I would never force you to stare at the nakedness that is me. I wouldn’t want an audience that is heaving their cookies all over the place. 🙂 That’ being said, the high today is set to hit 82F here in sunny north Texas. My workers were crying with the song of their fans screaming in agony as they attempted to force already heated air past metal fins to cool the delicate silicon chips underneath. For the first time this year I had to create new profiles for the GPUs with reductions in core and power, for a reduction of almost 10% in hash power. Cards sitting in the low 80s Celsius is not cool, literally. I wish I had some shade!
Since I have a FLIR enabled cell phone, I try to use it to help me understand this tin can environment I’ve decided to stuff these electrical number munching devices into. What my perusing has shown me is that I will not survive the summer if I leave the Cointainer in direct sunlight. If it’s sunny, even if the temperatures only get into the 70s, temperatures inside the Cointainer skyrocket. The dark blue paint on 1/8″ thick Corten Steel just absorbs the suns energy and transforms the skin of the Cointainer into a 120F hot plate! I have also become acutely aware that the 1700CFM exhaust fan I bought is woefully inadequate for the job at hand. Currently my exhaust fan setup has become a massive bottleneck in my deployed setup.
Ultimately, I believe Cointainer 2.0 will be a buried affair with geothermal cooling systems put into place for sustainability. This also leaves me plenty of surface area on top of the buried Cointainers for solar and wind generating facilities. However, I don’t have the money or time for that right now. I’m operating on a shoe string budget and leveraging what credit I have left to make this work. I have to become creative and I think I have a solution.
Not Slim Shady, W I D E Shady
Solar shades have been used for a very long time. Some of the first were just simple palm fronds. People then knew of the power of the sun for one reason. Stay in it long enough and it can burn the living @#$@#$ out of you. (Ask me about that one time in the Dominican Republic with the band camp…) Today, science is able to explain that the sun emits radiation and that radiation comes in various forms. One of those is UV rays. If I can keep these pesky pew pews off my steel ammo can of hash power, I just might be able to keep all my little slaves… damn it I mean workers, a little happier. So, without further ado, introducing my solar shade rendering made in a totally legit copy of Sketchup.
I’m a CHEAP SOB
I had money at one point. Now it’s all gone. However I’m resourceful and still have a decent array of assets to cull from but I really like to try and keep my costs to the minimum if at all possible. This is one of the reason’s I’m such a big fan of DIY. Why pay a professional when I can do it half as well as they could have and in the process buy extra materials for my screw ups and spend five times more of my time than I thought it would take? Hey, at least I learned me something in the process right? Grammar intentional, I aren’t that stupid. 😀 Financial goal for this project is $500 USD and I expect it to take me up to a week to complete by myself.
Moar Science and pictures too!
I like pretty pictures. Pretty pictures make it easy for stupid people like me to understand things. While playing around with the FLIR, I came across a scene that perfectly explains why solar shade is the cheapest and most effective way to help keep an object cool on a sunny day. The FLIR imaging software can spot point temperatures so follow along in this series. It should be self explanatory when we are done viewing the three images.
The first picture shows the temperature of the steel shell of the container at just over 100 degrees. While hard to see, the second picture shows the steel shell at over 127 degrees Fahrenheit! This series of pictures was taken within a sixty second period several hours before the peak temp of 82F was to hit! The shade from the hood of the exhaust vent lowers the surface temperature by over 25 degrees Fahrenheit! Imagine the temperature effect to the Cointainer if it was entirely enveloped in the beautiful dark and cool embrace of shade! Another thing to note, the fan is currently running blowing hot air out. I would surmise that if I turned the fan off, the shaded area would be even cooler!
I can’t wait to deploy this solar shade to see the actual reduction in interior temps. When the inside of the Cointainer looks like the picture below, I stop writing posts like this one so that I can walk the 500′ to my air conditioned house. Yes, after the second paragraph, I abandoned my command console and retreated to fat boys paradise. Air conditioning set at 60F. 🙂 I had to restart a worker while I was here. The temps evidently overcame him with heat exhaustion. Luckily he’s not DOA. 😉