WO2018130627A1 - A heating system and a heating method - Google Patents

A heating system and a heating method Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2018130627A1
WO2018130627A1 PCT/EP2018/050704 EP2018050704W WO2018130627A1 WO 2018130627 A1 WO2018130627 A1 WO 2018130627A1 EP 2018050704 W EP2018050704 W EP 2018050704W WO 2018130627 A1 WO2018130627 A1 WO 2018130627A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
processing unit
heating system
system according
unit
container unit
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2018/050704
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Chris Minnoy
Original Assignee
Minnoy Bvba
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to BEBE2017/5024 priority Critical
Priority to BE2017/5024A priority patent/BE1024914B1/en
Application filed by Minnoy Bvba filed Critical Minnoy Bvba
Publication of WO2018130627A1 publication Critical patent/WO2018130627A1/en

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Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24DDOMESTIC- OR SPACE-HEATING SYSTEMS, e.g. CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS; DOMESTIC HOT-WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS; ELEMENTS OR COMPONENTS THEREFOR
    • F24D17/00Domestic hot-water supply systems
    • F24D17/0005Domestic hot-water supply systems using recuperation of waste heat
    • F24D17/001Domestic hot-water supply systems using recuperation of waste heat with accumulation of heated water
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24DDOMESTIC- OR SPACE-HEATING SYSTEMS, e.g. CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS; DOMESTIC HOT-WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS; ELEMENTS OR COMPONENTS THEREFOR
    • F24D17/00Domestic hot-water supply systems
    • F24D17/02Domestic hot-water supply systems using heat pumps
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24DDOMESTIC- OR SPACE-HEATING SYSTEMS, e.g. CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS; DOMESTIC HOT-WATER SUPPLY SYSTEMS; ELEMENTS OR COMPONENTS THEREFOR
    • F24D2200/00Heat sources or energy sources
    • F24D2200/16Waste heat
    • F24D2200/29Electrical devices, e.g. computers, servers
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B10/00Integration of renewable energy sources in buildings
    • Y02B10/20Solar thermal
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B10/00Integration of renewable energy sources in buildings
    • Y02B10/70Hybrid systems
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B30/00Energy efficient heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC]
    • Y02B30/08Energy efficient heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC] relating to domestic heating, space heating, domestic hot water heating [DHW] or supply systems
    • Y02B30/18Domestic hot-water supply systems using recuperated or waste heat
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02BCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO BUILDINGS, e.g. HOUSING, HOUSE APPLIANCES OR RELATED END-USER APPLICATIONS
    • Y02B30/00Energy efficient heating, ventilation or air conditioning [HVAC]
    • Y02B30/50Systems profiting of external or internal conditions
    • Y02B30/52Heat recovery pumps, i.e. heat pump based systems or units able to transfer the thermal energy from one area of the premises or part of the facilities to a different one, improving the overall efficiency

Abstract

A heating system and method for heating by means of at least one processing unit having at least one processor for performing computational tasks. A container unit is arranged for holding a medium, wherein the at least one processing unit is thermally coupled with at least a portion of the container unit for transferring thermal energy produced by the at least one processing unit to the at least one portion of the container unit for heating medium inside the container unit.

Description

Title: a heating system and a heating method

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to heating systems, and methods for heating. The invention further relates to a container unit for heat storage.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

Heating systems are extensively used for providing heating to a designated space and/or for heating a designated medium for example for the provision of hot water in a building or facility. Heating may be performed by using a combustion heating system, e.g. using natural gas, oil fuel, wood pellets, etc., a heat pump system, solar heating system and/or an electrical heating system. Other heating systems are also well known. However, there exists a constant need for improvement of the efficiency of these heating systems. An efficient use of energy during heat generation and heat transfer may play an important role for the reduction of net energy consumption and hence also the emissions of greenhouse gases. Rising costs of energy resources such as fossil fuels is expected to become a relevant concern in many industries and households. Furthermore, global warming and climate change seems to be at the forefront of world attention, further necessitating the need of an enhanced heating efficiency. There is a desire to significantly reduce carbon footprints and/or significantly improve the efficiency of the use of renewable energy.

Data centers come in various sizes and types and tend to consume a relatively high amount of (electrical) energy for its operation. A data center can comprise one or more processing units. Energy consumption may form a central issue for data centers, which may range from a few kW or even lower for a rack of servers in a datacenter closet to several tens of MW for large datacenter facilities. The electrical energy may be provided by means of power plants, which may be powered by natural gas, coal and/or other energy resources, such as nuclear, wind energy, hydroelectric, etc. Data centers are becoming more important as they provide computational resources for performing a wide variety of computational tasks. A data center may comprise one or more computer servers which may be arranged for acting primarily as a compute node (CPU and/or GPU intensive tasks) or as a data node (mainly data storage), or a combination of both. Typically, a data center comprises a relatively large processing capacity and a large storage capacity. As a result of the ever increasing connectivity, a large number of

computers/servers, typically housed in a data center, are becoming available for direct or indirect use. The computers/servers of the data center may comprise computational or processing units which may for example be configured to perform computational tasks for an extensive period of time. Many online services, which may for example be used by means of a mobile phone, desktop, laptop, etc., employ large data centers for providing and powering their digital (online) services.

Furthermore, it is expected that additional data centers arranged for managing the Internet Of Things (IoT) will increase the demand of electricity even further, so that a need for energy efficient systems may become even more important. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the invention to provide for a system and a method for heating by means of at least one processing unit that obviates at least one of the above mentioned drawbacks.

It is a further object of the invention to improve the efficiency and/or reduce costs for heating.

Thereto, according to an aspect is provided a system for heating by means of a processing unit. The system comprises at least one processing unit having at least one processor for performing computational tasks. The system further comprises a container unit for holding a medium. The at least one processing unit can be thermally coupled with at least a portion of the container unit by means of at least one heat pipe. The at least one heat pipe can be arranged for transferring thermal energy produced by the at least one processing unit to the at least one portion of the container unit for heating medium inside the container unit.

