The age of cryptocurrencies is upon us. It’s the future and it’s time we start to embrace it for all its worth. Mining for these online cryptocurrencies takes power and lots of it. Especially if you have a 6 GPU mining rig.
In this post, I will show you how you can mine different cryptocurrencies using solar panels for free energy. The cost of electricity is one of the biggest factors in working out the profit you can make. With solar, you can take out this expense.
Table of Contents
- 1 Solar-Powered Bitcoin Mining
- 2 Off-Grid Pure Sine Wave Inverter – What does it do?
- 3 Solar Charge Controller
- 4 Where to get cheap car batteries for your solar setup?
- 5 The power draw of my mining rig?
- 6 How to mine Monero XMR?
Solar-Powered Bitcoin Mining
One of the easiest ways to get free power is to break the law and use your neighbor’s power. This will most likely result in you going to jail. It’s the same if you use power from your place of employment without permission is a big no-no.
The legal way is to install an Eco-Worthy solar panel kit.
These are a simple DIY solar kit designed to deliver cheap power to a deep cycle battery and then to the pure sine wave inverter to be used by your mining rig. I like that all the hard work in planning is done for you. All that is required is to plug it all together and go mine some bitcoin or another cryptocurrency.
There are a few different sized solar kits available starting from 100w and going all the way up to 1000w. There is also nothing stopping you from installing more solar panels as your budget allows.
This is a pure solar setup which means at night you won’t be generating any power only consuming it. I have noticed a trend to start using small domestic wind turbines which supplement the power generation during the day and night.
Bitcoin mining with solar and wind power
These solar and wind turbine kits are extremely simple to hook up and you don’t even need to hook them into the grid. You can be your own little power station generating free power for your solar and wind cryptocurrency mining machine.
This way if it is cloudy, at least the wind turbine will still be spinning and generating enough power for your crypto miner. I haven’t installed a wind turbine yet, but it is my next purchase so stay tuned for that review.
Off-Grid Pure Sine Wave Inverter – What does it do?
One of the most important features of any backup solar system is the Inverter. These convert the 12v battery power to a more user-friendly 110/120v AC power. This is where your computer or bitcoin mining rig will plug into.
The two features to look out for are the maximum power rating and the process it uses to convert DC power into AC power.
Some cheaper Solar inverters will use a process called modified sine waves. This is basically some very basic clipping of the DC circuit to simulate a sine wave.
The more expensive Pure Sinewave Inverters will use oscillating pulses via an IC circuit or a transistorized circuit with very fine clipping. These oscillators will run at the frequency of what is required for your electronic power eg 50Hz or 60Hz.
High-quality amplifiers are then used to boost this low voltage up to 120v.
The standard in the United States is 120V at 60Hz AC for electricity. However, due to power fluctuations, and voltage drop the average voltage is around 117 VAC.
Pure sine wave 1500w specifications.
- Output Volt: 100/110/120VAC
- Continuous Power: 1500W
- Surge Power: 3000W
- FREQUENCY: 60Hz
- Efficiency: >90%
- USB Output: 5V
- Input Range: 21-30VDC
- Working Input: 24VDC
- Fuse: 20A
- Low battery alarm: 21+0.5V
- Low battery shut down: 20+0.5V
- Over voltage shut down: 30.5+0.5V
- Overload shut down: 1800W over 10 seconds
- Overheating shut down: >75℃
- Over Thermal Protection: shut down the output
- Working Temperature: -10℃~+50℃
Solar Charge Controller
Now solar charge controllers are super important to make sure the correct voltage is being supplied to your batteries to keep the charge topped up. Without this charge controller, the voltage would fluctuate all over the place due to the solar panels providing a variable voltage.
Solar powered bitcoin mining needs the charge controller to deliver the excess solar voltage to the batteries at the correct voltage. Usually, 13.8v or 27.6 volts depending on which voltage you select.
45 Amp PWM Solar Charge Controller specs.
- Regulator with timer and light sensor
- maximum charging current: 45A
- maximum loading current: 45A
- Rated voltage: 12/24v
- temperature compensation: -4.7mv/cell· °C
- environment temperature:-20 °C ~ +50 °C
- working tacitly approved: charge off voltage 13.8v/27.6v (±0.2)
- load off voltage: 10.8v/21.6v (±0.2)
- load on voltage: 12V / 24V (±0.2)
How to wire up the solar charge controller.
The charge controller has 3 pairs of double terminals: Solar, Battery, and Load. You must connect your battery to terminals marked battery.
The load terminals are the appliance you want to run or in this case, it will be the inverter. Finally, Photovoltaic solar cells will be wired into the Solar terminals.
Where to get cheap car batteries for your solar setup?
Many people have had great success buy visiting mechanic workshops and asking for their old batteries they change out. They should be happy to give these to you for free or a small donation due to it saves them from dumping costs.
Don’t take any batteries that are deformed or have very low water levels as these cells are past the recovery stage.
Next, get yourself a good multi-stage battery charger. Most of these have a feature called regen or desulphation. This cycles a higher voltage into the battery like a sort of pulsating dc current, which removes the sulfate deposits from the plates and returns them to the battery acid.
Thus returning an old faulty car battery back to a working state, which we can use for our solar bitcoin mining project.
The power draw of my mining rig?
Now some of you will have massive multi GPU custom made mining rigs. I have seen some with 6 GPU pulling over 800 watts of power. Now, this is a serious power draw that is going to cost a fortune to run, but the tradeoff is mining cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Etherium, and Monero that will provide a steady income.
My crypto miner has 2x Vega 56 cards that pull around 165 watts each. So in total, my mining rig is about 350w total power draw, I have also reduced the power limit on each card to help with the max power draw.
