Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Co-generation web coffee appliance announced

 The Trojan Room Coffee Machine The claims that a Google search generates enough heat to boil a kettle have been clarified. However, it inspired me to write a spoof media release from the fictional Professor Klerphel, announcing a web server which heats coffee. While that device is fictional, the online University of Cambridge coffee pot was real (but on my visit to the lab I found the coffee to be undrinkable).
LinkGram - Media Release from The Link Institute

Co-generation web coffee appliance announced

Canberra, 28 January 2009: The Link Institute today announced a breakthrough in energy saving to combat global warming: the "Cyber-Cafe". This unit provides web services for a home or small business and uses the waste heat to keep coffee warm.

The inspiration for the Cyber-Cafe came from two sources: research which found that web searches use enough energy to heat water and The Trojan Room Coffee Machine at University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory.

Chief Scientist Professor Klerphel reasoned that if a web search generated enough heat for a cup of coffee, it might as well be used to heat a cup of coffee. The University of Cambridge produced a computer equipped coffee pot in the 1990s, but it was powered by conventional greenhouse gas producing fossil fuel derived electricity. The co-generation coffee pot reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 50%.

The web coffee appliance consists of a modified desktop PC. The processor chips have been connected via a thermal bridge to a coffee pot warming plate. A thermostatic fan has been added to cool the CPU if the processing load is too high (or the coffee pot runs dry). A supervisor program monitors the coffee temperature and will run extra tasks indexing local data and for the global computing cloud, to keep the coffee warm, if the processor is not otherwise needed.

The server runs a web site which reports on the current status of the web coffee appliance and a how much coffee is left in the pot.

Research has shown that the ideal temperature to serve coffee is 80 to 85 degrees Celsius, which is within the operating range of many commonly used CPUs. The use of a solid state cooling device to pump heat from the CPU to the warming plate is also being investigated.

Google is rumored to have licensed the technology and is in negotiations with a major global chain of coffee shops. "It makes sense: the more people who come into a cyber cafe, the more web searches and the more coffee they drink." Klerphell said.


From: "Co-generation Cyber-Cafe Internet coffee appliance", Tom Worthington, Link Mailing List, ANU,Jan 30 09:40:08 EST 2009

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