Repurposing Server Rental Heat with Data Furnaces

Tech giant Microsoft has released a paper covering the use of rejected server heat to warm up your home.

Now that is energy efficiency.

According to the paper, “The Data Furnace: Heating Up with Cloud Computing,” small data centres can be used as boilers to heat homes.  These so-called “data furnaces” would be enable homes to be connected in the cloud via broadband while also benefiting from the heat generated by the data centre.

The numbers shown in the report indicate that around 2 percent of power usage in the United States comes from running servers and keeping them cool, while 6 percent is used to heat homes.  The temperature of the exhaust air from servers is usually around 40-50 degrees—ideal for heating purposes in the home, office buildings, clothes dryers, water heaters, even with some usage in agriculture.

“The energy budget allocated for heating would provide an ample energy supply for computing. Home heating alone constitutes about 6 per cent of the U.S. energy usage. By piggy-backing on only half of this energy, the IT industry could double in size without increasing its carbon footprint or its load on the power grid and generation systems,” says the report.

By combining the two entities, the cost typically used to power homes and office buildings would be eliminated, thus offsetting the cost of running servers.

Quite an interesting concept, and one that will surely be interesting to watch should our technology begin to move in this direction.

In the meantime, businesses looking to evaluate servers to put into their data centres before making the costly final investment can come to Hamilton Rentals to try out the model of their choice; whether their requirements are for a growing SMB or for an enterprise looking for an energy efficient model.  Our team of experts are ready to help meet the configurations you seek in our server rental fleet, the largest in the world.


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