Advantageously, thermal energy generated by the at least one processing unit as a result of performing computational tasks can be transferred to the medium inside the container unit by means of a heat pipe cooling. In this way, the system possesses the capacity to recover thermal energy, otherwise exhausted to environment, and channel the heat by means of the heat pipe to the medium inside the container unit where this heat energy can be converted to produce hot water and/or provide heat, carried by the medium, to occupants in buildings. In an example, a plurality of heat pipes may be arranged for drawing heat away from the at least one processing unit to the medium inside the container unit, instead of carrying the heat to for example a heat sink for dissipation into the ambient. In an embodiment, the container unit can be in the form of a vessel or a tank for storage of the medium. Advantageously, the container unit may be isolated so as to reduce heat loss. In this way, the thermal energy of the heated medium can be collected for later use. Such a container unit may be a storage water tank arranged for domestic water heating so as to enable a fast delivery of hot water on demand for commercial, industrial and/or private use.

The heat pipe is arranged to facilitate the transfer of heat generated at the one or more heat producing processing units of the system into the medium inside the container unit. A heat pipe typically comprises a liquid in a tube, which start boiling and thereby removing local heat. The formed vapour as a result of the boiling can then condense some distance away, giving up its heat. The condensated liquid is then allowed to flow back by gravity and/or capillary means through narrow passages. As a result of the capillary means, the flow of the liquid can occur without requiring a gravitational force. In this way, an input end of the heat pipe, i.e. an end where the liquid starts boiling in use, can be arranged higher than an output end of the heat pipe, i.e. an end where the vapour formed from the liquid starts condensing. Therefore, a heat pipe can be seen as a two-phase heat transfer (boiling liquid). Typically such heat transfer is more efficient and/or faster than heat transfer through a solid heat transfer material, such as copper.

Optionally, the system is arranged, e.g. optimized, for private domestic use, e.g. in a single household home.

Optionally, the container unit 4 can have a volume of smaller than 500 liters, preferably smaller than 250 liters, more preferably smaller than 200 liters. Hence the container can be optimized for private domestic use, e.g. in single household homes.

Optionally, the at least one processing unit is arranged below and/or underneath the container unit. In this way, the heat pipes can transfer the heat upwards to the container unit, allowing efficient cooling of the at least one processing unit performing one or more computational tasks. In an example, a computer equipment comprising the at least one processing unit may be cooled at all times as a result of arranging the processing unit below/underneath the container unit.

In accordance with a second aspect, there is provided herewith a system for heating by means of a processing unit. The system comprises at least one processing unit having at least one processor for performing computational tasks. The system further comprises a container unit for holding a medium. The at least one processing unit can be arranged below or underneath the container unit. At least one heat pipe can be arranged for transferring thermal energy produced by the at least one processing unit to the portion of the container unit for heating medium inside the container unit.

In this way, advantageously, an increased amount of thermal energy generated by the at least one processing unit can be retrieved for usage of tap water or heating a building. Advantageously, a processing unit (e.g. a computer server) can be arranged underneath the container unit.

The generated heat as a result of the at least one processing unit performing one or more computational tasks may be transferred by a heat pipe to the medium inside the container unit, forming at least a part of a thermal path between the at least one processing unit and the medium inside the container unit.

Optionally, a radiator can be arranged with one or more heat pipes so as to extract residual heat of said computer equipment of the processing unit and to transfer this efficiently to the container unit containing a medium inside for thermal storage. The medium can be but is not limited to water, oil or a phase- change material (PCM). In this way, advantageously, a stable temperature range can be provided for the electronic equipment.

Optionally, the processing unit is arranged next to the container unit. Heat generated by means of the processing unit as a result of performing computational tasks can be transferred by means of one or more heat pipes arranged between the processing unit and the container unit. In this way, heat may be transferred through the heat pipes from the processing unit to the container unit. The heat pipe may for example be connected to a wall portion of the container unit. This allows for transferring generated heat to the medium inside the container unit.

Optionally, the heat pipes are arranged to use the capillary effect, so that other orientations of the processing unit with respect to the container unit can also be employed.

Optionally, the at least one heat pipe includes at least one

thermosiphon heat pipe. For example, all heat pipes are thermosiphon heat pipes. The thermosiphon heat pipe is a heat pipe without a wick. The thermosiphon heat pipe can provide a higher level of protection for the electronics since it can act as a thermal diode, allowing thermal energy to be transferred in a single direction only, e.g. away from the electronics.

Optionally, the at least one processing unit is directly thermally coupled with a wall portion of the container unit by means of the at least one heat pipe.

The heat generated by the at least one processing unit can be guided to a wall portion of the container unit by means of the at least one heat pipe, wherein the heated wall portion of the container unit can transfer the heat further to the medium inside the container unit, forming a thermal path between the processing unit and the medium inside the container unit. Advantageously, the wall portion of the container unit can be formed from a thermally conductive material.

Optionally, the at least one processing unit is directly thermally coupled with the medium inside the container unit by means of the at least one heat pipe.

In this way, heat transfer between the at least one processing unit and the medium inside the container can be improved. The loss of heat to the surroundings can thus be reduced by employing a direct thermal coupling.

Optionally, the system further comprises a thermal coupling member arranged for forming a thermal coupling between the at least one processing unit and a portion of the container unit.

Other means can also be used for forming said thermal path from the at least one processing unit to a portion of the container unit so as to transfer heat to the medium inside the container unit, such as, but not limited to, a plate (e.g. in copper) arranged for improving the heat transfer, a heat sink, a heat pump element, a Peltier element, etc. A combination of different means can also be employed as a thermal coupling member. For example, one or more heat pipes can be thermally coupled to a heat sink.

