heating systems are worse than that (burning wood, propane, natural gas, oil, etc).

 

 

 

I think heating your house with mining equipment has three major issues.

1) You would need A LOT of computer hardware to generate enough heat to heat a house. Let's say I wanted to heat my apartment with mining equipment. My apartment is about 950 square feet. The rule of thumb is that you need roughly 50 BTU per square feet of heating (obviously depends on where you live but I'm talking a moderately cold place, not Sweden or Hawaii). So I would need about 47,500 BTU to heat my apartment. That's roughly 14,000 Wh (one BTU is defined as 0.2931Wh).

So in order to heat my apartment I would need PC hardware that draws 14,000 watts.

An RTX 3080 tops out at around 320 watts of power consumption. It might be higher with overclocking, but if you are going to mine I think you would want at least decent efficiency so you might even undervolt it slightly. In any case, let's say 320 watts. 

14000 / 320 ) = ~43

Throw in some power usage for things like motherboards and CPUs and you might get it down to like 35 GPUs necessary to heat my apartment. My point is, you need A LOT of hardware to heat a small area.

 

2) Transporting the heat to different rooms. You probably don't want 10 computers in every room, so you'd have to somehow transfer the heat from the components to something like a water tank hooked up to radiators. This alone is a pretty challenging task that would require even more hardware similar to the "whole room water cooling" project (that ended very poorly).

 

3) Electrical heating (which this would be) is quite expensive to run. Even though the efficiency is good, the cost of electricity is very high compared to let's say gas. 

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30 minutes ago, Heliian said:

I imagine it would be quite noisy. 

Which part? If the things are water cooled, only pump would make noise. And like any pumps for major water-movement, those can be placed in room where it doesn't matter. There's always point of noise when making electricity, or by extend of it, heat. I have yet to see heater, electric or other, that doesn't make some kind of noise.

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People heat their entire house with 1 fireplace - depends how its ducted.

 

People still using ASIC miners?  The two I have are shelved lol

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52 minutes ago, LAwLz said:

An ASIC miner would have a 100% efficiency rating (AFUE to be more precise). Whether or not you think 100% efficiency is good or bad is up for debate. Compared to natural gas? It's pretty good, since those run at around 80% efficiency. Compared to a heat pump? ASIC mining would be pretty bad since a heat pump can get well above 100% efficiency (depending on outside temperature).

 

I don't see why the outside temperature would matter at all. The computer will generate however much heat you want regardless of how cold it is outside. 

 

 

That's not how it works. The heating would be 100% efficient (AFUE) regardless of whatever mining results you would get. It's not like you would have to trade heating efficiency or  mining efficiency. Both of those would be constant.

If what you mean is that the mining rate would fluctuate depending on how high temperature you wanted inside then you're correct, but the efficiency would be the same regardless.

Also, using mining for heat doesn't use THAT much energy. Again, it has 100% energy efficiency and a lot of heating systems are worse than that (burning wood, propane, natural gas, oil, etc).

 

 

 

I think heating your house with mining equipment has three major issues.

1) You would need A LOT of computer hardware to generate enough heat to heat a house. Let's say I wanted to heat my apartment with mining equipment. My apartment is about 950 square feet. The rule of thumb is that you need roughly 50 BTU per square feet of heating (obviously depends on where you live but I'm talking a moderately cold place, not Sweden or Hawaii). So I would need about 47,500 BTU to heat my apartment. That's roughly 14,000 Wh (one BTU is defined as 0.2931Wh).

So in order to heat my apartment I would need PC hardware that draws 14,000 watts.

An RTX 3080 tops out at around 320 watts of power consumption. It might be higher with overclocking, but if you are going to mine I think you would want at least decent efficiency so you might even undervolt it slightly. In any case, let's say 320 watts. 

14000 / 320 ) = ~43

Throw in some power usage for things like motherboards and CPUs and you might get it down to like 35 GPUs necessary to heat my apartment. My point is, you need A LOT of hardware to heat a small area.

 

2) Transporting the heat to different rooms. You probably don't want 10 computers in every room, so you'd have to somehow transfer the heat from the components to something like a water tank hooked up to radiators. This alone is a pretty challenging task that would require even more hardware similar to the "whole room water cooling" project (that ended very poorly).

 

3) Electrical heating (which this would be) is quite expensive to run. Even though the efficiency is good, the cost of electricity is very high compared to let's say gas. 

Because things have to be turned on or off to allow for different levels of heating.  Perhaps not a big deal if you’ve got say 100 miners to heat a house.  Those last few miners would only go on a few days a year though and might not get used at all some years.  Also if you’ve got say 10 miners per room the granularity goes from 1% to 10% even if you’ve got 100 miner but have 10 rooms. If it’s 20 miners in 4 rooms you’ve got 5 per room which makes for some rather chunky leveling and that 5th ASIC would rarely be used.  Mere on/off wouldn’t work. There would have to be complicated setup.  Also rooms aren’t the same size or have the same heat retention so numbers might range from 7 to 3 making things worse.   It would be a big mess.  Old school radiators did this with modularization. There would be different numbers of fins on a radiator per room.  In my house try vary between over 20, and 3 (for the entryway) the bathrooms usually have 5 or 6, but they’re still less than a third the count of the ones in the living room.

 

there’s also the point I did not treat made elsewhere that an electric heat pump (air conditioner which can run in reverse) is more efficient than a tape heater which is what an ASIC would be equivalent to.  The difference can be significant.  It’s significant enough that I made sure with my electric car to get one with a heat pump rather than a tape heater for the battery.  A car with a tape heater can lose 30% of its power on a cold night just keeping its battery safe where with a heat pump it’s a whole lot less.  Paid more to get it.

