Tech & Innovation : Quarnot
The heat produced by data centers across the world could, in theory, be used to heat France’s population nearly three times over. However, this heat is not only wasted away but computer-servers in data centers are prevented from overheating by cooling them using even more electricity! It is believed that 80% of data center’s costs are related to cooling.
France’s Qarnot provides a cost saving and environmental solution to this problem through its digital-radiator called Q.rad which can be located in homes, offices and public buildings.
The Qarnot designed radiators are fitted with high performance computing processors. The heat generated by the processors is used for heating premises, free, in an eco-friendly manner.The way it works is that businesses which require number crunching power for intensive calculations like banks, insurance companies, 3D animation studios, architects, graphic designers as well as research centers and weather forecasters etc. send their demands to the Qarnot internet platform.
The latter then uses its software algorithms to distribute these calculation demands to the digital-radiators located for example in schools, low income housing structures, households etc., according to their heating needs. To ensure fast calculation transmission, the Q.rad will have to be connected to fibre optic broadband internet.
For businesses, the Qarnot computing service could be up to three times cheaper than offers from competitors. For the premises where the Q.rad is located, the electricity consumed will be entirely paid back by Qarnot.
In January 2016, US investment fund Colony in recognition of the business potential of Qarnot injected an initial strategic investment of 2.5 million euros in the French company. Studies indeed show that the calculation capacities of centralized data centers will be far short of meeting demand in the near future. This excess demand could be met by Qarnot’s ingenious solution.
Sources : beta.makesense.org, lesechos.fr, datacenterdynamics.com
Video source : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fCwiF75FFY
(This video is almost entirely In English. Some brief parts are in French)
Online publishing, March 2016