Choosing a Mining Farm Facility: Location, Cooling, and Accessories
Hi there! This is the fourth article in the series where I share my experience with beginner miners. In the previous article, we discussed how to overclock a video card in order to increase its hash rate and reduce power consumption. This time, we will learn more about mining farm locations, electrical wiring, Internet connection quality, and cooling requirements.
Choosing a Facility
If you are an amateur miner and your farm has fewer than 20 rigs, you don’t need a special facility. What you do need, however, is quality wiring and at least 1.5 kW of power per rig. Generally, the permissible level of continuous consumption in apartments is up to 10 kW; for houses, it’s about 20 kW. In any case, be sure to consult an electrician. You can roughly determine your power capacity by looking at circuit breakers in the fuse box: in most cases, there is a three-phase breaker, and the maximum current is specified under the switch. To get the approximate allowable power, multiply this number by 3 and then by 220 V. For instance, if the label under the circuit breaker says C25, then 25 A × 3 × 220 V = 16,500 V⋅A. Basically, it means that we can count on some 15 kW.
When placing miners in industrial areas, pay attention to the voltage stability factor: computers are sensitive to voltage surges, which is why it’s a good idea to install a stabilizer before powering on the rigs. Powerful house appliances (such as fridges, microwaves, and high pressure washers) may cause freezing of network equipment, especially when the power grid is running at the top of its capacity.
If you are choosing an area to place your whole farm, factor in local electricity rates. Areas with large power plants tend to have lower rates. That is why large mining farms in China are usually situated in close proximity to hydroelectric power plants. The prices may also vary significantly for residential and business facilities, the latter being less cost-efficient.
Placing the Rigs
Professional miners usually use purpose-built racks (that look like cupboards), because they ensure the right airflow, as well as house power supply and communications. This option allows to place the rigs as close as possible to each other, but it’s quite expensive. Beginner miners can do without them; however, I would recommend following certain rules.
First of all, it is better not to place your rigs on the floor. The floor is where dust and moisture accumulate; besides, you may accidentally kick the rigs with your boot, so try to place the miners somewhere above the ground. That’s where IKEA comes in handy: IKEA LACK tables are a good find for the rigs, and if you want to place the computers on top of each other, consider either IVAR wooden shelves or steel FJÄLKINGE shelf units. My rigs are 800 x 400 x 240 — and they fit perfectly fine.
Configuring the Internet Connection
The quality of connection is more important for mining than its speed, as the amount of data transferred between the farm and the pool is insignificant. A high ping, however, may increase stale shares, which will cut down your earnings. Connection disruptions can also lead to downtime of all equipment, which may cost you a considerable amount of money. You most probably won’t need any advanced services like a dedicated IP address or an extra firewall. Today there are many ways to configure remote access without a dedicated IP, and most routers have a built-in firewall.