What if your computer could heat your house?
Data centres account for two per cent of the world’s energy consumption. Half of this electricity is used to cool the machines. Three European start-ups have come up with technologies that can redirect the heat emitted by servers into buildings.
Cloud and heat, Dresden
Year founded 2012
Clients / ~100
Employees / 35
Installed servers / ~800
Heat generated / 3 kilowatt per rack
Hourly cost of service cloud / €0.015 to €0.025
Seven servers are combined into a rack, which is installed in a building. The heat generated by the servers enters the building’s heating system. These data-storage spaces are rented out to companies.
Qarnot computing, Paris
Year founded / 2010
Clients / ~300
Employees / 20
Installed servers / ~350
Heat generated / 0,5 kilowatt per radiator
Hourly cost of service cloud / €0.25
Four processors are combined in a radiator. To obtain the desired temperature in the room, the calculations taking place in the radiator are controlled from Qarnot Computing headquarters.
Year founded / 2013
Clients / Pilot phase
Employees / 12
Installed servers / 20
Heat generated /1 kilowatt per radiator
Hourly cost of service cloud / €0.90
As with Qarnot Computing, eight processors are integrated into each radiator. Servers are rented as a distributed cloud service and the heat generated is used locally.