A German IT Company's Plan to Heat Homes, Get Free Storage for Its Computer Racks

Posted by Global 1 Resources on 18th Feb 2015

A German IT Company's Plan to Heat Homes, Get Free Storage for Its Computer Racks

According to a recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, climate change is set to increase the amount of money American homeowners spend to keep their homes warm throughout the winter months. With many European countries facing the same problem, one German cloud computing company is offering a unique solution.

CloudandHeat, an infrastructure service based in Germany, is now offering consumers the opportunity to get free heat. In exchange, homeowners simply have to pay to have computer racks installed in their homes. CloudandHeat gets free storage, and Germans get free heat. CloudandHeat covers the costs of the computer racks, fireproof cabinets, and the operational costs, leaving homeowners with the relatively small installation costs to worry about. On its face, the deal seems like a good one, but many are left wondering whether the cabinets can truly keep their homes warm. Many more are unsure whether the arrangement will be mutually beneficial or only beneficial for CloudandHeat.

Do Server Rack Cabinets Truly Generate Enough Heat?
There's no doubt that server rack enclosures give off enough heat to adequately warm an average size home. According to Tech Republic, an average 2U computer rack puts off 1,580 BTU every hour. It takes approximately 970 BTU to bring a pound of water to a boil, transforming it into steam in the process. In other words, CloudandHeat can at least make good on its promise to heat homes.

Why CloudandHeat's Plan isn't Likely to Succeed
That same heat output is likely where CloudandHeat will begin to run into trouble. CloudandHeat has said nothing about providing the air conditioning homeowners will need to fight back against high temperatures in the hotter months. It's not likely homeowners will celebrate 1,580 BTU per hour in the spring and summer, especially in cities like Munich, where the average summer temperature is 77 degrees Fahrenheit, according to World Weather Online.

CloudandHeat's initiative is based on the idea that they can save German homeowners money in the long run, but the data doesn't seem to bear that claim out. According to Energy Transition, an energy agency in Germany, costs for heating and cooling a home are indeed growing. With homeowners left to foot the cooling half of the bill, coupled with being required to cover the costs of installation, it's a good bet that those taking advantage of this deal may in fact be left holding the short end of the stick. Time will tell.

Now over to you: would you buy into a plan like this if it were offered stateside? Tell us why or why not in the comments below.