Optionally, the thermal coupling member comprises a heat pump arranged for transferring thermal energy from the at least one processing unit towards the container unit.

By means of a heat pump the rate of heat transfer from the at least one processing unit towards a portion of the container unit can be adjusted. In an example, the rate of heat transfer by the heat pump is controlled, depending on the amount of heat generated by the at least one processing unit. Advantageously, the temperature of the at least one processing unit can be monitored, while allowing efficient energy transfer to the medium inside the container unit.

Optionally, the thermal coupling member comprises a thermoelectric cooler for adjusting a rate of thermal energy transfer to the container unit.

Typically, such a thermoelectric cooler (TEC) uses the Peltier effect to create a heat flux between the junction of two types of materials. Such a heat pump uses electrical energy and is configured to transfer heat from one side of the arrangement to the other side of the arrangement, depending on the direction of the current. In fact, a Peltier heat pump can be used for either heating or for cooling. In an example, the thermoelectric cooler is arranged for controlling cooling of the at least one processing unit. Advantageously, the thermoelectric cooler lacks a circulating liquid (cf. heat pipe) and moving parts and can have a small size.

Optionally, the thermal coupling member comprises means for coupling the at least one processing unit to a heat exchanger arranged within the container unit.

In this way, the heat transfer can be further improved. Also, advantageously, losses of heat to the surroundings can be reduced as the heat exchanger is located substantially inside the container unit.

Optionally, the thermal coupling member comprises means for coupling the at least one processing unit to a heat exchanger arranged outside around the container unit.

In this way, the system can be simplified, while improving the heat transfer. In an example, the heat exchanger is arranged over at least a portion of a wall of the container unit. Optionally, the heat exchanger is a spiral heat exchanger.

The spiral heat exchanger can be arranged to improve the transfer of heat from the at least one processing unit to the medium inside the container unit. Many types of spiral heat exchangers exist. The heat exchanger may be arranged inside, outside, or both inside and outside of the container unit.

Optionally, at least two processing units are arranged, wherein a first processing unit of the at least two processing units is thermally coupled to a first location at or in the container unit by means of a first heat pipe, and a second processing unit of the at least two processing units is thermally coupled to a second location at or in the container unit by means of a second heat pipe, wherein the first location is different from the second location. In this way, the processing units can have independent thermal paths to the container unit. This may improve the heat transfer and may also make the system more robust.

Optionally, the first processing unit is coupled with a first heat exchanger positioned at the first location at or in the container unit and the second processing unit is coupled with a second heat exchanger positioned at the second location at or in the container unit, wherein the first heat exchanger and the second heat exchanger are offset with respect to each other in a height direction of the container unit. The height direction of the container can e.g. be a longitudinal direction of an upstanding container unit.

The temperature of the medium inside the container unit may be dependent on the location. Typically, in certain conditions, during use, the temperature of the medium inside the container unit depends on the height with respect to a height direction of the container unit. The heat transfer can be improved by arranging the first and second heat exchanger on different heights. In an example, the rate of heat (heat flux) generated by the first processing unit and the rate of heat generated by the second processing unit are different, so that the heat transfer can be improved by thermally coupling the first processing unit with the first heat exchanger and the second processing unit with the second heat exchanger.

Optionally, in use, the first processing unit has a higher thermal energy output capacity than that of the second processing unit, wherein the first heat exchanger is arranged closer to an upper end of the container unit than the second heat exchanger.

As a result of the formed thermal paths from the first processing unit to the first heat exchanger and from the second processing unit to the second heat exchanger, the overall heat transfer of the heat generated from the first processing unit and the second heat processing unit to the medium inside the container unit can be improved.

Optionally, the at least one processing unit comprises a plurality of components, wherein at least a first component is thermally coupled to a third location at or in the container unit by means of a third heat pipe and at least a second component is thermally coupled to a fourth location at or in the container unit by a fourth heat pipe, the third location being different from the fourth location.

Different components of the at least one processing unit may, in use, result in different heat fluxes. By forming different thermal paths from the different components to different locations at or in the container unit, the overall heat transfer may be improved.

Optionally, at least the first component is coupled with a first heat exchanger positioned at the third location at or in the container unit and/or at least the second component is coupled with a second heat exchanger positioned at the fourth location at or in the container unit, wherein the first heat exchanger and the second heat exchanger are offset with respect to each other in a height direction of the container unit.

Advantageously, the overall heat transfer from the first and second component to the medium inside the container unit can be further improved.

Optionally, in use, the at least one first component has a higher thermal energy output capacity than the at least one second component, wherein the first heat exchanger is arranged closer to an upper end of the container unit than the second heat exchanger.

Optionally, the at least one processing unit is arranged on a bottom side of the container unit and is coupled to a bottom portion of the container unit. Optionally, the system further comprises a module holder arranged for holding at least one processing unit, wherein the module holder is thermally coupled with the container unit by means of at least one heat pipe.

Such a module holder may be advantageous for installation of a processing unit. Also, replacement of processing unit can be facilitated. In this way, a modular design can be obtained in which every processing unit can be seen as a module. The module holder may already comprise means for forming a thermal path from a processing unit placed in a module holder slot to the container unit. Advantageously the module holder may be adapted to reduce loss of heat to the surroundings, so as to increase the efficiency of the heat transfer from the processing unit held by the module holder to the medium inside the container unit.

Optionally, a plurality of processing units are received in the module holder.

The module holder may be arranged to hold the plurality of processing units and allow a thermal coupling between the processing units and the medium inside the container unit. The module holder may comprise a plurality of slots, wherein a slot is arranged for holding a processing unit.

Optionally, at least one processing unit is detachably connected with the module holder.

