Waste heat recovery, what is that?

Published on 10/01/2023

A new source of innovating and responsible energy

Societe Generale is a large user of computing capacity, especially in trading rooms. A large amount of data is processed through cloud computing, which uses a network of remote servers to store, manage and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.

Committed to reducing its carbon footprint and as a founding member of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, the Group is heavily involved in the green cloud computing.

Since 2019, the Group has a partnership with Qarnot Computing, a pioneer in the heat waste recycling from data centres, decided to commit further by participating to the latest fund-raising exercise carried out by Qarnot.

This fund-raising exercise will allow the French startup to accelerate its developement by deploying its new generation data centres to mass-collect heat from IT infrastructures.

Read the press release on Qarnot's fund-raising excercise.

In the face of the ecological emergency and the energy crisis in France and Europe, Qarnot is considerably expanding its range of services, from the provision of dedicated IT infrastructures to public or private cloud services. Its offer will also be expanded to cover the needs of customers, who are now attentive to environmental issues and digital sovereignty, especially in promising markets in Northern Europe and German-speaking Europe.

“We are delighted to contribute, through an investment by Societe Generale Ventures, to the partnership established by MARK with this very beautiful French company, to accelerate the development of innovative and responsible solutions, in line with the Group’s CSR ambitions.” Didier Lallemand, Managing Direcotor, Societe Generale Ventures 

Waste heat recovery explained

What is waste heat?
Waste heat is thermal energy that is indirectly produced by a process and is neither recovered nor recycled.

It can be found in:

  • data centres,
  • energy production sites, such as nuclear power plants,
  • industrial production facilities,
  • tertiary buildings that consume a lot of energy and therefore emit even more waste heat. This is the case, for example, of hospitals, closed transport networks or disposal sites, such as thermal waste treatment units.

Fatal heat, though mainly known as "waste heat", is therefore a recoverable energy source.

How exactly does it work?
Industrial processes can be combined with each other: the heat recovered in one process can, for example, be used to power another. They can also become a source of heat for a tertiary sector, a residential sector or for an industrial activity basin.

Recovery technologies are based on the same principle as a heat pump. The "hot" calories pass through a heat exchanger to heat a water circuit or to be reinjected into a heat network.

About Qarnot
Qarnot is a French SME with 70 employees, which offers low-carbon and sovereign high-performance computing power solutions. Learn more on qarnot.com and follow Qarnot on LinkedIn.