Our computers, tomorrow’s heating?

Computers to heat buildings and to reduce the heating bill. With the Internet, the advent of cloud computing and the distribution of applications in SaaS mode, data centers have started to grow at a breakneck speed.

Unfortunately, between power supplies and conditioning systems (we need as much power to operate a datacenter as for cooling it), these IT sites are energy consuming and pollutant.

In 2007 Gartner had estimated that digital devices were responsible for 2% of CO2 emissions in the world, that is, as much as airline companies worldwide.

In 2009, a physician from the University of Harvard had estimated that a research on Google generated 7 grams of CO2. At that time this search engine was used 200 million times daily.

In 2012, finally, Greenpeace informed that data centers by themselves consumed 2% of the energy used worldwide.

Of course, major digital stakeholders engaged themselves in the reduction of energy consumption. However, in order to optimize it, other approaches are being explored.

Original initiatives to protect environment

So, a French start-up had the idea to bring data centers into your house. This equipment has a very small footprint and can make calculations for banks or any other company. Results are moved to a central platform. For individuals, it is simply a free heating system. Balance: a 75 % lower carbon footprint thanks to heating saving because datacenters servers do not need to be cooled anymore.

In Seine-et-Marne, since 2012, a bank datacenter has been used to heat the inter municipality nautical center of the Val d’Europe. That will avoid the injection of 5 400 tons of CO2 in the atmosphere.

The University of Bourgogne campus and its 28 000 students use the University datacenter as a heating system.

These are only few examples in a proliferation of ideas where French startups are not outdone: bingo!


Olivier Gévaudan, Information Technology Loss Adjuster

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