The module holder may comprise a slot for allowing insertion and removal of a processing unit. By means of the slot a thermal coupling and electrical connection for powering the processing unit may be provided. A slot may be arranged for holding a single processing unit. Additionally or alternatively, a slot may also be arranged for holding one or more processing units. Further, in an example, a slot may comprise a cover so as to reduce heat loss to the surroundings. The slots may have a designation, forming a thermal path to a location of the container unit. In an example, a plurality of slots are arranged allowing a thermal path to different locations of the container unit. A single slot may allow different thermal paths to different locations at or inside the container unit. This may improve the transfer of the generated heat from the at least one processing unit to the medium inside the container unit.

Optionally, the module holder comprises at least one receiving slot arranged for receiving a processing unit, wherein a processing unit of the at least one processing unit is arranged to be sled in a receiving slot of the module holder, wherein the module holder is arranged for providing a thermal coupling between the at least one processing unit inserted in the at least one receiving slot and a portion of the container unit.

The receiving slot may also comprise locking means arranged for locking a processing unit inside the receiving slot. Further, actuation means may be arranged for allowing at least partial automatic insertion of the processing unit inside the receiving slot of the module holder. Advantageously, the processing unit may be arranged to be sled in a receiving slot in a position underneath the container unit.

Optionally, the module holder comprises a plurality of receiving slots each configured for receiving a processing unit.

In an example, a stack of receiving slots are arranged in the module holder. In this way, the plurality of receiving slots may be easily accessible, which may also be beneficial for maintenance. In a further embodiment, a module holder may comprise an opening and actuation means for automatically moving a processing unit inserted in the opening to a certain available slot. Such a solution may particularly be advantageous when the module holder comprises a relatively large number of receiving slots. The system may be simplified, as a plurality of receiving slots may be occupied by using only one insertion opening. By means of the actuation means, potentially difficult to reach receiving slots can be easily selected. Also, the system may be arranged to automatically detect specifications of the processing unit and select a receiving slot on the basis of the available specifications. For instance, a power requirement or heat generation of a processing unit can be taken into account by the system for selecting the receiving slot. The receiving slots may enable a thermal path to different locations in or at the container unit.

Optionally, the at least one processing unit in the module holder is cooled by means of a cooling arrangement arranged for transferring heat from the at least one processing unit in the module holder to the medium in the container unit. The cooling arrangement may allow active and/or passive cooling of the processing unit. Optionally, the system includes a sealed enclosure for housing the at least one processing unit. Optionally, the system includes a plurality of sealed enclosures, each housing a respective processing unit. The sealed enclosure can form a detachable module, detachable from the system.

Optionally, the at least one processing unit is cooled by means of immersion cooling. The at least one processing unit may be immersed in a liquid inside a sealed enclosure so as to improve heat transfer. Immersion cooling may also allow higher power usage by the electronic components of the processing unit, since a more efficient cooling may be provided.

Optionally, the container unit comprises an inlet opening for receiving a fluid and an outlet opening for releasing a fluid, wherein the heating system is arranged for increasing the temperature of fluid received at the inlet opening before releasing the fluid at the outlet opening. A better heat transfer can be obtained when the fluid is a liquid. Advantageously, the fluid inside container unit is water.

Optionally, the inlet opening and outlet opening are the same. Optionally, the medium inside the container unit is water and the container unit includes a warm water tank arranged for storing warm water.

Optionally, the container unit is a warm water tank arranged for storing warm water.

Water can be supplied to the container unit through the inlet opening for being heated inside the container unit. When necessary, hot water can be taken through the outlet opening of the container unit. The hot water can be hot tap water.

Optionally, the container unit includes an inner tank contained inside an outer containing tank. The inner tank can comprise an inlet opening for receiving a fluid and an outlet opening for releasing the fluid. The inner tank can e.g. be a warm water tank for storing hot tap water. The outer containing tank can include a heating fluid at least partially surrounding the inner tank. Thus, the heating fluid in the outer containing tank can be used for indirectly heating the fluid, such as tap water, in the inner tank.

Optionally, the outer containing tank includes at least one compartment containing a phase change material. The phase change material can acts as a secondary heat source, e.g. during times that a large amount of water is extracted from the inner tank. The phase change material can also aid in preventing overheating the at least one processing unit.

Optionally, the outer containing tank includes at least one heat pipe arranged for transporting heat from a bottom of the outer containing tank upwards.

Optionally, the heating system includes a thermal isolation positioned between at least one processing unit and the container unit, and at least one thermal diode allowing thermal energy to be transferred in a single direction only, from the at least one processing unit to the container unit. The thermal isolation may be positioned between a sealed enclosure enclosing the at least one processing unit and the container unit.

Optionally, the medium inside the container unit is an oil.

Optionally, the medium inside the container unit is phase-change material. A phase-change material (PCM) is a substance capable of storing and releasing energy. A PCM can be a latent heat storage unit, wherein for example heat is absorbed or released when the material changes from solid to liquid and vice versa.

Optionally, the container unit comprises one or more sub-tanks within an outer tank of the container unit. The at least one heat pipe can be thermally coupled with at least one of the one or more sub-tank and/or the medium inside at least one of the one or more sub-tanks.

Optionally, the system further comprises a controlling unit arranged for determining a need for thermal energy output for heating the medium inside the container unit, selecting one or more computational tasks to be carried out by the at least one processing unit depending on the needed thermal energy output, and operating the at least one processing unit to carry out the one or more

computational tasks for obtaining a resulting thermal energy output substantially corresponding to the needed thermal energy output.

In this way, the computational tasks can be adapted to the demand of the thermal energy needed for warming up the medium inside the container unit

(e.g. water). Optionally, the resulting thermal energy output is increased by selecting more computational tasks.

Optionally, the resulting thermal energy output is increased by reducing an interval between successive tasks.

Optionally, the thermal energy output is increased by selecting a more computational intensive task.

