Domestic data centre technology will be tested for heating purposes to reduce carbon emissions

UK Power Networks has teamed up with Thermify to pilot a data centre-style technology that can serve as an alternative to boilers in low-income homes. The project aims to test a new approach by installing energy-efficient technologies that will benefit low-income households in Essex with their transition to net zero.

Organisations including Citizen’s Advice Essex, Eastlight Community Homes and UK Kensa Community Works and Kensa Contracting will also be contributing to the SHIELD project to look at how we can provide sufficient access to more sustainable heating and renewable energy solutions.

The project is set to be rolled out in two phases. The first phase will prioritize the creation and experimentation of innovative business models and mechanisms aimed at reducing carbon emissions from heating and powering households. The second step is to put these models and mechanisms into practice in a real-world scenario.

The HeatHub system by Thermify is a promising technology that may be eligible for residential use through the program. This innovative system merges a “distributed data centre” with a heating system into a single unit. It functions by harnessing the excess heat generated by a group of computers to produce hot water and warmth for the household, as explained by the manufacturer.

According to Essex County Council, the SHIELD project has the potential to be a major milestone in the ongoing regional endeavours to reduce carbon emissions from heating and energy. The project is exploring various technology options, including solar technologies, to facilitate the transformation of homes.


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