Tesla’s next business: Turning your solar roof and EV into Bitcoin mines

Pamela G. Knowles

In my preceding post about blockchain and cryptocurrency, I reviewed why I believed Tesla was creating these a sizeable financial investment in Bitcoin and letting the cryptocurrency to be made use of for motor vehicle buys in the potential. The harmony of its revenue stream, which will come from offering surplus Renewable Electrical power Credits (RECs), will dry up in the subsequent a number of years as competing automakers can create their have Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) and create up their own RECs with states that need them.

Allowing its shoppers to purchase autos totally or partly with Bitcoin is likely a person way of differentiating Tesla from other car manufacturers. But this in and of itself is not a sustainable organization approach. 

Most likely Elon Musk has an additional, even wilder enterprise strategy for Tesla more than the prolonged-expression — a prepare just as ridiculous bold as creating huge reusable area rockets that can land on their tails.

Your photo voltaic roof: The top idle cash game

Aside from cars, Tesla’s other major business enterprise involves solar panels, solar roofs, and batteries. The batteries are made use of in their vehicles and offer electricity storage for their residential photo voltaic techniques, offered as the Tesla Powerwall.

In most states where by household photo voltaic is set up, surplus vitality from the arrays can be fed back into the grid the place the area ability organization will “internet meter” or prorate a customer’s electric bill based mostly on what they generate into or draw from the method. Centered on a customer’s intake and how a lot a solar procedure makes, there will be a surplus or a deficit.

Powerwalls can retail store that surplus power and electricity various things in your residence, such as air conditioners, and demand your Tesla EV.

But suppose Tesla extra a capacity to its on-premises solar strength/battery vitality management laptop constructed into its inverter technique or the Powerwall that would give it GPUs for mining cryptocurrencies? These are currently connected to residence Wi-Fi. They have a management app, so upgrading it with Wi-Fi 6 and attaching it to a cryptocurrency community and an uncomplicated-to-use mobile application for cryptocurrency account management would be an achievable devices integration energy for Tesla, given the company’s appreciable engineering methods. 

Also: Going photo voltaic in the Sunshine Point out: Why the financial investment makes perception now 

It would then be probable for your household to become the best idle cash-making recreation — you would crank out actual Bitcoins with the surplus electrical power your solar technique tends to make. That might be more beneficial than getting the internet metering low cost from your ability company, which is not incentivized to be rate competitive with your solar system’s vitality output, as most of these companies are having to pay Time-Of-Use (TOU) pricing for your ability era.

If you have a substantial enough solar array and you live in a point out with a lot of sunshine — and assuming Tesla comes up with an simply expandable, modular design and style (maybe even as an add-on solution for Powerwall) — you could increase a full chain of these GPUs to your photo voltaic computer and make a good sum of crypto.

That makes the prospect of putting in photo voltaic in your residence a good deal a lot more eye-catching if you figure the Tesla roof, on normal, will value $50,000 to $75,000, not counting govt tax incentives.

All Tesla requirements is a very simple app interface to place and click which cryptos you want to mine, API integration with a currency trade for funds conversion, and, presto, everybody with a photo voltaic roof is in the crypto business. 

Why Tesla and GPUs

To execute this program, Tesla would need to have a energy-productive GPU that necessitates minimum cooling (most likely fanless, or even drinking water-cooled). If these GPUs are colocated with the Inverter/Powerwall, they would have to function in environments that could get as sizzling as within a garage all through summer season months or inside a housing mounted on the exterior of your home, unless they are physically networked and positioned inside the residence and tied into the Inverter or Powerwall’s electrical power distribution technique.

In which would Tesla get this sort of a issue? And why would the company quickly come to a decision to do this? The notion to use GPUs to mine cryptocurrency when its goods are idle all through a charge section or creating surplus strength practically surely arose all through the progress of its cars’ autonomous driving element and benchmarking the onboard computing hardware’s capabilities.