Optionally, the thermal energy output is increased by selecting more or different processing devices. The thermal energy output generated by a CPU and GPU may differ. In an example, the energy output is increased by selecting more GPU tasks performed on a GPU processing device. Furthermore, also an

application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) may be employed for the purpose of changing the thermal energy output by selecting more or different processing devices.

Optionally, the thermal energy output is programmatically controlled based on a pressure level or liquid level in the enclosure. Preferably the enclosure is a sealed enclosure.

Optionally, the thermal energy output is programmatically controlled based on a pressure level or liquid level in the container.

Optionally, the at least one processing unit is connected to an electric power source, wherein the controlling unit is configured for obtaining data representative of a parameter of electricity of the power source and for allocating the one or more computational calculation tasks over time on the basis of the parameter. Hence, the local consumption of electric power for performing the computational tasks can be controlled on the basis of the parameter of electricity of the power source.

Optionally, the power source is at least one of a power grid, a local photovoltaic solar unit, or a rechargeable battery.

Optionally, the parameter is one or more of a voltage of the electricity of the power grid, a cost per unit of the electricity of the power grid, an availability of renewable energy, or a frequency of electricity of the power source.

Optionally, the data representative of the parameter is based on a prediction. The value of the parameter can be variable in time. The prediction can predict the variable value in time. Optionally, the controlling unit is configured for determining data representative of a quantity of thermal energy needed within a time frame for heating the medium inside the container unit to a desired temperature, determining a prediction of the parameter of electricity of the power source for at least a part of the time frame, and allocating the one or more computational calculation tasks over the time frame on the basis of the prediction of the parameter and the data representative of the quantity of thermal energy needed. Hence, the local consumption of electric power for performing the computational tasks can be controlled in time on the basis of the prediction of the parameter of electricity of the power source and on the basis of the thermal energy need within the time frame.

Optionally, the data representative of the quantity of thermal energy needed is based on a prediction. The prediction can e.g. be based on historical data about a usage pattern of thermal energy in time.

Optionally, the prediction of the parameter and/or the prediction of the quantity of thermal energy needed is an ongoing prediction.

Optionally, the computational tasks are adapted to the mode of operation, such as gaming, media streaming, batch computations, etc. Also, the system can be arranged for providing grid power quality management while heating up the container unit.

Optionally, the heating system is arranged to guard the temperature in the vessel so as to protect from overheating the electronic computer equipment of the at least one processing unit. Optionally, the heating system is arranged to, when the temperature in the vessel exceeds a first temperature threshold, indicate to a user that a limited time is remaining before the processing unit will be slowed down and or halted, and/or, when the temperature in the vessel exceeds a second temperature threshold, slowing down and/or halting the processing unit.

Optionally, the heating system is arranged to present the user with an estimated time remaining before the second temperature threshold may be reached. The time remaining can e.g. be calculated based on the current temperature, the maximum temperature allowed, the average power output while operating the processing unit and the properties of the storage medium (water, oil or PCM). This information can be presented locally, e.g. on a display, e.g. via LED indication, via sound, and/or on a remote device. The remote device may for example be a TV, smart-TV, mobile phone, smart watch, tablet, VR-glasses, etc. It is possible that when the second temperature threshold is reached the processing performed on the processing unit continues on another computer server and may be streamed over the internet.

Optionally, the container unit is thermally insulated so as to store thermal energy in the medium inside the container unit.

Optionally, the container unit is an upstanding vessel.

In accordance with a further aspect, there is provided herewith a heating system for heating a medium by means of a processing unit. The system comprises at least one processing unit having at least one processor for performing computational tasks, and a container unit for holding the medium. The at least one processing unit can be thermally coupled for transferring thermal energy produced by the at least one processing unit to the medium. The at least one processing unit can be connectable to an electric power source. The controlling unit can be configured for obtaining data representative of a parameter of electricity of the power source and for allocating one or more computational calculation tasks over time on the basis of the parameter. The data representative of the parameter can be based on a prediction of said parameter.

Optionally, the controlling unit is configured for determining data representative of a quantity of thermal energy needed within a time frame for heating the medium to a desired temperature, determining the prediction of the parameter of electricity of the power source for at least a part of the time frame, and allocating the one or more computational calculation tasks over the time frame on the basis of the prediction of the parameter and the data representative of the quantity of thermal energy needed.

Optionally, the data representative of the quantity of thermal energy needed is based on a prediction.

Optionally, the electric power source is at least one of a power grid, a local photovoltaic solar unit, or a rechargeable battery.

Optionally, the parameter of electricity of the power source is one or more of a voltage of the electricity of the power grid, a cost per unit of the electricity of the power grid, an availability of renewable energy, or a frequency of electricity of the power source.

The invention further relates to a container unit, processing unit and module holder for use in the described heating system.

In accordance with a further aspect, there is provided herewith a method for heating by means of a processing unit. The method comprises:

providing at least one processing unit having at least one processor for performing computational tasks, and a container unit holding a medium inside, and thermally coupling the at least one processing unit with at least a portion of the container unit by means of at least one heat pipe arranged transferring thermal energy produced by the at least one processing unit to the at least one portion of the container unit so as to heat the medium inside the container unit.

Optionally, a controlling unit is employed for determining a need for thermal energy output for heating the medium inside the container unit, selecting one or more computational tasks to be carried out by the at least one processing unit depending on the needed thermal energy output, operating the at least one processing unit to carry out the one or more computational tasks for obtaining a resulting thermal energy output substantially corresponding to the needed thermal energy output.

