18 June 2018

When a radiator becomes a server!

What if we used the heat released by IT servers to heat homes? That’s the idea being pushed successfully by Parisian start-up Qarnot Computing.

Datacenters today consume around 4% of the world’s electrical energy. Not only do they cost a lot in electricity but they are also a big cause of greenhouse gas emissions. The Parisian start-up Qarnot has had the excellent idea of linking this issue to that of heating homes by developing a two-faceted solution: the server-radiator and the promise of very economical heating.

Almost free energy!


Qarnot’s founders have come up with the idea relocating servers in peoples’ homes where they no longer need cooling. Instead of requiring a fan and cooling system, the heat generated by the processors is used to heat an occupied area via a radiator, the QH-1. The house needs only to be connected by fibre in order to accommodate computer servers that work remotely for businesses, banks, the 3D image industry, and others. The user has nothing to manage! The machine is built as a stylish radiator with adjustable output. It can heat up to 30 square metres in a building with modern insulation standards. The heat produced, called “high inertia”, distributes soft, stable, uniform warmth harmoniously in the room. It therefore provides maximum comfort and a pleasant sensation comparable to that of central heating. Although the energy is free, the radiator costs roughly 2500 euros. This cost is partly offset by Qarnot’s refunding the electricity cost of each server measured in real time.

But Qarnot’s innovation doesn’t stop there. The start-up takes things a step further with a new model they have just brought out, the QC-1, a crypto-radiator that heats while generating crypto-income. Whenever the radiator is on, two graphics cards heat the room efficiently while mining crypto-coins using the pre-installed software. The cost of this uber-geek radiator: 3000 euros!


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