Getting started with mining is a daunting task especially when faced with considerations of electricity costs, power distribution, heat management, noise management, and mining pool selection to name a few. Of these considerations, electrical power distribution is the most dangerous and least understood.
We hope to provide anyone who wants to mine at home with the electrical knowledge required to get started as quickly and as safely as possible.
This guide is organized into two sections.
Section #1: Quick Start Guide includes a recommendation for the electrical setup and covers the basic checks required for getting miners up and running.
Section #2: Frequently Asked Questions include answers to common questions, such as "What are the benefits of PDUs?". Sneak Peak: Real-time mining rewards displayed on a SynLink PDU (Learn More)
If you have the choice, we recommend mining on 20A or 30A rated, 240V circuits with matching receptacles. If you don't have this available and installing circuits isn't an option, don't worry! Some ASIC miners can run on 120V, which is standard for most homes in North America (FAQ Q3: Can I mine on a standard 120V wall outlet?).
Our preferred setup is 240V/20A circuits. This setup requires double-pole circuit breakers (20A rated), 12 AWG wires, and duplex outlets with NEMA 6-20R receptacles.
Duplex NEMA 6-20R
If the panel is short on space, go with 240V/30A circuits. This setup requires double-pole circuit breakers (30A rated), 10 AWG wires, L6-30R receptacles, and UL listed PDUs equipped with L6-30P plugs (FAQ Q8: Why are PDUs necessary for 30A+ circuits?).
NEMA L6-30R (Twist Lock)
The tradeoffs between 20A or 30A circuits are further discussed in FAQ Q4.
Whether you go with our recommendations or not, the following quick start guide will help you make sure each component in your electrical setup will be operating within safe limits. We will walk through examples and point out considerations that need to be made along the way.
Work in terms of current (amps) when planning installation of new miners. This simplifies capacity planning because all circuit breakers, electrical wire, outlet receptacles, power distribution units, and power cords are rated in amps.
Start by referencing the user manual for your ASIC miner to find the maximum power consumption in Watts. Then convert Watts to Amps to calculate the worst case current demand. The Watts to Amps conversion depends on the Voltage supplied to the miner.
Current (Amps) = Power (Watts) / Voltage (Volts)
The most common residential voltages in North America are ~120V and ~240V (FAQ Q2: What is the difference between 110V, 115V, 120V, 220V, 230V, 240V?). A miner consuming 1200W will draw 10A on 120V and only 5A on 240V. Higher voltages can provide the same power with less current, allowing more miners to be powered on the same circuit.
Note, some new gen miners require two power inputs. The current draw is shared across the two inputs. For example, if the total current demand of a dual input miner is 14A, each input will only draw approximately 7A of current.
Antminer Specs Link : Click on your miner and search "Power consumption" or "power on wall" to get the max watts.
This overly simplistic watermill analogy has many technical issues but is a good starting point for a basic understanding.
Power (Watts) = Current (Amps) * Voltage (Volts)
If we wanted to use this water wheel to power an ASIC miner, the wheels needs to spin at a constant rotational speed to keep the miner turned on. To achieve a certain speed we have two options.
Method #1: Increase the water pressure (voltage) on the wheel. This can be done by elevating the water spout, leveraging gravity.
Method #2: Increase the amount of water (current) flowing on to the wheel.
Both methods achieve the same effect of increasing the rotational speed (power) of the wheel. In electrical terms, it is better to run higher voltages to reduce current. Lower current allows for smaller wires, more capacity for more miners with existing infrastructure, and increased power supply efficiency.
You will often see these values being used to describe voltages in your home. We can categorize these into two groups...
The voltages in the same groups can be and are often used interchangeably. North American residential homes typically have "split-phase" electrical service from the transformer on the street. For split-phase service, the voltage measured from any "hot" wire to neutral (ground) is ~120V. The voltage measured from one hot wire to another hot wire on a different phase is ~240V.
The voltages are not constant and varies depending on a number of factors such as the number of loads connected, the time of day, etc. For example, if you were to measure the voltage at the input of an ASIC miner connected to a 240V outlet, there's a small chance you will see exactly 240V. This is not a problem because the ASIC miner power supplies are designed to support a wide range of voltages.
Standard wall outlets (NEMA 5-15R) can be used if the ASIC miner's power supply supports 120V and the current demand is below 12A.
Power supply ratings are printed on the nameplate/label.
Example power supply nameplates:
120V Supported (Input: 100-140VAC and 200-240VAC)
120V NOT supported (Input: 200-240VAC only)
Pro Tip: If the miner consumes over 12A, configure the miner's firmware to set max power thresholds to reduce the current demand.
Caution: If using a standard wall outlet, is especially important to follow the steps in this guide since the electrical current is doubled at 120V compared to 240V.
It depends on a number of factors and there is no right answer. Some considerations you might make include how many miners you plan on running, the current demand from each miner, the total current demand from all miners, the proximity of the miners to the breaker panel, ability to leverage existing infrastructure, and overall system cost.
