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Posted By Topic: 16000 watt shipping container domestic support

Dec 16 2017 10:16

Hi guys, i'm new to this forum but from the looks everyone is very helpful so it seems like the place for me to query.

I have a question, currently i'm getting into something called crypto-mining. I'm looking at building a custom setup inside a shipping container that will be placed outside the front of my house.

The rig that i'm building will have a constant draw of 16000 watts, i'm currently building up sketches of how i'm going to design it before going to an electrician if need be.

My question is from a domestic house-hold how would you go about powering 16000 watts, currently I don't have the option of running 3-phase outlets.

Currently the main breaker-board handles around 260amps throughout the entire household, I believe i'll require 100 amps of power to be ran to my container. My idea was to run a 100 amp cable to a sub breaker-board that will be installed onto the container which I can then distribute throughout my container. Also running a cable out to this container would have to go over ground due to it been a temporary solution.

Any thoughts of the best approach to this?

Dec 16 2017 11:59

I have worked on transportable switchrooms built in containers, and compliance with the wide range of regulations can be a challenge.
Your first call should be to an electrician or inspector to look at the proposed installation and see if the power supply is available, and how to connect the feeder cable.
There might be issues with the type of load, computers have a large inrush current and generate harmonics which is okay in ones and twos but becomes a problem in large numbers.
Depending on what is in the container, you might need a venting or cooling system and to comply with fire regulations (exits etc) and egress paths (clear when cabinet doors open).
And don't forget council consent is required for a container used as an outbuilding.
Good luck with your mining!


Dec 16 2017 15:11

Why do you think your house board handles 260 Amps? You added up all the ratings of the circuit breakers?

A "normal" single phase house supply is 15,000VA. Roughly 63 Amps.

If you need 16,000 watts, you will have to upgrade your house supply or get a second supply to that building. It might be very difficult and expensive.

Are you sure you have calculated the load correctly?

You're only looking at electricity consumption Watts right? Not air-conditioning cooling capacity Watts?

Dec 16 2017 15:57

SaintAlan: I've got a cooling solution sorted, i'm dedicating 10 amps towards two 1/2HP industrial fans. I think the best plan of attack will be to call my electrician and see what he thinks.

DougP: Yeah that's what I did, there probably will be support for more amps but i'll need to get it tested. Other then getting a second power supply from somewhere or installing 3-phase you don't think domestic would support this?

I'm certain that all up it'll be 16000+ watts running 24/7, and yes I am. Each rig will be running 900 watts (electricity consumption) and i'm having 20-25 rigs.

Dec 16 2017 16:36

From an electrical point of view, upgrading your house supply will be an option ... but it'll cost!

I have no experience here but, from a by-laws point of view, it'll likely be classed as industrial use and that may require an awful lot of talking and paperwork to convince the council you aren't going to be contaminating or causing noise or fumes or just an eyesore to upset the neighbours.

And that'll cost too.

It may be easier to rent in an existing industrial zone.


Dec 18 2017 10:34

Yes a call to your council would be useful before you start spending money.
The proposed use of a shipping container in a residential area would require resource consent, probably notified LUC (= 6 months delay, megabucks)and building consent. Fans running 24/7 would kill it if neighbours don't agree.
And expect police raids ... that electrical load looks like grow-lights and HVAC on dope-farms!

Dec 18 2017 16:24

" The rig that i'm building will have a constant draw of 16000 watts, I'm currently building up sketches of how I'm going to design it before going to an electrician if need be."


Thats your first mistake , you actually NEED to talk to someone that can explain to you the extent and consequences of what your proposing before you get started.

If your in a residential situation there is every likely hood that the Network supply to your property will not have the capacity needed to do what you describe.
Without being to critical , I would suggest you also talk to a ventilation person ,your cooling solution sounds more like just a solution to move air , that is not a cooling solution.
Your Talking about a container that will have the the same load as 8 x 2000watt heaters going 24 7 .

Have you done the sums for your expected power account ? :)


Dec 18 2017 17:01

I think that works out to $30-$35 thousand a year. Or $85 - $95 a day.

Dec 18 2017 21:07

Any design incorporating electrical loading needs to have expert evaluation to determine "installed supply capacity" ... a layman would approach this based on equipment installed, a seasoned electrician would advise based on "load diversity", expected load factors etc. In my lifetime I have seen "non electrical" consultants specify transformer capacity requirements, a while later clients paying for unnecessary "installed capacity" charges around 60% more than necessary. My advice .. pay for the electricians time (aka known as experience!), it will save you tenfold rather than trying to "save" in the short term.

Dec 22 2017 07:44

"DougP: Yeah that's what I did, there probably will be support for more amps but i'll need to get it tested. Other then getting a second power supply from somewhere or installing 3-phase you don't think domestic would support this?"

If this is the extent of your electrical knowledge - adding up the total amps of the circuit breakers on a board and assuming that is what your is supply is then you defiantly need help. Those breakers are to protect cables, nothing else. There is no indication of loading or potential loading given from this.

Your maximum supply will depend on how many phases you have and what the size of your HRC is at the street. If you live in a standard domestic house in New Zealand then 95% chance the cable to your house will not be rated for more than 63A. Your container will draw 63A.

You need to talk to a local electrician.

Dec 31 2017 11:13

If the primary purpose of this project is to set up large storage arrays then I can help as I've done exactly this in a 10' shipping container.

As am rural and container is under an existing roof, consent issues didn't present.

I have used Synology DS1814+ NAS devices, each with 8 x 6TB drives. Fully hammered, they draw 3.5A @ 13.8v and I currently have 18 of them (ie 63A @ 13.8v). Standing load on average is however only 12A @ 13.8v.

There is a Cisco switch running on 13.8v that draws about 1A.

Supply is a wall of sealed batteries in banks of 6 (in parallel) and each bank has it's own C-curve DC breaker. There are 18 banks.

Charging is by way of 12 solar panels (285w ea) and a standby mains 100A charger switches on if battery voltage falls <11.8v.

The heat issue is minimized by keeping direct sunlight off the container and I log the ambient temp in the container - seldom does it exceed 25C even in the hot Nelson sun.

The only time I open the doors is to get in and stuff some more hard drives or DS1814+ boxes in.

So if you are into data storage only, these tips might help you minimize your plans. If however, you plan to run massive processor power, why not just buy a big sparc and keep your power costs down? A standing load of 16kW is pretty well an industrial setup and you'll be unlikely to make that work in an urban setting without heaps of grief.

Jan 02 2018 15:21

He's planning on crypto-mining. So neither storage nor CPU hungry.

It'll either be a bunch of GPU cards slotted in a cluster of full width PCIe motherboards, or a cluster of custom boards brimming with custom ASIC mining processors.