Energy and Electricity for Plebs — Plebucation for Bitcoiner’s #1 — Basics and Mining

We have to eat our Veges first

We start this series gaining an understanding of the very basics of Electrical Theory looking at Ohm’s Law, Power and AC and DC theory. Electrical theory can get very complicated very quickly, I try to keep the information simple and accessible without diving too far into the complex theory.

Ohm’s Law — One law to rule them all.

As complex as electrical theory can be, the absolute fundamental principles can be explained by an extremely simple formula knows as Ohm’s Law.

AC and DC systems.

There are 2 main types of electrical systems. Direct Current (DC) and Alternating Current (AC). It is common to come across DC within low voltage systems such as batteries, electronics and vehicles. Whereas AC is commonly used where there is a higher power demand such as our houses, machinery, transmission systems.

Figure 2. AC Pure Sine Wave — Source:http://techpeeks.blogspot.com/2012/01/introduction-to-ac-and-dc.html

Power

In the above examples of Ohm’s Law we saw a “load” represented by a resistance in ohms Ω. It is actually very uncommon to find a piece of electrical equipment represented by a resistance in ohms. It is more common to find electrical equipment represented by the power output (e.g a 2000W Toaster Oven, or a 3kVA Generator, or a 3250W ASIC miner).

Figure 1. Beer and power analogy

The formula for power?

To calculate the power for a DC electrical installation we can use the following simple formula.

What’s a Watt?

Watts are the base unit for real power. Watts are the real power doing the real work in our electrical apparatus. It is a rate of energy consumption. When we say rate, compare it to the speed when driving in your car e.g km/hour. A Watt is the rate at which we are consuming energy to do work. Watts is simply a unit we use to represent how many Joules (energy) we are consuming per second. But rather than get caught up in Joules, we use Watts to represent Joules/second. I stress this point as people often confuse the fact that Watts is indeed a rate at which energy is consumed. ASIC bitcoin miners, for example, are rated in Watts.

What’s a Kilowatt?

Just like the relationship between meters and kilometers is 1000m to 1km. The same is true for watt and a kilowatt. 1000W = 1kW. No brain-busters there.

What’s a Kilo-watt-hour?

A Kilo-Watt-Hour (kWh) is a measure of how much energy we have consumed. A kWh is the base unit by which most electrical utilities will charge for energy consumption.

Tie it all together.

How do we use what we have learned above in a practical sense?

  1. What is the power rating of the equipment?
  2. What is the required voltage supply of the equipment
  3. What is the voltage supply at my house?
  4. What is the current draw?
  5. What is the rating of my electrical installation at home?
  6. Am I likely to burn my house down? (joking….not joking)
Figure 3. Specs for the Antminer s19 Pro — source: https://miningstore.com.au/bitmain-antminer-s19-pro/
  1. We can see that the rating is 3250W.
  2. The equipment can operate with a voltage between 190–240V AC
  3. My supply voltage at home is 230V (Australian standard)
  4. What is the current draw? ………..Math time.

Going Big

What about if you want to run more than one miner? Now you really do need to call in the big guns, call in a sparky (Australian for electrician).

Conclusion

Hopefully this article was able to introduce you to some of the fundamentals of electricity and energy and how they relate to bitcoin.

Support this content

If you would like to make a contribution to help fund my work please consider a bitcoin donation to the following bitcoin address. Every sat is deeply appreciated and HODL’d with love.

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Daz Bea

Daz Bea

Investing, Hard Money, Bitcoin and Guitars.