What is wrong with this Picture? or: Why that Thai Bitcoin Mine went up in Smoke.
I'm sure by now, everyone has heard of that Bitcoin mine in Thailand which went up in a puff of smoke on October 14th that didn't have a dime of insurance to cover it.
The 5MW facility housed thousands of miners, with at least reportedly at least $2M from Spondoolies alone.
According to sources, the miners continued to run as the building was ablaze, each failing one-by-one like popcorn kernels in a microwave.
Upon hearing the news, the Bitcoin community was eager to pounce on the group that ran the mine, CowboyMiner, blaming them for their misfortune. Here are some comments from Coindesk:
"Arson" my ass! "No short circuits" my ass! That is a tremendous fire load stacked way too close together.
The build quality of this "rig" looks very familiar. A glance around eBay will reveal any number of no-name electronic products direct from China with a strong impression of quality.
Welcome to the data centre of the future. We don't need no stinking 19" racks or triple levels of physical security. A garden shed with a bloody great fan bolted to the side will do just fine.
Tough crowd, huh? But is the criticism justified or are people simply looking for a way to savor a drop in the network hashrate?
Unfortunately, it looks like there are some issues with the mine's design. The engineering firm that ASICSPACE is partnered with in the construction of it's new data center made the following comments when I showed them the above picture:
I'm no seasoned engineer, so I can't tell you to the extent to which these critiques are valid, but it looks like the engineering group is of the same opinion as the Coindesk peanut gallery.
Rumor has it that the entire facility was built for around $500k, while the miners stored in them were worth millions. With that much moolah sitting in one spot, I think I'd hire someone to stand there full time 24/7 with a fire extinguisher.
I guess you have to live and learn.
UPDATE: THIS IS WHAT OUR ENGINEER HAD TO SAY IN RESPONSE TO YOUR COMMENTS
"I noticed on some of the web traffic and Thailand mine-related dialogue that people were pointing out lack of electrical grounding system (Wow, all I can say is wow!
Smoked 2MM in gear – and a facility - instead of running 30k of wiring – wow!)
I also saw comments that the core issue appeared to be electrical in nature and not density/cooling-related. In actuality, they are always related. When conducting electrical engineering and system design, an important factor is the heat rating of the equipment, wiring, and accessories going into the electrical distribution system, along with the proposed operating temperature range. NEC code requires (for good reason!) that the hotter the operating environment, to higher the derating for the electrical distribution system.
Derating, in layman’s terms, means that you reduce how much power you actually run through an electrical distribution. The hotter the operating environment, the less electricity you are to actually run through the gear and wiring; regardless of its rated capacity. That’s because, for example: if you run 1,100 W through a conductor that is rated for 1,200 W with the wire at room temperature – you are fine; no over current condition is likely present. However, if you run 1,100 W through a conductor rated for 1,200 W with the wire at 130F, it may only be large enough to handle 800 W with derating for the high temperature condition.
The result is an ‘overheated’ or ‘overloaded’ wire that can melt down and, say, burn down a mining operation. In conclusion, electrical and temperature are always related and interconnected in any kind of data facility development. "
That is why – in ASICSPACE's design – we are accounting for high temperatures with appropriate sizing for derating factors, to maximize how much of the nominal power can actually be put into use, without threatening the safe operation of the miners.