Off Topic: Start and Stop E-Coin Miners Based on Solar System Power Output

November 6th, 2017

Watching our solar system export so much power to the grid started to drive me a little bit nuts.

Since we don’t yet have a Tesla Powerwall to store all of that extra power, it’s essentially going to waste by being exported to the grid. I fired up a couple of instances of a pooled e-coin miner and found that we could earn, what is for us, a non trivial amount of money per month using our existing computer gear. (Cryptogon earnings have mostly disappeared, despite a handful of people who are contributing a few dollars per month and using Amazon links to buy things. Thank you so much to those of you who are supporting the site.)

I’d mostly want to run the miners on solar power.

I’d been using the Windows Task Scheduler to wake the systems and run the miners at 7:30am, when solar is starting to crank. I’d check the weather for the day ahead, and if it was anything but rain, I’d put the systems to sleep and let the scheduler do its thing.

But what if we make a little effort to see if the solar system is actually cranking before spawning the miners?

My miners use 700 watts of power. I’ve rigged my solar system to output power generation data to PVoutput. Essentially, what I want to do is:

Read power output for the latest period from PVoutput

If power output is greater than 700 watts then start miner

If power output is less than 700 watts then terminate miner

That’s it. The solar power data is updated automatically every five minutes.

This is a very blunt instrument that doesn’t consider other household loads at all, but it would work great! Well, far better than just blindly spawning the miners based on the weather forecast, which is what I’m doing now.

The miners are running on Windows 10.

Can any programmers out there think of an easy way to do this on Windows 10? Thanks!

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