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Mining on solar
#1
Hi all. 

I have been mining altcoins for quite a while now. I have 3.9KW of solar power on the house but no battery storage, so I manually turn rigs on based on when I am generating extra power. I get this info via a Wattson meter that monitors incoming power and solar output. A few rigs stay on permanently and make a few pennies every day.

I'd like to know, from those of you who mine on solar, how you overcome the sudden switching off of the rig. If you're on batteries, then do you trigger the shutdown of the rigs when approaching low capacity?

Finally, I may build a new system to test things out using some 250W solar panels and build a battery powerwall later on. Any suggestions for hardware that is currently a good buy and efficient? If it helps, I'm based in the UK and any electrical work and setting up of computer hardware/software are no problem.

I read hbpowerwall's threads on solar mining and his setup looked impressive. 
@hbpowerwall - Do you still run that solar mining rig and what would you buy now if starting from scratch?

Thanks in advance.
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#2
With monitoring the voltage coming from the wattson, you could trigger the shutdown event of the computer. Either via script, or via simulating the pushing of the power button, like HBPowerwalls did on his.
If this was not fast enough, then it might be a good idea to have a small buffer of batteries. This could generally be a few lead acid batteries, utility batteries would probably do fine.

You don't mention how you power your rigs. Are you going from Solar -> InverterAC -> Computer PSU DC, or are you running Solar -> Buck converter DC -> DC-DC PSU's ???
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#3
Thanks for the reply Korishan.

Ah, I didn't explain that did I? I'm currently powering the rigs from the home mains supply and using grid-tied solar via a pretty decent Solar Edge inverter.

I'd like to do a new setup in a workshop with some more panels and a powerwall, since my biggest concern would be to have a battery in the house where my family sleep. So just to clarify, I'm after a bit of help in how best to achieve that. PCs and graphics cards don't like to be shutdown by pulling the power so the batteries would help to fix that and maybe give me a bit more non-sunlight mining time too.

On my current home setup I was thinking of hooking up a solar detector to an Arduino or similar to tell me when the sun has been shining for, say, 10 minutes and then signalling a rig to turn on. The Wattson monitors load from the consumer unit and the generated solar (via clamps). It gives me a dashboard but I can't 'hook in' to that as it's web-based and uses Java to present the figures.

On the new setup I'd be looking at monitoring solar generation directly of course.
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#4
If you're going with a new setup, then I would say to replace as many of the PSU's with a DC-DC convertors. This will decrease the losses incurred from converting from DC->AC->DC. It's possible that the primary PSU "may" need to be a standard PSU, or get a 250W pico PSU. They don't cost that much more than a 120W unit. They run on 12VDC (I think up to 18VDC max).

I would recommend going with an ESP32/8266 or an STM32 to do the monitoring as it's a bit more robust, has more memory, faster processing, and the EPS's have wifi, so no need to use serial monitor. More I2C channels, and higher ADC (if you need that)

You can use the OpenEnergyMonitor project if you want to monitor AC (similar to the Wattson unit & uses a clamp sensor), and the same project could probably be worked to monitor DC as well. I mention this project as it's free open source and the community is pretty helpful on their site.

Having batteries will help drastically to keep your system from hard shutdowns. The MCU can tell all the units to shut down gracefully. Having WIFI with the ESP can help a lot here as you can send a network packet to command them shut down. Otherwise, you'd have to use a serial connection, or have the MCU trigger a relay(s) that's connected to your rig(s).
Proceed with caution. Knowledge is Power! Literally! Cool 
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#5
Is mining even worth it? I got out of mining Bitcoin a year or two before the bubble-crash. My reasons being:
* Bad economy competing against people who get energy @ 1/10 the rate from nearby hydro plants, or subsidized Chinese dirty coal power
* Bad economy competing against companies that design their own ASIC miners
* Bad economy buying "brand new, cutting edge" ASICs that are just discards of ASIC builders/operators
* Hardware becomes unprofitable and worthless trash after just a year or two
* Bad for carbon footprint
* Unstable Crypto exchange vs hard currency
* Utility of Crypto not as promising as initially thought
* Major use in tax avoidance and crimes - regulations and enforcement are catching on, many countries banning them outright

So now I just sell back excess power to the grid. No risk, no effort, no noise, no headache, and monthly pocket money - better to invest that in stocks. Also the warm fuzzy feeling that you're helping go carbon neutral.
And I'm slowly but surely switching everything to electric, starting with heating and EV. Use more of my electricity myself - and not paying taxes on fuel that I don't buy!
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#6
Wink 
Thanks Korishan, great help. I was looking at the ESP32 so I'm glad you mentioned that. Suggestions on reliable and efficient brands of DC to DC converters would be appreciated. I'll take another look at OpenEnergyMonitor but maybe the ESP would do what I need. I do like graphs though... Big Grin

@ajw22 - Well, mining can still bring in a few dollars a day and it's a long-term investment. I'm mining with GPUs/CPUs not ASICS since they are more adaptable, quieter and have better resale value. At today's prices, you have to believe in Crypto and/or the need for decentralized banking of course and you won't 'get rich quick'. I agree with many of your points. It's not bad for the carbon footprint if done on free solar and the mining heat is used, although putting back into the grid would be more ethical. It's a shame the export tariff isn't prorated anywhere near the same price as the import tariff where I live though.

Crypto, in particular BTC, is proving more stable than stocks at the moment, but there's still an uphill battle for acceptance as a method of payment.
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#7
I still think the best thing to do is folding/distributed computing, now especially against COVID-19. And you can get gridcoin whilst helping! Win/Win
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#8
Cryptocoin mining is really hard to mine nowadays. When Bitcoin was first launched in the year 2009, it was easy to mine BTC using a simple GPU or a CPU.
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#9
'd like to know, from those of you who mine on solar, how you overcome the sudden switching off of the rig. If you're on batteries, then do you trigger the shutdown of the rigs when approaching low capacity https://cryptograph.life/reviews/exchang...gistraciya ?
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#10
The .cn gov. has been mining for many years I was told at a briefing that they account for 80-90% of coins mined. We know from them purchasing GPUs by the ton Smile

As far as knowing about the low voltage, I have used UPS ( oh they need bats. again ) and trigger scripts to shutdown gracefully on many OSs.
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