It will also be clear that any one or more of the above aspects, features and options can be combined. It will be appreciated that any one of the options described in view of one of the aspects can be applied equally to any of the other aspects. It will also be clear that all aspects, features and options mentioned in view of the systems apply equally to the methods and vice versa.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The invention will further be elucidated on the basis of exemplary embodiments which are represented in a drawing. The exemplary embodiments are given by way of non-limitative illustration. It is noted that the figures are only schematic representations of embodiments of the invention that are given by way of non-limiting example. In the drawing:

Fig. 1 shows an example of a heating system;

Fig. 2 shows an example of a heating system;

Fig. 3 shows an example of a heating system;

Fig. 4 shows an example of a heating system;

Fig. 5 shows an exemplary radiator element;

Fig. 6 shows an example of a heating system;

Fig. 7 (a), (b), (c) and (d) show examples of heating systems;

Fig. 8 shows an example of a heating system;

Fig. 9 shows an example of a heating system;

Fig. 10 shows an example of a heating system;

Fig. 11 shows an example of a heating system;

Fig. 12 shows an example of a heating system;

Fig. 13 shows an example of a heating system;

Fig. 14 shows an example of a heating system;

Fig. 15 shows an example of a heating system;

Fig. 16 shows an example of a heating system;

Figs. 17a and 17b show an example of a heating system; and

Figs. 18a and 18b show an example of a heating system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Fig. 1 shows a heating system 1 for heating by means of a processing unit 2. The heating system 1 comprises at least one processing unit 2 having at least one processor for performing computational tasks. The heating system 1 further comprises a container unit 4 for holding a medium 10 held inside the container unit 4. The at least one processing unit 2 is thermally coupled with at least a portion 6 of the container unit 4 by means of heat pipes 8, here two heat pipes 8, arranged for transferring thermal energy produced by the at least one processing unit 2 to the at least one portion 6 of the container unit 4 for heating medium 10 inside the container unit 4. In this example, the processing unit 2 is arranged below or underneath the container unit 4 with the gravitational force directed downwards. This can be beneficial for the heat pipes 8, wherein as a result of the gravitational force G the condensed liquid from vapour inside the heat pipe 8 at an upper side 8a of the heat pipe 8 can flow back to a lower side 8b of the heat pipe 8 which is thermally connected coupled with the processing unit 2. In an example, additional means can be arranged for improving the transfer of heat from the components of the processing unit 2 to the heat pipe 8, such as but not limited to a heat sink, heat pump, conduction plate, etc.

Fig. 2 shows a heating system 1 for heating by means of the processing unit 2. The processing unit 2 is arranged next to the container unit 4. Heat generated by the processing unit 2 as a result of performing computational tasks is transferred by means of a plurality of heat pipes 8. A thermal path is formed by the heat pipes 8 from the processing unit 2 to a wall portion of the container unit 4 so as to transfer the generated heat to the medium 10 inside the container unit 4. Also in this example condensed liquid from vapour inside the heat pipe 8 at an upper side 8a of the heat pipe 8 can flow back to a lower side 8b of the heat pipe 8 as a result of the gravitational force G. This may improve the robustness of the system, as the heat pipes are not dependent on the capillary effect. However, one or more heat pipes using the capillary effect can also be used.

Fig. 3 shows a heating system 1 comprising a container unit 4 in the form of a vessel 4 arranged for providing a heated medium 10. In this example, the medium 10 inside the vessel 4 is water 10. The water 10 can be heated inside the vessel 4 by the heat generated by the processing unit 2 performing one or more computational tasks. In this example, the processing unit 2 is formed by a computer server being enclosed in an enclosure 12 arranged underneath the vessel 4. The vessel 4 comprises an inlet 14 at a bottom portion for obtaining unheated and/or cold water 10 inside the vessel 4, and an outlet 16 at the top for warm water. The destination of the heated or warm water 10 tapped through the outlet can be for usage for commercial, industrial or private use. Hot tap water generation in a single household home would be an advantageous usage. The water vessel 4 has multiple contact surfaces to exchange energy in the form of heat with the computer equipment. The computer server used can adapt its computational tasks, and as such the power consumption of the server based on user requirements, grid power quality and the required heat. In an advantageous example, the vessel 4 can have a volume smaller than 500 liters, preferably smaller than 250 liters, more preferably smaller than 200 liters. In an example, model A, the system is optimized for heating water with the purpose of daily hygiene. The usage of tap water during a working day of a family may be focused around early morning and late evening. During the weekend a more spread usage of heated water can be expected, although still with moments of high and low usage may be possible. Model A can be capable of achieving a maximum temperature for stopping the growth of legionella bacteria, e.g. at or higher than 65 degrees Celsius. To achieve this high temperatures, the water in the tank 4 may need to stand still for a certain amount of time, depending on the thermal power output of the electronic components of the at least one processing unit 2. The thermal output of the components of the at least one processing unit 2 depends on the type of components and its active usage.

In another example, model B, the system can be optimized for heating homes or buildings, with a lower maximum temperature. Model A can be designed to heat water that stands still in the vessel 4 for a longer duration than model B. This model has no need for the water to stand still but can be also operated for some time while the water is not circulating, up to a safe maximum temperature. When the maximum water temperature has been reached the computer server(s) of one or more processing units 2 may stop or reduce their computational activities. In an alternative manner when the maximum temperature has been reached the surplus of energy can be delivered to an outside radiator, a different nearby dwelling, a swimming pool, a geothermal heatsink, a green house or a public heat distribution network. Most often for Model B purposes the vessel 4 may be larger than for model A purposes, although this is not always needed. To heat building areas, often more energy is needed which is translated in more computer equipment being installed.

In an example, a model can be employed which fulfils the purposes of both models A and B.

Model A can be intended for hot tap water usage in private homes or in commercial, industrial or public buildings. Its design is optimized to heat tap water that stands still during different moments of the day in the vessel 4. At irregular intervals a user may use hot water 10 from the vessel or tank 4, allowing at the same time to flow cold tap water inside the tank 4 at a bottom of the tank 4. As such, the heat from the tank 4 is partially or completely removed. Fresh tap water that comes in at the bottom through inlet 14 can have a typical temperature range between 10 and 25 degrees Celsius. The target temperature of the warm water leaving the vessel through outlet 16 may typically be between 45 and 65 degrees Celsius. Other medium temperatures may also be used.

