The idea of cloud heating won’t go away. Germany now has a company, Cloud&Heat, which offers free hot water from a distributed data center installed in your office. Cloud&Heat places servers on remote premises. They process data for Cloud&Heat’s data customers, and heat your building with the waste heat. Cloud customers get cheap pay-as-you-go cloud compute, block storage and object storage, based on OpenStack.
Cloud service providers face a common dilemma. They need square footage to install their servers, and they also have to figure out what to do with all the waste heat they produce. Cloud & Heat has a clever solution. The German company will heat your home for free if you let them stick a server rack in it. As enticing as the prospect of free heat and hot water for your home is, there are a few caveats. There needs to be a good-sized thermal mass nearby — Cloud & Heat asks for a water tank that holds between 125 and 2,000 liters. You also need a dedicated meter for the DataSafe (quite logical), a breaker panel with room for three 16A circuits, and an Internet connection of at least 50Mb/s.