h a l f b a k e r y
The halfway house for at-risk ideas
add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random
news, help, about, links, report a problem
or get an account
When the temperature dips, people might be tempted to
run space heaters in their home. These are cheap and
crude ohmic heaters that, while perfectly "efficient", make
very poor use of electricity to warm the home. It's more
effective, for example, to operate a heat pump to bring
into the home.
Server-grade computers generate a lot of heat--heat that
has to be extracted to protect the computers from
overheating. To generate this heat, they also require a
considerable amount of electricity.
Proposed is a strategy to munge these two problems into
one solution. Servers that don't require a perfectly good
network connection would be leased to people who need
heaters in their homes. The servers would heat the home,
eliminating the waste generated by the server and putting
that heat to good use, while also eliminating the
wastefulness of the space heater each server or group of
servers would replace.
It would only take one mid-tier server to make up for one
space heater. My space heater in my office uses 1500
watts, and a fully-loaded 4U IBM Power 740 uses a
maximum of 1400 watts.
I'm still trying to figure out which way the money would
change hands. A 1400 watt load costs about $100/month.
Would a homeowner want the liability of keeping a $10,000
server lying around, full of business data and whatnot?
Could a business owner swallow that risk to save the
$100/month, minus whatever kind of payment to the
homeowner makes it worthwhile?
French Company Plans To Heat Homes, Offices With AMD Ryzen Pro Processors [xaviergisz, Sep 14 2017]
Computer Heated Water
Computer Heated Water
I knew I'd seen this on here before. [Wrongfellow, Sep 18 2017]
||This actually makes a lot of sense.
So what is it doing on the halfbakery?
Jokes aside, most places have at least a reasonable cell-phone connection, if not broadband or even fibre. Taking it to the next step, new blocks-of-flats could have the servers/heaters built into the floor.
||Should it not be possible for servers to email excess heat to needy homes?
||There's also a sound 'Business Continuity/Disaster
Recovery' argument for doing this. By spreading
storage and processing power over hundreds of
locations (and presumably duplicating storage in
many locations) the system will be resilient to
power outages, floods, terrorist incidents, etc.
which might affect any one of these locations. A
good Disaster Recovery solution is usually
Questions might be
asked about data security - e.g. do I want my bank
account records stored in your basement? - but this
can be mitigated by encrypting data on the disk and
||Companies have invested in to doing this before, I've read articles about it.
It is a good idea. But there are issues like hippo mentions, and also practicalities, like the cost of domestic electricity being higher.
||Realistically it works best when the heating needs to be on most of the time, and electrical heating is the best option.
My guess is that this won't become widespread until after processing-power/cost plateaus.
||Reminds me of something I read recently about Bitcoin
mining in Argentina. It's apparently illegal. Miners are
sometimes caught because of high power bills. If they
only used as much as they previously used for heating, no
one would ever know.
||In general, bitcoin mining satisfies the requirement of
being processor hungry, but having low bandwidth
requirements. I'm not too thrilled with the concept of
BitCoin in general, but since people are buying computers
and burning CPU cycles for it anyway, we might as well
make use of the waste heat.