These are currently the best power to hash ratio GPU cards out there at the moment. Its bigger brother is Vega 64 which is more powerful, higher-priced but also draws more power at up to around 200w.
I mainly mine Monero XMR with my rig and just bank them all. I refuse to sell as I think there is a lot of gains still to make in the price. Currently, Monero price is $65.66 (June 2020)
Costs of owning a crypto miner
The initial setup costs can be high. The sky is the limit. I’m comfortable with only my 2x XFX Vega 56 graphics cards. I may add more cards once the price of Monero goes up some more. The payback on my machine is less than a year, but I also have to factor in the price of the solar setup.
My Solar-powered bitcoin mining rig has the following parts–
- AMD VEGA Graphics Card. x1 or more depending on your budget. Or splash out and get 6 Vegas 56 8GB and rule the crypto world.
- Intel Celeron G1840 Processor. Cheap and reliable CPU
- 4GB DDR3 RAM Patriot. You don’t need a lot of PC ram.
- EVGA 1000w GQ Power Supply Unit. You will need a powerful quality PSU
- Asrock H81 Mother Board. Great value MB for adding multiple GPUs
- Mintcell powered Risers. As all your graphics cards won’t fit on the motherboard, you need these powered risers.
- Veddah Aluminium Mining Rig Frame. Standard computer cases trap heat and don’t have the room for multiple graphics cards.
- ATX Power Cable. On/Off push button. I Need to turn the cryptocurrency rig on and off.
- Storage – Samsung Evo 120GB SSD. A small SSD is fine for the operating system and mining software.
- Thermaltake 24 Dual Pin Power supply tie-in adaptor. If you use more than 1 power supply then you need this adaptor to turn on both power supplies at the same time.
Crypto Mining and Power price
The price of electricity has to be factored into your calculations. If your crypto miner uses 350 watts of power in an hour then is going to cost you the following
Power=Volts x Current
350 watts x 24 hours a day x 356 days a year = 8544kwh for 1 year. Your system may draw more or less depending on your current mining rig configuration.
If we break this down into price per KWH for the year we get:
- $0.1 x 8544 = $854
- $0.2 x 8544 = $1708
- $0.3 x 8544 = $2563
So as you can see as the more you pay for electricity increases the more this mining rig will cost you over the year. Some places in America have electricity as low as $0.1 per KW but on the other hand, some places in Australia have power costs up to $0.43 per KHW which is crazy high. Close to 4 times as much.
How to mine Monero XMR?
Monero (XMR) is now my crypto of choice to mine. It yields good results in a pool and it is at the early stages of development.
The best way to mine Monero XMR is with a GPU, these are now much faster than a CPU so you will get more bang for your buck.
Download and install the latest GPU drivers for either Nvidia or AMD graphics cards. Then install the mining software of choice. I use XMR-Stak-AMD for the Vega 56 card. All CPU and GPU XMR Stack releases can be found here.
XMR-Stak is now supporting CPU, AMD and NVIDIA GPUs in a unified miner.
Set up a Monero Wallet
Next, you need a place for your mined coins to be sent to. I use the MyMonero online wallet. Capture the address from the MyMonero wallet and input this into your XMR-Stack settings.
If joining a mining pool try and choose one nearest you. This will cut down and reduce the number of expired shares.
Input the XMR mining pool details like:
Example Mining Ports
Ledger Nano S Hardware Wallet
The Ledger Nano S Cryptocurrency hardware wallet, are the leaders in security for your precious crypto coins. It is the perfect storage device for our always-connected online world.
Ledger is constantly supporting new cryptocurrencies and at the time of writing supports the following: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, ZCash, Dash, Ripple XRP, Komodo, Ethereum Classic companion apps, and other Alt blockchain-based cryptocurrencies.
No one can steal your coins from the Ledger Nano S will prompt you each time you need to do a transfer. Also, the hardware firmware is scanned each time you plug it in to make sure it is not compromised.
I’m very excited about some new pre-mined cryptocurrencies like Ripples XRP. Since they cant be mined you have to purchase them from an exchange. Check out our How to Buy XRP in Australia guide.
What happens if I lose or my Ledger Nano S fails?
No worries just order another Ledger Nano S and use the recovery password you made when installing the original Nano. It will recover all your coins. So keep these password recovery words in a very safe place.
Problems I had setting up my Ledger Nano S
The main problem I had was not being able to install the Ripple (XRP) app on the Nano S. The simple fix was just to reboot the computer. The main app you will require is Ledger Live. This is a stand-alone app that works on your PC.
Your Ledger Nano S may need an update for the firmware to work before use so make sure that you do that.
If you cant run the app make sure to set it to run as Administrator.
The Nano s can only store around 4-5 cryptocurrencies at a time so if you have more you will have to constantly delete one or more of the apps on the Nano S to make room for new ones. Don’t worry your coins or tokens will still be there next time you re-install the old crypto apps.
Start Solar Mining
Crypto Mining can be a hobby or a full-time investment. It’s best to start small and work your way up. Being able to reduce your electricity cost is one way to be more profitable. But you will have to take into account the initial investment.
As an eco-responsible family, we are always looking to reduce our footprint. Even when we go camping we take a set of 120w folding solar panels to keep our fridge cold so the noisy generator can stay at home.
Solar panels have always been very reliable so a quality panel kit like these Eco-Worthy reviewed here should last 20 years+ Just remember to clean them with fresh water and a soft brush from time to time.
Happy mining, best of luck, and remember to HODL (Hold on for Dear Life)
I am a qualified Industrial Electrician for the past 20 years and I love to share my knowledge on home repair jobs.
I love fast toys like Motorcycles, Cars, Jetskis, and Boats so writing about them is easy.
To keeps costs down I do all my own mods, repairs, and servicing. These skills I want to share with everyone. DIY is a skill everyone can learn.