In general, 20A circuits are recommended when panel space isn't an issue for the amount of power needed.
Pros and cons for each w.r.t. home mining:
It is not recommended but if you still choose to do this, use a UL Listed PDU with built-in branch circuit breakers for reasons explained in FAQ Q8. Branch breakers should be UL Listed to UL-489.
In its simplest form, a PDU is a device that can safely distribute power from one or more sources to one or more devices. At Synaccess, we classify our PDUs into two categories: Basic Metered and SynLink Smart.
Basic Metered PDUs display real-time current consumption (amps) for each circuit on a built-in display and is accurate to 0.01A. These PDUs monitor current 24/7 and the display flashes to alert you when the 80% rule is exceeded on any circuit.
Metered PDU - 2x 20A circuits, 4x outlets/circuit
SynLink Smart PDUs provide the ultimate visibility and control of connected miners.
SynLink PDU - 20A circuit, 4x C13 outlets
Network connectivity and built-in sensors from the PDU input down to the individual outlet level enable the benefits further discussed below:
Mining Rewards on Display
Connect a SynLink PDU to your mining pool account and your mining rewards will update on the front panel LCD screen in real time. Reward amounts are shown in BTC and USD.
Expense Your Energy Bill
If reporting your home mining rewards as a business, you get the added benefit of writing off expenses like the portion of your home's energy bill used up by your miners.
SynLink PDUs monitor and report circuit-level energy consumption (KWH) for all connected miners. The information can be viewed on the PDU's self-hosted web application, SSH cli, or via HTTP REST API.
Auto-Detect and Recover Unresponsive Miners
SynLink PDUs detect when miners become unresponsive with a feature called AutoPing. AutoPing uses periodic network ping requests to determine when a miner becomes unresponsive. In the event that a ping request fails, the SynLink PDU can take immediate action, such as automatically power cycling the miner or sending an email alert.
Learn more about AutoPing - Device ad Network Monitor
Extra sensors can be attached to SynLink PDUs for temperature and humidity environment monitoring. Additionally, the PDUs can be configured to monitor user-defined thresholds and take immediate action like turning off miners when those thresholds are exceeded.
Email and Text Alerts
Custom email alerts can be configured to be sent from the PDU. Alerts can be triggered from user-defined events on power measurements taken by the PDU. These measurements include voltage rms (VAC), current rms (A), active power (W), apparent power (VA), power factor (PF), line frequency (Hz), energy (KWH), temperature, humidity, and more.
SMS text alerts are available in the new 4G/LTE cellular SynLink PDUs.
Overcurrent Detection and Protection
SynLink PDUs can be configured to detect, report, and act on overcurrent detections. Overcurrent conditions can be detected at the PDU-level, circuit-level, and individual outlet-levels.
Additionally, PDUs rated higher than 20A include at least two branch circuit breakers (UL-489).
Scheduling Outlets ON/OFF
Define custom schedules for turning on/off miners. Especially useful for time-of-use (TOU) energy billing. Turn off miners during on-peak hours when electricity costs are high.
And Much More
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about advanced features such as 4G/LTE connectivity, WiFi connectivity, 240V/120V Transformer PDUs, high-powered 80A single phase PDUs and more.
Surge protection is not required for mining but is always a good idea to protect your investment.
Surge protectors are designed to prevent high voltage spikes from reaching and damaging electrical equipment. Voltage surges can jump to the thousands of volts and can damage the internal electronics of your miners.
Surge protection is not common in PDUs because it is typically taken care of upstream. For example in an upstream UPS. For home miners we recommend installing a single "whole-home surge protector" at the breaker panel level instead of at the PDU/device level. With this solution a single device at the panel will provide protection for the entire home. Consult with an electrician to find a surge protector compatible with your panel.
Most of today's ASIC miner power supplies are designed with inputs rated at 20A max. Subsequently, all internal electronics and power cords attached to these power supplies are designed to handle 20A max. For this reason, it is essential to have an an overcurrent protection device (OCPD) that will trip the circuit when the current exceeds 20A. The OCPD prevents components from exceeding current ratings and causing a potential safety hazard.
For home mining, the OCPD can be provided by one of the two ways:
UL Listed PDUs rated higher than 20A are required to have an OCPD. Additionally, the UL standard requires the OCPD must be of a specific type; branch circuit breakers that meet the more stringent UL-489 standard. Avoid unlisted PDUs and any PDUs rated 30A+ that are equipped with lower quality UL-1077 "supplementary" circuit breakers.
All Synaccess 30A+ UL Listed PDUs include OCPD with built-in 20A UL-489 circuit breakers.
Our team has earned the trust of a deep customer base for remotely switched and energy monitoring applications. Check out our latest product catalog and learn how you can leverage over 20 years of experience in smart power distribution technology.
Electricity is dangerous. When in doubt, reach out for a free consultation at +1 619-209-8077. Normal business hours are M-F 8AM-5PM Pacific. Or reach out to us at email@example.com.