By Nicholas Brown – Follow me on Twitter.
The power consumption of Bitcoin miners is dependent on the type of miner used. ASIC miners are commonly used for Bitcoin mining operations due to their relatively high efficiency.
ASIC means ‘Application Specific Integrated Circuit’. ASIC miners such as the Antminers avoid the bloatware that come with Windows and similar desktop operating systems and just run the software required for mining.
All information provided on this page is provided with no guarantees. Use it at your own risk.
Further Reading: How Bitcoin Works
Antminer S9 Power Consumption – Power Consumption Of ASIC Bitcoin Miners
The Antminer S9 consumes 1,372 Watts for the 14 TH/s batch. 4 of them would consume 5,488 Watts.
Power consumption of 13.5 TH/s Bitcoin miners (Antminer S9): 1,323 Watts. 4 of them would consume 5,292 Watts.
Power consumption of 13 TH/s Bitcoin miners (Antminer S9): 1,274 Watts. 4 of them would consume 5096 watts.
Power consumption of 12.5 TH/s Bitcoin miners (Antminer S9): 1,225 Watts. 4 of them would consume 4,900 Watts.
Power consumption of 11.5 TH/s Bitcoin miners (Antminer S9): 1,127 Watts. 4 of them would consume 4,508 Watts.
Efficiency: 0.098 J/GH.
The energy usage figures above were measured using Bitmain’s own APW3 power supply unit, which operates at 93% efficiency at an ambient temperature of 25 °C. The expected discrepancy is +10%. [Source: Bitmain]
Antminer S9 Input Voltage: 11.6 to 13.0 Volts DC.
Some ASIC Bitcoin miners use other types of power supplies such as desktop computer PSUs. However, not all of those are suitable. The Antminer S9 is powered by 6-pin PCI Express (PCIe) power connectors, as shown below. Many GPUs share the same PCI Express power connector.
Antminer T9 Power Consumption – Power Consumption Of Bitcoin ASIC Miners
The Antminer T9 consumes 1,576 Watts using Bitmain’s APW3 PSU, which operates at 93% efficiency if the ambient air temperature is 25 °C. A variation of 5% is likely.
It’s power efficiency is 0.126J/GH, and its hash rate is 15.5 TH/s.
The operating voltage of the Antminer T9 can be between 11.6 and 13.0 Volts, and it uses the 6-pin PCIe connector as its sister, the Antminer S9.
Solar-Powered Bitcoin Miners: A Brief Look
To get a very rough estimate of how many solar panels would be required to power one 13 TH/s Antminer S9 in the U.S for 24 hours per day. (which factors in cloudy weather and night time).
You can multiply its average power consumption by 4 to determine the combined wattage of the panels required. This results in a 5,130 Watt solar array, or 19 270 Watt solar panels (24 volts).
The cost of such an array could add up to $5,605 USD (prices vary with store and by brand), costing $1.09 per Watt of the panels’ generation capacity.
It is also possible to build a 12 Volt array with a larger quantity of 100 Watt solar panels, but that might cost a little more per Watt. Bear in mind that this estimate includes only the solar panels, not the inverter, batteries, or charge controller.
12-Volt systems might be adaptable (with the help of voltage regulation) to power the Antminer S9 without an inverter, so a lot of money could be saved. This is because the Antminer S9 can operate between 11.6 and 13 volts. Solar charge controllers allow charging voltages to rise to 14.8 volts, which is too high.
Energy storage and charge controller information coming soon.
Hypothetical Ways To Augment ROI
I haven’t been able to test the following methods, but hope to one day.
Airflow Augmentation + Waste Heat Recovery: Computers in general are built with small fans that generate just about enough airflow to maintain acceptable chip temperatures. However, the rate at which those cooling systems expel heat into the air is minimal compared to what could be achieved.
This is why increased airflow tends to reduce chip temperatures. Greater airflow is also likely to increase the average amount of heat circulated into the room for heating per hour.
In other words, increasing airflow through an Antminer or other cryptocurrency mining rig will not only reduce the mining rig’s temperature, but it will heat your home more effectively. The use of cryptocurrency mining rigs as heaters has proven to be helpful in many cases.
This has the potential to provide homes with a substantial amount of supplementary heat, thereby reducing the required run time and fuel and energy usage of conventional gas-powered (and all other) heaters.
Airflow can be increased with the use of a powerful blower (centrifugal fan), which is especially useful for forcing air through small spaces such as heat sinks and electronics. If I tried this, I would start with a 90-Watt inline blower.
You wouldn’t want your miner to offset your winter savings by heating up your house, so it may be beneficial to set up a damper that enables you to switch between recirculation of the miners’ hot exhaust air through the house during winter, or you could just vent it outside during summer.