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Up to 30.3% of the electricity input of a data center can be recovered and used to heat hydroponic greenhouses and produce fresh fruits & vegetables year-round.


Step 1: Heat Capture

The first step in the process is to capture the excess heat generated by the data center's servers. This is typically done using a heat recovery system, which can extract the heat from the air or water used to cool the servers. The heat recovery system may include equipment such as heat exchangers and pumps.

Step 2: Heat Transfer

Once the excess heat has been captured, it is transferred to the greenhouse using a heat transfer system. This system may include pipes, ducts, or other equipment to transfer the heat from the data center to the greenhouse. The heat transfer system may also include pumps or fans to help move the heated air or water.

Step 3: Heat Distribution

Once the heat has been transferred to the greenhouse, it needs to be distributed evenly throughout the space. This is typically done using a heating system that can distribute the heat evenly and regulate the temperature in the greenhouse. This may include equipment such as radiant heating systems, forced-air heating systems, or other types of heating systems.

Step 4: Control System

Finally, the entire system needs to be controlled to ensure that the greenhouse stays at the optimal temperature for plant growth. This may involve sensors to monitor the temperature and humidity in the greenhouse, as well as a control system that can adjust the heat output as needed.


  • Cooling the servers in the data center is done through cool air convection or immersion cooling, and hot air is evacuated through exhaust stacks

  • In 2020, data centers in the United States consumed approximately 1.9% of the total electricity usage in the country (73.4 bn kWh)

  • 30-40% of the energy consumed by data centers is attributed to cooling systems to manage waste heat

  • Up to 30.3% of the electricity input of a data center could be recovered

  • Greenhouses larger than 2.5 acres with full-year production have the highest potential to recover data center excess heat

  • Using waste heat can reduce gas expenses by over $70,000

Schematics for heating a greenhouse with waste heat from a data center

Image 1: Waste heat collection and distribution

Overhead heating pipes

Image 2: Overhead heating Pipes

Growing area heating pipes

Image 3: Growing area heating pipes

Unleashing nature's harvest with data center energy

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