Reusing computer system's heat – Grey Energy?

Computer systems generate a lot of heat. There is great effort to remove that heat using passive or active systems (fans, pipes, etc). There are also many efforts to design cooler systems.

I wonder if this excess heat can also be reused. Somewhat like “grey water” systems reuse some types of water in a home. The amount available is huge. Imagine reusing the heat energy from Google server farms.

I won’t state that this is possible; invariably, such statements tend to be demolished after simple analysis, for example, the cost to capture and reuse the heat energy may be too high or have a low ratio. Anyway, just a thought.

Re-posted from on March 5, 2006.

June 21, 2013: So, I wasn’t far off. Some company is doing exactly this. “Iceotope plans to revolutionise the traditional data centre”, While transferring and re-using heat to power other devices.

July 17, 2013: An example of novel ideas being wrong is pedestrian generated electricity. I read one article a while back that described this ingenious idea of using pedestrians walking on a platform that would transform very small deformations into electricity. These could be put in stairs and other places. Well, an engineer analyzed this and found that the generated would have been minuscule, not worth doing.

April 20, 2014: Surprising material could play huge role in saving energy: Tin selenide is best at converting waste heat to electricity


I Am, Therefore I Think

Some even claim that consciousness derives from deep quantum mechanical processes; quantum effects are relevant at room temperature and macro scales.

Consciousness is one of those nebulous concepts, at least in the ‘normal’ non-academic world. Some say there is no such thing, a delusion. It’s just how the body refers to itself and organizes its sensory processing. There are so many theories. On the other side there are the religious, spiritual views that posit that there is something more then the meat body, more then just electro-chemical discharges. In between there are some investigators finding that the traditional views are lacking. Some even claim that consciousness derives from deep quantum mechanical processes; quantum effects are relevant at room temperature and macro scales.

Heck if I have an answer. I just Am.

I’ll make one observation though. Seems that people argue about consciousness from the mental processing angle. That is, if something is conscious it exhibits certain properties. Yet, stop the flow of thoughts and what remains is awareness. How can awareness be awareness of being aware? Or is it just the body all along that encases the waking state dream?

  1. Cytoskeletal Signaling: Is Memory Encoded in Microtubule Lattices by CaMKII Phosphorylation?
  2. Consciousness
  3. OnLine Papers on consciousness
  4. Consciousness; Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Science brain hype?

Is science any closer to understanding the most complex object in the universe, the human brain?

Nope. In fact not only is the hard problem of human consciousness still a problem, even little things are, like visual cognition. Well, I’m not an expert, but that’s the idea you get from being a consumer of science.

Just the other day I was reading about an astounding science experiment. Would you believe, a neuron in the brain can be used for more then one task. Wow! That is like so 1940’s. Next there will be a discovery of artificial neural networks (ANN). Perhaps, its how these press releases are created and how they have to be dummed down for publishing that gives the impression they are just going over old known facts.

Here is an idea for a ground breaking science project. Why does my cat move? I mean she was fed and that part of the floor is just like that other spot on the floor. Where did that impulse come from? I mean really from? Or is it all part of a cosmic quantum flotsam of macro-predictability in some multiverse of 108 dimensional karma that demands that my cat at this precise pico-second will move from that spot on the rug to that other spot?

Ok, Science, until you can answer that, leave my brain alone.

P.S. 7-23-12: Wow, I wrote this as a quick reaction to something I was reading. Now today doing a web search I found a very relevant article: Is Brain Science Just Hype?