cryptominers just blow hot air, water is cold.

andyalder
andyalder used Ask the Experts™
on
Do I need a water-water heat exchanger to run a shower off an Antminer S9-Aqua?

My hovel is currently heated by several crypto-miners but they all blow hot air out and do not provide hot water. If I get a water-cooled mining rig can I connect it directly to my hot water tank or do I need a heat exchanger?

I live in a hard water area. there is a lot of chalk in the tap water which makes it taste nice but tends to clog the pipes.
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Terry WoodsIT Guru
Most Valuable Expert 2011

Commented:
I think the correct model name is "Antminer S9-Hydro".

Looking at the device specifications on bitmain.com it says the maximum "Water inlet temperature, °C" is 55. Would you want to switch the miner off when the water was up to temperature?

I suspect there are some serious plumbing issues you'd need to consider before connecting it directly to a hot water tank, such as a sanitary issues (to prevent growth of legionnaire bacteria, from memory), and the problem of protecting from leaks in the case of temporary increases in pressure (eg water hammer from taps being switched off suddenly).

If you keep the water running through the antminer in a sealed system, then you wouldn't get chalk/lime build up, and you can get additives to prevent microbial growth. If you had a water tank connected to the antminer, you could run the cold water inlet pipe for your hot water system through a coil in the antminer tank to preheat the water before it comes into your hot water cylinder.

You'd need to balance it somehow so that the antminer tank was able to keep cool enough when you're not running your hot water though. The heat would need to able to dissipate enough to keep the water going in to the antminer below 55 degrees, even on a hot summers day.
Terry WoodsIT Guru
Most Valuable Expert 2011

Commented:
The power consumption of the antminer ranges from 1728W to 2031W apparently, so it's quite a lot of heat you're dealing with.
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
you need a heat exchanger you can't use tap water without conditioning it or you will clog the narrow pipes in your cpu cooler solution.

Not having any idea of your outside air temperature that you are heating to, I don't know 20C/68F how long does it take to warm things up so you are comfortable.  

You would want to heat X L/Gallons of water from the inlet temperature to 120F/60C, it is do-able but will take an extremely long time to heat the water. I'm guessing the temperature from the miner is what in the 60C range?
IT Guru
Most Valuable Expert 2011
Commented:
For a less complicated setup, maybe you just put a standard air-cooled antminer in a cupboard with a long coil of pipe that is essentially an extension of the cold water inlet pipe going into your hot water cylinder. You might still need a temperature activated fan to cool the cupboard when it gets too hot though.
Top Expert 2014

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Commented:
I hadn't thought of using a normal one in a hot cupboard, I have a S7 with old firmware so I can vary the hash rate / power usage. Rather than a coil of pipe I can use a radiator in reverse and pump water through a loop.

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