Discover the benefits and considerations of ASIC liquid cooling and immersion cooling for optimal temperature management of Antminer S19 ASIC miners.
As the demand for cryptocurrency mining continues to grow, ensuring optimal performance and temperature management of ASIC miners is crucial. Traditional air cooling methods may not always suffice, prompting miners to explore more advanced cooling solutions like ASIC liquid cooling and immersion cooling. In this blog, we will delve into the concepts, advantages, and considerations of both ASIC liquid cooling and immersion cooling, helping you make informed decisions for your mining operation.
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What is Liquid Cooling?
To lower the temperature of ASIC hardware components, liquid cooling circulates coolants through tubes. Radiators, fans, and water blocks all aid in circulating the liquid. The coolant frequently moves to the chips in order to absorb heat there. Referred to as “direct-to-chip liquid cooling”, this is considered one of the most efficient forms of liquid cooling.
For many years, liquid cooling has been a successful technique for small and medium data centers. It is typically designed for settings where each rack needs 10 to 15 kW (kilowatts) of power. Large data centers of today, however, sometimes need more than 100kW per rack. Liquid cooling is insufficient to meet the needs of operations like crypto mining and artificial intelligence given these power density requirements. Additionally, your heat concerns are even greater if you operate in hot regions like the Middle East or the southern United States.
Liquid Cooling Pros
- Easy to install: Most computing systems can be upgraded to include liquid cooling without significantly changing or retrofitting the hardware.
- Cost-effective: Liquid cooling is a less expensive option because it has fewer components than immersion cooling.
- Less space required: Server racks can be kept vertically in immersion cooling rather than horizontally.
Liquid Cooling Cons
- Meant for lower density operations: As compared to immersion cooling, liquid cooling is not as powerful.
- Only cools certain components: Liquid cooling reduces the system’s capacity by delivering coolants directly to chips and hardware rather than submerging the entire system.
What is Immersion Cooling?
Immersion cooling is exactly what it sounds like: To remove heat and increase efficiency, computing hardware is submerged in coolant. The entire system is submerged in non-conductive dielectric fluids instead of providing liquid or air to cool the components. The liquid is circulated by fans and pumps to a heat exchanger, which lowers the temperature. The system then pumps the chilled fluid back into the immersion tanks.
These fluids absorb the heat produced by the ASICs and disperse it through two possible methods depending on the type of dielectric fluid used:
- Single-phase: The system pumps the heated-up liquid to a heat exchanger — a device that transfers heat between two fluids. The exchanger then transfers the heat from the fluid to a cold water circuit and returns the coolant liquid to the bath, restarting the process.
- Two-phase: Other coolant fluids evaporate when they reach a specific temperature. In this method, when the coolant turns to a gaseous state, the gas rises, meets a condenser — used to turn a gaseous substance into a liquid form through cooling — and drips back into the pool. The heat is then released through the air by the condenser.
In both cases, the immersion liquids dissipate the heat from the bath, keeping the temperature of ASIC miners low in an effective and energy-efficient manner.
Immersion cooling is a relatively new technology, so not all data centers have implemented or tested it. Tanks, chillers, pumps, sensors, piping, and power modules are just a few examples of the expensive equipment that is needed. Your data operation must go all in if you want to experiment with immersion cooling.
But that’s about to change: In 2030, the immersion cooling market is predicted to increase to $1.01 billion USD. Many large data centers are beginning to recognize the technology’s advantages due to its impressive energy and cost-saving potential.
Immersion Cooling Pros
- Energy Efficiency: Because less power is used during the cooling process, immersion cooling offers improved energy efficiency.
- Boosts profits: You will experience significantly lower operating costs and higher profits because immersion cooling significantly reduces your energy consumption.
- Easy to maintain: Because the server racks are positioned at waist level, technicians can more easily handle the hardware.
- Increases hardware lifespan: The system cannot become faulty as a result of dust, air pollutants, or other particles entering it. Additionally, the liquid lessens the mechanical and thermal strain on your hardware.
- Good for the environment: According to estimates, the carbon dioxide emissions from the cryptocurrency mining sector range between 22 and 22.9 million metric tons per year. (That exceeds the size of Sri Lanka!) Being an environmental leader and lowering your carbon footprint are both made possible by immersion cooling.
- Less noise: The operation of immersion cooling is almost completely fan-free. Employee communication is facilitated and working in your data center is made safer as a result.
Immersion Cooling Cons
- Upfront investment costs: Immersion cooling reduces your operating costs, but it comes at a high installation cost. If you want to calculate these costs and decide whether the financial investment is worthwhile, be sure to do so with the help of a professional.
- Complex design: For the best results when designing an immersion cooling system that meets your operational needs, it is best to work with a professional.
Is Immersion Cooling More Efficient Than Liquid Cooling?
Direct liquid cooling falls short when you compare the two techniques. Immersion cooling enables you to achieve the energy efficiency required to run a large-scale data center, even though direct liquid cooling is excellent for small and medium data centers.
For businesses that need extensive data resources, sustainability is of utmost importance. The winners will be the ones who stay one step ahead of the pack and implement clever strategies to lower their carbon emissions. Much more so than with direct liquid cooling, immersion cooling enables you to lower your overall electricity usage.
With immersion cooling, your return on investment will be higher. Because of its much higher power load capabilities, you’ll be able to significantly cut operating expenses while also boosting profitability.
Is Immersion Cooling the Future of Advanced Data Centres?
An emerging IT technique is immersion cooling. technology that will only continue to grow. New developments are required to keep businesses operating effectively as data centers demand enormous amounts of computing power. Immersion cooling technology will need to be specifically incorporated into computing designs for this change to take off. By doing this, businesses will be able to incorporate the cooling method into their systems without any difficulty.
ASIC liquid cooling and immersion cooling present advanced solutions for optimizing the cooling of ASIC miners. Each method offers distinct benefits and considerations. ASIC liquid cooling excels in efficient heat dissipation and potential overclocking, while immersion cooling stands out for exceptional cooling performance and energy efficiency. Miners should carefully evaluate their specific requirements, budget, and infrastructure capabilities before implementing either cooling solution. By harnessing the power of advanced cooling, miners can enhance the performance and longevity of their ASIC mining operations.