The cold water entering in the tank 4 through inlet 14 can be heated up in different ways inside the tank 4, wherein some or all may be applied at the same time. Due to the tendency of water to create temperature layers inside a tank 4, we have envisioned multiple distinct ways to heat up the water 10 to the desired usage temperature.

One or more processing units 2, which may be in the form of one or more computer servers, may be placed underneath the vessel 4 using at least one heat pipe 8 to transfer the heat generated by the one or more computer servers upwards. This may ensure that the computer equipment stays cool at all times. Cold water at the bottom of the tank 4 is warmed up by heat transferred from one or more heat absorbing radiating elements 18 through one or more heat pipes 8. These heat pipes 8 are constructed as best fit for optimal heat exchange. The diameter, the material and liquid/gas of the heat pipe 8 are selected based on the expected heat to be transferred from the computer server(s) 2 inside the enclosure 12. A heat pipe 8 may transfer the heat from the bottom 8b (warm side) to the top 8a of its tube (cold side). The top side 8a of the heat pipes 8 may be attached to the vessel 4 containing water 10. The heat pipes 8 might be attached directly to the vessel 4 or via an intermediate heat transfer body to improve contact area, heat transfer and more evenly spread the thermal energy. This could be in the form of a metal ring fitting cleanly around the vessel 4 or it could be metal alloy blocks where the heat pipes 8 are attached to. It is also possible to use Pyrolytic Highly Oriented Graphite sheets (PGS Graphite) to improve the heat transfer. The efficiency of the heat transfer body might be further improved by applying horizontally one or more heat pipes 8 around the vessel 4, allowing a more even spread of energy flow around the contact surface. Alternatively these horizontal heat pipes 8 may be replaced by a sheet of PGS which has excellent heat transfer properties. The bottom side of the heat pipes 8 are attached to the radiating elements 18. The vessel or water tank 4 can be made of a metal or metal alloy, e.g. copper or stainless steel. This metal may improve the efficiency of the heat transfer to the water 10 contained in the vessel 4.

The heat absorbing radiator element 18 is most often designed from anodised aluminum. However it could be designed using other materials capable of heat transfer like for example copper. The radiator element 18 may be assembled as one piece, or be an assembly of multiple smaller radiators. The radiator element 18 may make use of horizontal or vertical heat pipes 8 to improve its efficiency and/or to connect smaller radiators together (not shown in fig. 3).

A heat pipe 8 can be designed from a metal tube, most often copper, containing inside a gas under very low pressure. One or more heat pipes 8 can be attached to the radiator heat absorbing element 18. The number depends on the amount of thermal heat that is expected to be transferred from the enclosure 12 to the water vessel 4. In this example, the bottom of the heat pipe 8 is the evaporator. The heat pipes 8 are attached at their top to the water tank 4 (as explained above). This side is called the condenser. In the example shown in fig. 3 the top of the heat pipe 8 has a higher temperature with respect to the bottom of the heat pipe 8, indicating a heat transfer (flux) from the bottom to the top of the heat pipe 8. In different examples it is possible to use heat pipes 8 with or without a wick

(thermosiphon). In one example, the used heat pipes 8 are Variable Conductance Heat Pipes (VCHP), which allow to keep the enclosure and the contained equipment at a substantially stable temperature.

In the processing unit 2 enclosure 12 or computer server enclosure 12, it is optionally possible to have fans installed that help to circulate the air inside the enclosure 12. The intent is to enhance the transfer of heat to the radiator element 18.

To further improve the transfer of heat towards the vessel 4, the radiator element 18 can be equipped with one or more Peltier elements 20. A Peltier element 20 is a thermo-electric heat pump. By applying a current at the element, one side becomes warmer and the other side becomes colder. The Peltier element 20 may force a movement of thermal energy from the cold side to the warm side. For efficient installation, we envision the cold side to be connected directly to the radiator element 18 while the warm side may be attached to a heat pipe 8 that connects to the vessel 4. By using heat pipes 8, like a thermosiphon or loop heat pipe with valves, it is possible to arrange a one way thermal path from the server enclosure 12 to the vessel 4, protecting the electronics against sudden thermal shock.

The one or more Peltier elements 20 can be controlled by the computer server or by a separate micro-controller (not shown on fig. 3). When the

temperature in the computer enclosure 12, as measured by a temperature sensor, is within safe limits, the Peltier element(s) 20 is/are not actively used. When the temperature in the enclosure 12 is higher than the upper safe limit the Peltier element 20 may be activated to pump extra heat from the enclosure 12 to the water vessel 4. The presence of and the type/amount of Peltier elements 20 depends on the characteristics of the computer server installed. The Peltier element 20 may receive an optimal control signal, most often a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) signal by the control unit.

In the vessel 4 one or more special temperature probe entries (tubes) 41 can be arranged. These temperature probes 41 can also be connected to the computer server or the special purpose micro-controller for being used in changing and or controlling the heat transfer. The probes 41 may provide information about the status of the temperature inside the vessel 4. At least one temperature probe 41 could be envisioned at the top of the vessel 4 to measure the highest

temperature inside the tank.

As an optional step, heat can be extracted directly from computer components by a flow of water or similar coolant (transfer fluid). The components envisioned are those with a modest thermal output. Water blocks attached to the components transfer the heat to the cooling fluid. The coolant fluid is pumped in a closed loop using a pump 24. This closed loop is attached with the bottom spiral 26. After the water has absorbed the heat from the components using the water block(s), it enters at the top of the bottom spiral 26, flowing through the spiral delivering its thermal energy to the water 10 inside the vessel 4. The water is then returned to the components of the at least one processing unit 2 to cool again the components. The pump 24 itself is best placed in the loop just before entering the first water block, but can be positioned anywhere in the loop.

