Watts? Volts? Amps? What does it all mean?
Hey guys! Today I want to discuss an important aspect of cryptocurrency mining, one that had me stumped for weeks trying to wrap my head. Electricity, and I don’t mean wiring my own circuits or anything like that. I mean how to properly understand what voltage, phases, and watts mean to you as a miner. DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A LICENSED ELECTRICIAN. This is what i learned from my own experiences but you should always talk to a licensed electrician to be sure.
I really wanted this to be a simple guide, to help you navigate as a new miner trying to scale your operation.
When I first started searching for warehouses, I had a lot of trouble explaining to the landlord or real estate agent how much power I was looking for. The term 200 amp, 208v triple phase sounded alien to me and none of the electricians I spoke to could explain to me in simplified terms how much power that allowed me to use. So here’s what I learned:
1. How many watts can I use per hour?
To figure out how many watts you can use per hour you need to take your voltage, a typical home in USA will have 110-120v. Then you figure out how many amps you have, generally a apartment or house in USA will have 100 amp line.
From there the formula is Volt x Amp = Watts. 110 x 100 = 11,000 watts or 11 kw of power you can use per hour. Now for safety reasons you should NEVER use more then 70-80% of that number so in this case it would be 8,800 watts or 8.8kw. Now that you know how much electricity your place can handle you need to check:
2. How big are my Circuit Breakers?
Circuit breakers are those switches you see in your panel box that can turn the electricity on and off in an area of the house. Each one is connected to different outlets of your house, and have a certain amount of amps that it can handle.
-picture of my panel-
As you can see I have a bunch of different breakers here all labeled with how many amps it can handle. So a 20 amp circuit breaker can handle 110v x 20amp = 2200w or 2.2kw per hour. Don’t forget the 80% rule here so your looking at like 1760~ watt per hour you can pull out of the outlets on that breaker. So if your rig takes 125 watts x 6 1070s + 150w for the CPU & Motherboard together your rig eats 900~ watts a hour from an outlet, making it safe to plug into that circuit breaker depending on what else you run off that breaker in your house. If you tried to plug 2 of those rigs into the same circuit breaker it would trigger the breaker to shut off after a while and would be dangerous if you run two of them with anything else plugged in.
-Video of figuring out what each circuit breaker is connected to-