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  • Matthew Spencer - Tech Journalist

UK cloud startup offers free heating by hosting its edge servers

Deep Green, a UK based cloud upstart, has come up with a brilliant plan to save location and cooling costs by offering free heat in exchange for space for their servers. The company installs its edge server hardware physically within an organisation and then redirects the heat produced from cooling the hardware to where it’s needed.

The server hardware components are immersed in a liquid cooling fluid which Deep Green says is mineral oil and then a heat exchanger is used to distribute the heat produced.

The concept has already been deployed at Exmouth Leisure Centre in south west England where heat from Deep Green’s mini data centre is being used warm the facility’s swimming pool. The management says this will reduce the pool’s energy requirements by 62% which translates to over £20,000 ($24,334) in saving costs a year. It’s a win-win for both parties.

Deep Green covers the installation costs and also the electricity and maintenance costs of the data centre. They are already planning additional installations in Bristol and Manchester.

The concept of using waste heat from data centres to power businesses is not new, but it’s the first time we are seeing it implemented on a small scale.

For instance, Microsoft has a similar arrangement with Fortum in Finland where heat waste from Microsoft’s data centre will be used to heat homes and businesses in the surrounding cities of Espoo and Kauniainen, as well as the municipality of Kirkkonummi.

Dutch data centre company Bytesnet has also revealed plans to recycle heat from its facility in the Groningen district to heat thousands of homes.

Deep Green, on the other hand, is targeting individual businesses. "By moving data centres from industrial warehouses into the hearts of communities, our 'digital boilers' put waste heat to good use, saving local businesses thousands of pounds on energy bills and reducing their carbon footprint," chief executive Mark Bjornsgaard said.

According to Bjornsgaard, swimming pools are just the start and in future, their technology will service about 30 per cent of all industrial and commercial heating requirements. As it looks, Deep Green’s plan is to promote the concept by helping businesses lower their heating costs and then build up bigger systems that can be used to service multiple heating requirements.

Deep Green rents out its servers for use in AI training and machine learning workloads. They also provide cloud storage and video rendering.


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