A crypto YouTuber Drew Vosk has looked into the more environmentally friendly way to produce electricity for Bitcoin mining - solar panels - and has analyzed the numbers in a video published on January 18.
Calculating the numbers
Calculating the number of solar panels needed for a mining rig requires taking one's monthly electric consumption, dividing it by the peak sun hours, and multiplying the result by 1,000. The resulting number is then divided by the solar panel's power rating.
A formula for calculating the number of solar panels needed to mine Bitcoin. Source: VoskCoin
As an example, the Antminer S19 consumes 72 kWh per day, which is multiplied by 30 days to equal 2,160 kWh per month. Once this number has been calculated, it is divided by the number of peak sun hours in a month, for example, 156, which results in 13,84. When multiplied by 1,000, 13,846 watts are obtained.
Taking a standard 400-watt solar panel as an example, we can divide this number by 400, giving us 34.6. One mining rig requires 35 solar panels. Bitcoin mining requires 14 kWh of solar power to be profitable.
Vosk also emphasizes that the amount of energy one can get from the sun varies by location. This would not be feasible in London, United Kingdom, because nearly twice as many solar panels would be needed.
An Expensive Undertaking
In the United States, 15kWh of solar panels cost $31,191 (without tax breaks, $42,150). At $31,000, powering one Bitcoin miner 24/7 would not be an economical investment.
“At 10 cents per kWh, you could pay your electric company 10 years at current rates to operate this miner instead of setting up the solar panels. When you deal with solar energy, we’re talking years – not months, not weeks, definitely not days – as far as ROI, break-even,” Vosk said.
The YouTuber believes that "nothing is cooler than generating your own electricity" and that when it comes to crypto and mining in particular, “it’s a beautiful and powerful, indisputable thing when you throw the electric waste argument out the window.”
Is it Profitable?
The cost of setting up a solar power system for a farm of 10 mining units is approximately $258,000. About 10 years from now, the break-even point is estimated. For 25 mining units, a solar setup would cost $645,000, while for 50 units, $1,790,000 would be needed. Nonetheless, mining income would be approximately $29730 per month.
Although Vosk admits that solar-powered Bitcoin mining is unlikely to pay off for some time, he advises readers to "remember Bitcoin's low price - just hodl some coin, and things will go decently, and your number will dramatically decrease," as well as the fact that "all Bitcoin all-time highs have preceded a new Bitcoin halving."
South Australia has opened its first solar-powered Bitcoin mining plant, producing around five megawatts of electricity to reduce its carbon footprint. A report in March 2022 stated that AZ Hodl, also known as Peter Egyed, had installed an off-grid solar array to power his Bitcoin mining operation and that he expected a return within 36 months.