Excess datacentre energy used to heat homes


Telehouse is a company based in London’s Docklands that runs massive datacentres providing servers and other network gear to major companies.

It’s building a new one – Telehouse West – that’s costing $180 million, but the carbon footprint for such a facility is absolutely massive. Tonnes of heat is generated and the cooling systems involved have to work extremely hard. The company realized that the heat could be reappropriated for use in local homes.

As a result, the company’s been able to generate up to nine megawatts of power for local homes – the equivalent of boiling 3,000 kettles continuously. It’s the first major UK datacentre to implement such a strategy, and the first datacentre to gain planning permission in London since strict sustainability rules were introduced.

(via DataCentreKnowledge)

USB lunchbox pumps out 60°C of face-melting heat


This scares me a little. It’s a little bag with a heating element in, which claims to cook your lunch when plugged in via USB. In reality though, 60C is barely warmer than a cup of tea – certainly not enough to kill any bacteria. Don’t rely on it to grill a steak beyond “rare”.

On the other hand, if all you’re doing is heating up your cous-cous, then my objection isn’t so pronounced. Who knows? Maybe in the hands of Heston Blumenthal it could be a force for good. Now there’s a program I’d like to see – Heston Blumenthal’s USB Lunchbox.

Thanko (via Oh! Gizmo)

Related posts: USB Wristband makes fashion history | USB 3.0 spec set in stone – move your files about at speeds of 4.8Gbps

Nokia developing Home Control Centre technology


Betting that within a few years every appliance we own will be hooked up to the internet, Nokia has announced plans for something called Home Control Centre. It’s basically software that will let you control everything in your home from your mobile device, from the heating to the toaster.

I know, we’ve all been there – gone out with some toast in the toaster, and forgotten that you actually wanted it on browning level three, rather than browning level five.

More seriously, though, this also has energy saving implications. You’ll be able to monitor energy usage from your mobile, and switch off anything that you don’t need remotely. Plus there’s a big convenience factor – preheat your oven 15 minutes before you arrive home, so you can just stick dinner straight in.

The only definite that Nokia has announced is some carbon footprint monitoring technology, from European energy firm RWE. That will use Wi-Fi enabled thermostats on each radiator. Nokia are promising to show this off in December at its annual Nokia World Conference. I wouldn’t be surprised if we heard a fair bit more about the broader too then, too.

(via Reg Hardware)

Related posts: How green is your kettle? | Ecobee – a Wi-Fi thermostat

Make your expensive architect-designed house look RUBBISH with a LEGO radiator


Sarah Beeny would not be impressed. This could take tens of thousands off the value of your home. The terms & conditions of your mortgage would be voided. You’d be out on the street for Christmas. If you let your children be in charge of your internal design decisions, you get what you deserve.

This is a concept radiator (or at least a concept image of a concept radiator) by Italian firm Sciroccoh, made out of component pieces that resemble LEGO. It’s not particularly clever, as all the illustrator has done here is take an existing thing – in this case a household radiator – then imagine what it would look like if it was made out of LEGO…

Warm up those RSI-ridden hands with a pair of USB heating gloves

usbgloves.jpg It’s bizarrely chilly in these parts of the world, due to those insane floods we’ve been having, so a nice pair of USB gloves is nothing to be laughed at. Even if they do adopt the colour and pattern that your grandfather’s socks are made from.

Starting at just £7.95, these USB gloves will warm you up in no time, and are compatible with anything containing a USB port. Just don’t forget to take them off when you get up to go to the loo, as your whole computer…