Posted on

Solar SHA3 – Mining Maxcoin with the Sun

Solar Mining Experiment shows Maxcoin to be Secure & Green, building blockchain sustainability

We have all heard the ongoing arguements recently between Bitcoin Maximalists and doubters when it comes to energy consumption regarding Bitcoin ‘mining’.  Energy consuming, noise polluting faming of the future has only made its debue, evolution and growth is the next phase.

asic farm
Photo of an Bitcoin ASIC mining farm

Some would argue that Bitcoin mining does not actually contribute to any extra demand of electricity, as miners and companies are using surplus available energy on the existing infastructure and thus converting what would be, wasted energy, into a permutable form of value.  Activists would argue that this approach actually continues and encourages the old, fossil fuel and nuclear system, one that the world needs to move away from.

Maxcoin has arrived with a solution.

Maxcoin has active community members spread between Telegram, Reddit, Twitter, Keybase, Discord etc.  Many people within these communities are the reasons why cryptocurrencies like Maxcoin and others exist and thrive.  These community members volunteer their technical know how and artistic flare to actively look for the next, new advancements.

One active Telegram user, Alex, who also runs a mining pool, has developed a working prototype of Solar powered FPGA Maxcoin Miner.

Alex, who is also launching a range of ready to run FPGAs, has assured me that to utilise one of these miners via solar only requires a basic knowledge electricity.

For the following experiment, he used the following:


5 part experiment 1 – CycloneV (5CEFA9F23C8N) test board

2 – USB-UART breakout board

3 – Quick made voltage regulator

4 – Odroid C1 ARM board with Ubuntu 16.04 minimal

5 – USB WiFi dongle

This system is then attached to a 80W solar panel (left). The miner is also connected to a retired car battery (right) to provide 24h mining.

solar panel front solar panel rear

As you can see on the pictures, the whole system consumes about 0.9A @ 12VDC when booted up and idles and about 1.5A @12VDC when hashing. Power consumption includes both boards, the miner and the host along with the cooling fan.

This test was performed on keccak algorithm mining MaxCoin. During this test, this mining setup worked non stop for more than 36 hours (all the way till to the first rain): on solar panel during the day and the car battery during night hours.

Taking provided numbers in the account, it is easy to calculate that such a setup will be successful with inexpensive car battery and 30W solar panel. Latest version of our miners however will require 50-60W solar panel hooked up to the battery to provide 24/7 mining.

As for the battery part, any typical car battery 56AH or more seems to work just perfect for such a setup (I’m thinking cheap Walmart type batteries under $50)

We fill like there’s a lot of room to improve performance of this mining setup which we hope to work on in the nearest future.

This is a fantastic step forward in the development and sustainability of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies, we can’t wait to see how this technology evolves and what other fantastic ideas come out of Maxcoin and its community.You can see a small video of the miner working here.