posted on Aug, 20 2009 @ 10:17 PM
The amount of power put out by a CPU isn't sufficient to heat your water. Your CPU puts out maybe 200-300 watts, tops (the power supply for a
computer is about that; so your CPU actually puts out much less power than that). But let's just say, for the sake of argument.
OK, how fast could that heat up a water heater full of water? You're going from room temperature to about 120 degrees (F), at least (let's say
you're very green and keep the temperature relatively low). How many gallons, I don't know - let's say 40. No clue, since I don't own a house,
but it's a SWAG.
To heat 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius requires a calorie of heat.
So 40 Gallons = about 160 liters, give or take, = 160,000 grams of water.
Going from, say 70 degrees (F) (room temperature) to 120 degrees (F) is about 50 degrees F, or roughly 25 degrees Celsius.
Raising 160,000 grams of water 25 degrees Celsius would require 160,000 x 25 calories, or about 4 million calories, or about 16 million Joules. A
Joule is a Watt-second. So to produce 16 million Joules, you'd have to run your 300-Watt CPU for 55 thousand seconds (or 15 hours).
This assumes that your don't lose any heat, which of course doesn't happen in reality. So no, you couldn't use the CPU to heat your water, though
you might at least use it to pre-warm the water and save on how much energy you had to spend to get it hot. But to do that, you'd have to have your
CPU connected to the water, which would be a pain. Also, as I pointed out, you don't put all the computer's energy into the CPU, so right now this
is not a viable solution.
OTOH, if we were to seek to use waste energy to heat our water, we might be able to save a little money. For instance, the heat from our
refrigerators is wasted. We pump the heat out of the refrigerator and let it out into our homes. Then (at least in the summer) we air condition our
homes, pumping some of that refrigerator heat outside. Wasteful. Why not let the waste heat warm up our water a little bit, so that less energy is
needed to heat it to a comfortable temperature?