Product reviews, deals and the latest tech news

Data centres owned by tech giants may soon be heating your house

Many European countries are relying on already-existing heating technology because of worry about emissions and dependence on energy supply from other countries.

Many of the world’s largest information companies have established data centres throughout the African continent, using enormous quantities of power to cool their servers and computers.

Air conditioning systems and cooling towers are often used to disperse the massive amounts of heat produced as a result of storing our ever-expanding data warehouse. But these days, a rising number of data centres are recycling their waste heat to heat nearby residences and commercial structures.

Heating data centres

Since 2020, Meta in Denmark has been reusing waste heat from its Odense data centre to power heating systems for an estimated 11,000 Danish households.

Alphabet has also promised to investigate the prospects presented by the trend, which has already been adopted by Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon.

There are now 15 planned data centres in the Netherlands, with 10 already linked to district heating systems that transfer the surplus heat to local houses and businesses.

There are several upsides to using data centres as residential heating sources. The consumption of fossil fuels, which are often utilised to provide indoor heating in Europe, is lowered as a result. Furthermore, there is a chance of lowering carbon dioxide emissions since many data centres currently use renewable energy sources like solar and wind.

Some construction licences in France and Denmark demand the recapturing of surplus heat, and national and municipal governments there have reportedly instituted financial incentives for the more efficient use of such heat.

Greenhouses are being heated using energy from data centres, allowing farmers to produce food all year round. One Dutch data centre creator, Jeroen Burks, claims that a data centre with a power output of 180 kilowatts (kW) could warm a greenhouse large enough to grow 250 metric tonnes of tomatoes over the winter.

In Europe, using data centres to provide heating for houses and other buildings is gaining popularity and is anticipated to grow in the future years. This method of heating houses and other structures is both economical and ecologically beneficial, and it exemplifies how technology may be used to solve some of the most pressing problems now confronting the African continent and the rest of the globe.