By now, everyone knows that one of the biggest crypto mining challenges is the incredible amount of power it requires. What’s less known is that a large amount of the consumed power has nothing to do with the mining itself. In fact, some have estimated that 40% to 50% of a mining setup’s total energy cost is spent cooling the equipment down and ensuring that it continues to work as intended.
In the past, most mining setups used air cooling, since they were easier to produce and maintain. Unfortunately, they aren’t very energy efficient, and they have a tough time keeping up with overclocked hardware. That’s why many miners today are opting for immersion cooling to keep their hardware at a more reasonable temperature, even under intense workloads.
To take advantage of immersion cooling, miners need compatible ASICs that can be submerged into special dielectric coolant. Heat from the ASIC unit is transferred through the coolant and onto a heat exchanger that passes it out of the tank and ultimately turns it into water vapor. Since the coolant is constantly circulated, it keeps the ASIC at a temperature where it can work uninterrupted. While this setup does have a higher setup cost, it allows the unit to work more efficiently, saving money in the long-term.
Asicverse’s CEO, Craig Caruth Jr., recently explained why many miners are moving toward immersion cooled rigs: “Immersion cooling allows for extensive overclocking without damaging the hardware. A few years ago, it was a crazy idea that was still in its early stages. But fast forward to today and we’re seeing companies like Riot putting hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of equipment into it.”
Caruth Jr.’s comments about Riot refer to that company’s recent plans to open a mining facility in Texas that will use immersion cooling technology for half of its total power usage. Over 45,000 ASIC miners will be used in that project. If successful, there will likely be a rush of other mining companies moving toward more efficient and profitable immersion cooling setups. In fact, some reports have already come out that indicate demand for the required dielectric coolant is going up.
While air cooling is still the primary method of keeping most miners’ ASIC units at a workable temperature, there’s every reason to believe that more and more miners will be moving toward immersion cooling in the future. When compared with the long range benefits, the higher upfront costs simply do not compare.