Introducing Minerbase– the immersion cooling mining container that improves overclocking efficiency by 50%
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In June last year, we gave an estimate on idle miners in China in our article “China’s idle bitcoin miners may exceed 2 million units and ban lifting is not optimistic option”. At the time we believed that there would be a large number of idle miners due to the long construction cycle of foreign mining sites, high construction costs and complicated procedures to relocate abroad.
Over time miners have learned a few things about the procedures and site selection for overseas data center construction. However the reality is that not many of these data centers had sufficient power sources until now in 2022. The long construction cycle, high construction costs, high electricity prices, environmental fluctuations as well as the instability of policies in certain regions, remain major challenges for mining farm owners.
For completed data centers new challenges are also emerging. For instance Iran announced in June that the country had cut off the power supply to local mining companies due to supply constraints, and has yet to announce a time frame for power restoration. In July of 2022, Kazakhstan signed into law a bill that will tax crypto miners at a higher rate than everyone else. Such issues have increased the demand for data center site relocation, which has made traditional mining farm construction an inefficient and risky option.
In such a context, many data centers began to use mining container solutions to solve these problems. Compared to traditional data centers, mining containers have the most obvious advantage in cost saving. It saves on construction cycles, labor costs, and they are easy to relocate in terms of efficiency and cost.
In addition to construction costs, mining farm owners need to consider factors involved in site operation. Particularly the temperature, humidity and power sources. Aging electrical infrastructure, in many residential and business areas, has come under strain in recent years due to increased demand. Stability of the electricity supply has become a real issue, which affects the operation of nearby data centers. Moreover, high temperature remains one of the major reasons for failure of mining machines. Most of the safe and reliable energy sources are currently concentrated in North America, where cooling capacity and compliance have become key components for miners’ consideration.
In terms of cooling capacity, the liquid cooling solution is more advanced than the air cooling solution. Not to mention its advantages in overclocking, noise reduction, miner lifespan extension, and lower power consumption under fixed hashrate conditions.
The market currently has two types of liquid cooling solutions on offer: cabinet cooling units and water-cooled split containers. Among them cabinet cooling units are constrained by the technology and can host only 8–10 mining rigs. On top of that, this solution is generally not equipped with cooling systems and mining farm owners have had to configure on their own.
The water-cooled split containers are generally more expensive and not as cost-effective in terms of the individual miner hosting price. As an example would be a product offered by Company A, its retail price is $110,000 and it can host 210 units of Antminer S19 Hydro. This model is not yet dominant in the market, with an average hosting cost of $523.80 per unit (not including logistics and other costs). Miners adopting these cooling solutions would have to set up expensive liquid cooled mining rigs. Additionally the containers and cooling towers would require separate transportation, resulting in double the logistics costs and a more complicated installation process.
On July 26, Minerbase announced its latest liquid cooling container — Minerbase LN20. It’s priced at $85,800; weighs 7.8 tons and it measures 12,000 mm x 2,400 mm x 2,800 mm (W*D*H). This model supports air cooling and liquid cooling. Its hosting capacity is 240 miner units. The high hosting space results in a lower hosting cost per unit, as low as $357.50 per unit (not including logistics and other cost factors). Miners that employ traditional air cooling can be put to use by removing their fans and submerging them in the liquid tank inside Minerbase LN20 (a fan simulator is required), without the need to purchase additional liquid-cooled mining rigs.
Unlike other liquid cooling solutions on the market, Minerbase provides a customized contra-flow closed cooling tower technology. This technology enhances the cooling efficiency and enables high-temperature medium cooling and double-cycle cooling modes (a combination of air cooling and liquid cooling). The contra-flow closed cooling tower is extremely energy efficient, given that the maximum evaporation rate of circulating water can be maintained at approximately 0.5%. Compared to fan cooling and traditional open cooling towers, Minerbase’s submerged liquid cooling system provides better heat dissipation and is more adaptable to different environmental scenarios such as high temperature and high humidity.
Better cooling technology provides a better overclocking environment for mining rigs, allowing them to operate in a stable manner. With a lower junction temperature, they consume less power. Take Antminer S19 Pro (110TH/s) for example, by comparing its revenue in the liquid cooled mining container to an air cooled container, the data in the table below shows that the power consumption rate for liquid cooled containers is 12.4% lower at standard frequency. This is equivalent to 12.4% higher revenue when using the liquid cooling solution. When the overclocking ratio is 37%, the energy consumption ratio is equal to air cooling, which is equivalent to 37% higher revenue. 50% upper-limited overlocking is supported (the mining output is affected by the hashrate and network mining difficulty and the above statistics are provided as reference only).
Note: The test data originates from machines with the best overclocking performance. The maximum overclocking ratio depends on the overclocking performance of the machine itself.
Minerbase works perfectly with the Antminer S19 series, L7 series, and other mainstream miners. It has a highly modular design that provides users with an integrated and one-stop installation management, helping to improve scalability of the data center. In terms of logistics costs, the size of this container is 40-foot which is more advantageous than the 20-foot length of other similar products.
In addition to the liquid cooling version, Minerbase has also designed lower-cost air cooling containers that include Minerbase AN20 and AE20 (for the US and European markets respectively). Options on UL, CE, CSA electrical standards help meet the compliance needs of different regions. Due to the different cooling methods, their production lead times and hosting costs may vary. Despite varying pricing, all models remain cost effective. The average hosting price for AN20 is $110 per unit and that of AE20 is as low as $78.
Kirk Yu, Head of Sales at Minerbase, said “we have designed our product to a very high standard, making it difficult for competitors to copy. We released the product only after establishing absolute industry leading features. Some of our customers have already deployed Minerbase and provided us with very satisfactory test results and positive feedback, which makes us more confident about Minerbase’s market prospects.”
Overall, Minerbase’s cost performance, excellent cooling performance, stable overclocking and highly modular design provide miners with more options when facing problems in site construction and operation. It solves the dilemma of using liquid cooling containers for data center optimization and cost effectiveness. It even challenges air cooling as the dominant operation method in the market, reducing the frequency of device failures caused by overheating. I believe the market will provide the answer to the question of how the Minerbase LN20, AN20 and AE20 series perform.
Miners who adopt the latest innovations will always get a head start over their competition and help further develop the whole industry. Like the 16nm chip which evolved to the 7nm and then 5nm; data centers are evolving from traditional construction to containers. This is the same trend with air cooling to liquid cooling. Innovations like these will always make mining more and more efficient.
The Minerbase team is a leading provider in data center and software technology services. With 160 global employees from Tencent, Huawei, Alibaba, Bitmain and other leading tech companies, Minerbase team has accumulated rich experience in software and hardware technologies while holding a number of core technology patents in the field of container data centers. In July 2022, the Minerbase LN20, AN20 and AE20 data center products were released.
Remark: This article is sponsored by Minerbase and does not represent the views of Wu-Talk.