UK, Heata heats water in the home with the heat of the servers

Gianluca Riccio


British startup is testing a heating system that uses heat from data center servers, which would otherwise go to waste, to heat water in homes

Households in the UK could soon save around £150 a year (180 euros, 190 dollars) on their energy bills thanks to new technology. This is a system that uses excess heat from servers in data centers to heat water.

It seems incredible, but almost 50% of the energy used in data centers to cool servers is wasted. It could be used more efficiently.

Heata, power from servers

Start-up Heata, founded by British Gas five years ago, has developed an innovative solution that involves installing small data servers the size of a shoe box in homes.

These machines use a water tank as a heat sink, replacing typical computer cooling hardware. This way, the heat generated by the server's two processors is used to heat water for showering or washing dishes.

Heata has already successfully tested its system in 20 homes and is now carrying out a larger trial, funded by the UK government, involving 80 families. The installation of the servers, which will last a year, is already halfway done.

Server & Hosting
On the left, the Heata server unit. On the right, the connection system to the water tank to be heated.

More inventiveness, less waste

Secondo Chris Jordan, co-founder of Heata, each device could deliver up to 4,8 kilowatt hours of energy per day, which is approximately 80% of the hot water demand of an average UK household.

Heata records the server's electricity consumption and reimburses the management cost to the homeowner, who will save, as mentioned, around £150 per year on the bill (it's like having one less bill per year, but it depends on consumption ).

And the startup UK what does it gain? Heata already has customers waiting to use the servers for compute-intensive needs, such as architecture firms that need to render 3D animations.

Let's face it

The idea of ​​creating distributed data centers, with a network of small "home" servers that in exchange also offer a small saving on the bill is not a bad one. If you want more details, you find them here. By eye, it brings advantages to everyone, even if they are small and perhaps only on large numbers.

Or rather: from this year's tests we will understand if this is the case, but the solution is very creative and deserves further investigation. So, if it works even with a small positive balance, why not implement it?