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9 hours ago, LAwLz said:

An ASIC miner would have a 100% efficiency rating (AFUE to be more precise). Whether or not you think 100% efficiency is good or bad is up for debate. Compared to natural gas? It's pretty good, since those run at around 80% efficiency. Compared to a heat pump? ASIC mining would be pretty bad since a heat pump can get well above 100% efficiency (depending on outside temperature). 

My assumption is he means cost efficient. This can be defined as cost per BTU or watt of heat produced AND/OR cost per unit of capacity. 

 

3000 BTUs (~1000W) might cost 6cents with natural gas. Similar cost for a heat pump. It'd be about 2x that for a space heater/ASIC             
A 1000W space heater costs something like $20. A 1000W ASIC set up might cost $1000. This is 50x.                  

 

For ROI to make sense (assume 5% capex costs) you'd need to have any mining produced to cover increased heating costs (so an extra 6cents/KW) and a $50/year capex cost. 

 

Figures are directional. 

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Sure, why wouldn't it work?  You'll probably be outside equilibrium (generating too much heat) for most of the year though.  In the summer you'd probably never want to add more heat indoors because then you're running HVAC to remove it.

 

(Where I live though natural gas is practically free so that's what we use for HVAC heating and hot water)

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13 hours ago, Tristerin said:

People heat their entire house with 1 fireplace - depends how its ducted.

 

People still using ASIC miners?  The two I have are shelved lol

Yeah, I agree that burning asics might produce more heat than running them. /s

 

Ignoring that wood and other burning materials produce much more heat than any running electronics. The ducting would need to be built for this purpose. This, unlike with PC cooling, is the perfect note about "hot air rising".
Just using fireplace you have smoke and hot air going through ducts. Without any push, it will find straight route upwards. So besides ducting that is above the source, any sideways movement will need fans that direct air sideways to different rooms.

 

In traditional Finnish house, there are two or three fireplaces in order to heat more than one-above-another style rooms.

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2 minutes ago, LogicalDrm said:

Yeah, I agree that burning asics might produce more heat than running them. /s

 

Ignoring that wood and other burning materials produce much more heat than any running electronics. The ducting would need to be built for this purpose. This, unlike with PC cooling, is the perfect note about "hot air rising".
Just using fireplace you have smoke and hot air going through ducts. Without any push, it will find straight route upwards. So besides ducting that is above the source, any sideways movement will need fans that direct air sideways to different rooms.

 

In traditional Finnish house, there are two or three fireplaces in order to heat more than one-above-another style rooms.

Fireplaces are often very carefully designed things. They don’t always work.  One example I remember is this guy who went off to play “bear grillis” in the Alaska wilderness in the 60’s long before bear grillis.  He built a hearth and fireplace for his log cabin but he didn’t do the math and the chimney was too wide.  It didn’t draw. Dude finally resorted to importing a wood burning stove and pushing out it’s (much smaller) stack next to the stone chimney he would up boarding up because it didn’t work. 

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24 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

Fireplaces are often very carefully designed things. They don’t always work.  One example I remember is this guy who went off to play “bear grillis” in the Alaska wilderness in the 60’s long before bear grillis.  He built a hearth and fireplace for his log cabin but he didn’t do the math and the chimney was too wide.  It didn’t draw. Dude finally resorted to importing a wood burning stove and pushing out it’s (much smaller) stack next to the stone chimney he would up boarding up because it didn’t work. 

There is more to fireplaces, in "technical" sense. How to gain and store most of the heat with least smoke and so on. But that's irrelevant for this discussion as asic miner is not effective enough for heat transfer just by air.

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On 8/28/2021 at 5:03 PM, empessah said:

Just a though could it be done would it work and could it make you money. if the ltt team wants to heat Linus house with this idea it could be stupid funny to watch how it unfolds 

In theory, yes--this can be done. All the power ASICs draw are lost as heat (if they were 100% efficient, then they would draw and emit no energy). However, house furnaces range from around 10 to 20 kW, so you'd need a lot of ASICs to match their power draw. If we considered the 1510-watt Antminer Z15, that would equate to around 6 or 13 units, costing USD $4075 each.

 

House furnaces have special electrical connections to supply that much power (a US power supply can only supply around 1600W), so the cost of all that invasive house rewiring, combined with the ludicrously high cost of the ASICs themselves, as well as the ducting needed to blow hot air around the entire house effectively, would make the endeavor quite a risky gamble that might take a bit to pay off.

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47 minutes ago, LogicalDrm said:

There is more to fireplaces, in "technical" sense. How to gain and store most of the heat with least smoke and so on. But that's irrelevant for this discussion as asic miner is not effective enough for heat transfer just by air.

One could design a device specifically to to this.  The issue is it would still be basically a tape heater.  Heat pump don’t make heat they just move it around.  Generally it’s a lot more efficient. It’s also the only even vaguely efficient way I know of to remove heat and make cold.   It’s what refrigerators and air conditioners use.  It’s not new tech.  A heater that mined wouldn’t be any LESS efficient than a regular tape heater.  Would cost a lot more and be a lot more complicated, but it wouldn’t be LESS efficient.  It’s just that it’s not super efficient to start with.

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Friend of mine has a 40KW Litecoin mine in the basement of his law offices, it provides heat in the winter for sure and is quite profitable for him. He's running some ASIC units, forget which.

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