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Pt 101370

News From The Future: Heating Homes With “Data Furnaces”… Harry writes -

Rather than build server farms that produce a lot of waster heat, why not have distributed Data Furnaces, that heat home and offices at the same time as providing cloud computing?

I was reading an Asimov Sci Fi short story recently and was chuckling about the fact that he had the computer as a huge central machine in a building with huge power needs and cooling by the gallon. Of course he got that wrong how could have have possibly foreseen our tiny personal computer revolution…. and then I remembered the data centre. Huge buildings with not one machine but thousands all eating power and needing even more power to keep the whole thing cool. Perhaps Asimov was right after all!

A new paper from Microsoft Research suggest a radical but slightly mad scheme for dealing with some of the more basic problems of the data centre. To put the problem into perspective it is worth mentioning the estimated 61 Billion kWh of electricity (3% of total consumption in the U.S) that servers consumed in 2006.

Read more & PDF.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Because when anything goes wrong, or you need to reboot a server, you have to go to the house. Also, there aren’t a whole lot of places that need heat year round.

    1. Yeah, I cant imagine a server stack large enough to heat my home sitting in my basement right now with this 100+ degree heat.  Hopefully I wont have to pay for the AC to keep it cool since I got free heat during the winter.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Because when anything goes wrong, or you need to reboot a server, you have to go to the house. Also, there aren’t a whole lot of places that need heat year round.

  3. ciphertext says:

    I would think that a better idea would be to capture the server’s waste heat to warm a buildings water supply.  I envision something akin to a coolant reservoir of dielectric fluid (closed system) that recirculates through piping connected to “hot points” on server equipment.  Or, in a more radical design, the server equipment is fully immersed in the dielectric fluid.  The circulation of coolant would be accomplished via redundant pump assemblies.  The pumps would circulate the fluid through tubing in the center portion of a water heater tank.  The tank would contain potable water.  As the fluid is circulated, it heats the water in the tank.  The heated water would then be available to the building.  The hot water heater could send the heated water to insulated storage tanks for dispersal.  If the water in the storage tanks cool below a certain level (below the desired coolant temp) then it could be mixed with new input water to the water heater, thus recycling the unused water.

    Another option I envisioned was using the waste heat to desalinate water.  Though, that could be tricky considering the effects of salt water on certain metals.

  4. During college we accidentally did this. I lived in a small 2 floor bed
    room 2 room. One morning in the late fall I woke up to rather cold
    apartment. When I check our heating/cooling controls it was still set to
    AC.It was then I realized something was off. I should say somethings.
    The 3 gaming computers we had in our living area on the first floor had
    all been turning off during the night. We figured for a little over a
    month we had been heating the place with computers.

  5. This is a nice content.The pumps would circulate the fluid through tubing in the center portion of a water heater tank.I like this one.The written skill is so good.Thanks to share this great article.This is an amazing.Keep sharing.

  6. This is a nice content.The pumps would circulate the fluid through tubing in the center portion of a water heater tank.I like this one.The written skill is so good.Thanks to share this great article.This is an amazing.Keep sharing.

  7. This is a nice content.The pumps would circulate the fluid through tubing in the center portion of a water heater tank.I like this one.The written skill is so good.Thanks to share this great article.This is an amazing.Keep sharing.

  8. This is a nice content.The pumps would circulate the fluid through tubing in the center portion of a water heater tank.I like this one.The written skill is so good.Thanks to share this great article.This is an amazing.Keep sharing.