In 2019, the corporation held an Autonomy Investor Day and claimed that it experienced switched from NVIDIA GPUs in its motor vehicles to chips of its possess design in the design S, X, and Model 3 automobiles. At the time, the firm’s director of silicon engineering, Peter Bannon, said:

So here’s the style that we completed. You can see that it can be dominated by the 32 megabytes of SRAM. There is certainly massive financial institutions on the still left and proper and the centre bottom, and then all the computing is carried out in the higher middle. Each and every single clock, we go through 256 bytes of activation details out of the SRAM array, 128 bytes of bodyweight knowledge out of the SRAM array, and we combine it in a 96 by 96 compact add array, which performs 9,000 multiply/provides for every clock. At 2 gigahertz, which is a total of 3.6 — 36.8 TeraOPS.

We experienced a target to remain less than 100 watts. This is calculated details from cars and trucks driving all around managing a complete autopilot stack. We are dissipating 72 watts, which is a minimal little bit extra electricity than the earlier structure, but with the remarkable advancement in overall performance, it is really however a fairly very good remedy. Of that 72 watts, about 15 watts is getting consumed jogging the neural networks.

In conditions of fees, the silicon price tag of this answer is about 80% of what we were being having to pay in advance of. So we are saving money by switching to this alternative. And in terms of performance, we took the slender digicam neural network, which I have been speaking about that has 35 billion functions in it, we ran it on the outdated hardware in a loop as brief as doable and we shipped 110 frames for each 2nd. And we took the similar data, the exact same community, compiled it for components for the new FSD pc, and making use of all 4 accelerators, we can get 2,300 frames for each second processed, so a issue of 21.

In 2021, the GPU made use of in Tesla’s hottest autos is even extra formidable. The newest Product S (and, supposedly, the X) EVs takes advantage of a customized AMD RDNA 2 GPU with 10 teraflops of computing electricity, which places it on par with some of the most potent console gaming systems on the marketplace like the Sony PS5. With an onboard program like this, you wouldn’t even will need a GPU-geared up Powerwall when the car is remaining charged, it could be utilised to deliver cryptocurrency as properly.

The business enterprise possibility

So, Tesla absolutely has a good deal of experience with GPUs, but can it use them as a crucial differentiator from other automakers and photo voltaic technology firms like Enphase Electrical power, Samsung, LG, and Panasonic, the recent sector leaders in the photo voltaic house?

Whilst sleeker and a lot more tightly built-in, Tesla’s solar roof is more pricey than competing answers, and that’s been hampering adoption. Its solar roof solution is at present only additional aggressive in situations in which an total roof has to be changed.

Having a roof that generates money for the consumer when applying surplus electrical power could be a important promoting point, mostly if a sizeable part of the cryptocurrency profits could be applied to the financed price tag of the solar panels or the payments on a Tesla vehicle. If it delivers down the equal price tag of a Design S from $75,000 to $65,000 through a 5-year finance expression, or a $50,000 Model 3 to $40,000, that is a great incentive. It also would make a payoff of a $70,000 roof that considerably more rapidly of a return on investment decision, even if the GPU piece provides a couple thousand dollars to the acquire selling price.

Tesla could also professional-amount the price of the roofs (and the motor vehicles) by successfully leasing the GPUs’ room in every single house (or at commercial company wherever the roofs or solar cells are mounted) and maintain the balance of the crypto income for by themselves.

Also: Scallops, vaccines and Tesla: The wild environment of blockchain and cryptocurrency

And if you bought that motor vehicle or that roof or panels in money? That vehicle’s GPU or the photo voltaic roof GPU stack (assuming you can insert numerous just as you can with multiple Powerwalls) should be developing property for you that boost in price. Tesla should not get to hold any of it.

Even so, instead of employing the cryptocurrency produced by the methods to pay back off fiat forex-centered financing, it is much more most likely that it could be applied to create up “credits” in an escrowed account Tesla would honor towards long run buys. Tesla by itself would retain the cryptocurrency profits, like Bitcoin, Dogecoin, or whatsoever instrument the GPUs produce — but the client would have loyalty factors amassed. If a new motor vehicle fees 100,000 loyalty details, and in excess of five yrs, your roof and your automobile create 30,000, that could be applied in direction of your next auto buy — locking you into that ecosystem.

Is Tesla heading to differentiate from other solar and automobile producers by applying automotive and photo voltaic strength compute GPUs to produce cryptocurrency? Converse Back again and Enable Me Know.

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