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From cloud workloads to steaming water

Imagine if the heat generated by your cloud workloads could provide free hot water for households. This is the possibility being explored by Civo, a cloud native service provider, in partnership with heata, a green distributed compute network which originated as a British Gas project to help people living in fuel poverty.

The two companies are conducting a pilot programme under which Civo customers will be given the option to run offline batch cloud compute workloads (high-volume, repetitive data jobs that don’t require real-time processing) on heata’s network of small compute servers attached to domestic hot water cylinders in people’s homes.

The waste heat generated by these servers, which in data centres would require air conditioning to cool, is instead used to heat the water in the cylinder, transferred via heata’s patented thermal bridge technology. Each server can produce up to 4.8kWh per day, which at average utilisation levels could meet 80% of the host household’s hot water needs at no cost, saving 1 tonne of carbon per year and using 56% less electricity than a typical data centre plus separate water heating.

Data centres are projected to generate 1.8 gigatonnes of CO2 and use 8% of global electricity by 2030. Currently, 20- 60% of a data centre’s energy is spent on air conditioning.

Heata servers are quick and simple to install and have no impact on the heating system warranty.

Chris Jordan, Co-founder and CTO of heata, said: “Our mission is to unlock the value of the waste heat from compute, turning a compute problem into a climate and social benefit. Working with partners like Civo is critical as we look to extend our network, building trust and inspiring more organisations to run their compute workloads in a more sustainable way.”

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