Bitcoin mining uses a lot of energy to power the processors, which in turn generate a lot of heat. We also use a lot of energy to heat up our living and working environment. If only we could combine… oh, hang on.
The precise level of harm that bitcoin (BTC) [coin_price] mining exacts on the planet seems to be endlessly debated. Although pretty much everyone can agree there is a benefit in reducing the energy consumption required, whatever that may be. But if that isn’t an option, then there are other alternatives to increase the efficiency.
Canadian mining company Heatmine is based in Quebec where the majority of energy already comes from renewable sources. That didn’t stop it from trying to make the process even more environmentally friendly, by harvesting and re-using the waste heat.
The company’s first foray into heat recycling was in its own warehouse, using excess heat from its mining rigs to heat the water. As Quebec has a cold climate for about 10 months of the year, Heatmine developed this system to enable mining rigs to be deployed remotely, where heat is needed.
A recent pilot scheme entailed installing the Heatmine devices in a local greenhouse growing strawberries. Heating costs reduced by 75-100%, meaning the growers were able to compete with imported strawberries from warmer climes.
Heatmine is now taking applications from homes and businesses hoping to join the scheme. A Heatmine rig installed outside a house can heat several rooms and an outdoor swimming pool, according to its website. Or the company can install multiple units to cover a larger area. Each machine can provide 75,000 BTU per hour, which can heat an area up to 300 sq. m.
Heatmine plans to continue expansion through Canada, and also look at areas of the US which have cheap electricity and are generally cold.
While longer-term solutions to bitcoin’s energy consumption will have to evolve, this is one small way to offset some of the carbon footprint generated today.
What are your thoughts on repurposes mining heat, as well as Heatmine’s plans in Canada? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.