We’re all familiar with the heat a single computer can generate; data centers generate exponentially more. Microsoft researchers want to tap into that waste heat and use it for residential buildings.
How do they propose this? Not by somehow piping the heat they are generating to the homes but by actually moving mini data racks to the homes themselves. Each rack could generate more than enough heat to warm the house and heat hot water for the home.
In exchange data centers could grow without creating a larger footprint. Heating accounts for a significant chunk of a residential energy bill and if they could swap out the furnace/hot water heater with a data rack they could radically expand data operations without creating an impact on the energy grid.
Hit up the link below to read the whitepaper on the subject and ponder if you’d want a cloud server heating your house.
Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 07/26/11