The components that are envisioned to be connected to this loop are, but not limited to, one or more central processing units (CPU), the computer motherboard (Southbridge / Northbridge / voltage controllers), the internal RAM of the computer (Random Access Memory, often referred to as DDR memory or DIMMs), the hard drives installed into the system. The exact set of components of the processing unit 2 may depend on the computers and/or servers used. The amount and design of the water blocks can depend on the components used by the manufacturer of the computer hardware.

The pump 24 used can be of any suitable type, such as a rotary pump. The pump 24 may have a set of sensors built inside to determine its functioning. These sensors could consist of voltage measurement, current measurement, water flow meter, temperature measurement, vibration measurement. The exact set of sensors may depend on the pump type used. The value of the sensors can be captured by the computer server using a connection to the pump (USB or other interfacing). It could also be envisioned that one or more special purpose controllers may be built inside the system to control the pump(s) 24, the fans and the Peltier element(s) 20, also being able to read out all the sensory information required. This special purpose controller may be connected to a network (for example the internet) to allow remote monitoring and control. A display 28 with control buttons (or touch interface) may be used to visualize the state of the apparatus to the user and to accept control requests from the user, like for example to increase or lower the desired maximum temperature in the vessel 4.

The liquid flowing through the water blocks and pump 24 is not pressurized, to avoid possible leaks within the computer enclosure. This liquid could be distilled water. Additives may be added to suppress growth of bacteria and fungi inside the water. Special purpose cooling liquids may be used. The area around the bottom spiral 26 is expected to be warmed up to a temperature between 45 to 50 degrees Celsius, but could be higher depending on the arranged electronics and components.

Optionally, the system may have means to further increase the temperature of the medium 10 (e.g. water) inside the tank 4. For hygiene usage of tap water a maximum temperature of 45 to 50 degrees may not be enough to stop the growth of certain types of bacteria. Some countries have installed legislation that mandates that a boiler is able to at least reach a temperature of 65 degrees. To reach this kind of temperatures a top spiral 30 can be arranged at the top of the vessel 4. This spiral can be arranged to transfer heat generated from computer components of the at least one processing unit 2 which can generate and handle higher temperatures. For example, a Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) is commonly known to be designed to handle higher temperatures, some even up to

temperatures of close to 100 degrees Celsius. Therefore these kind of computer components can advantageously be connected to the top spiral 30 using water blocks and a closed loop. The pump 24 can be installed in the closed loop before the cooling fluid enters the water block of the GPU card. The most warm water may enter at the top of the spiral 30 where the heat may be transferred to the water 10 in the vessel 4. After the transfer of generated heat to the water 10 in the vessel 4, the colder water may be transferred again to the GPU card via the pump 24. The temperature of the water entering the top spiral may be in the range of 65 to 70 degrees Celsius, while the water leaving the spiral 30 is expected to be no more than 55 to 60 degrees Celsius. Other temperature ranges are possible depending on the technical specifications of the graphic processors or other high grade temperature semiconductors used. It is envisioned that besides graphic processors also co-processors like for example the Intel Phi can be used.

Optionally, the system may comprise auxiliary heating. At certain moments it might be possible that more warm water is requested during a certain period in time than the computer server equipment can warm up in the same period of time. Therefore an optional electrical heating element 32 can be installed in and or to the vessel 4. This can be of the same type as commonly used in existing boiler systems. The heating element can be controlled by the computer server or by the micro-controller. It could be envisioned that a Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) signal is used to control the heating element to only add the heat that is needed to reach the desired temperature. It could also be controlled using a standard dual- metal thermo- switch as commonly found on the market.

The system may comprise other parts that are sometimes found in existing boiler systems. The maintenance hatch 34 is a closed entrance for a technician to inspect the inner surface of the vessel and to remove deposits in the vessel 4. An optional anode 36 may be used to avoid corrosion of the vessel 4. It is of a similar type as found in similar boilers on the market today. A maintenance door 38 can be arranged, which can be used by a technician to have access to the processing unit 2, computer server equipment, the pump 24 and/or the other components that are inside the enclosure 12. For both closed loops, namely the top spiral 30 and bottom spiral 26 the technician has to be able to add coolant fluid and/or to extract air. Therefor two small fill systems 40 are envisioned for allowing this, e.g. one for each loop. Extra fluid and air is held in the fill tube to allow for the needed expansion of the fluid during warming up (fluid may expand with higher temperature in the vessel 4).

The vessel 4 has the possibility to make use of a retour system, to have a higher level of comfort to the users. The retour system may comprise a retour inlet 17. This is similar as in existing hot tap water constructions. The pump of the retour system is not shown on the figure. The pump of the retour system might be controlled by the compute server or by a dedicated control unit, or by a clock outside of the apparatus.

Fig. 4 shows a system 1 according to another example using temperature grade semiconductors 42. The system comprises high temperature grade equipment, such as for example hash-calculating semiconductors. It may be possible that there is no need to make use of the spirals inside the vessel 4, such as the bottom spiral 26 and the top spiral 30 of the example of fig. 3. In this example, the semiconductors 42 might be placed in close vicinity of the radiator element 18, or might be directly attached to the radiator or via a heat pipe 8 or spreader. In such an example the spirals 26, 30 may be omitted for economic reasons, and all the heat transfer may happen through the heat pipes 8 at the bottom of the vessel 4.

Fig. 5 shows the semiconductors attached directly to the radiator element 18, which purpose is to transfer the heat produced by the semiconductors 42 efficiently towards the heat pipes 8. In one example a sheet of PGS Graphite was placed between the semiconductors and the radiator to improve heat transfer properties. In one example, the radiator element 18 can be thermally shielded from the enclosure 12. Different isolation materials can be used, like for example a NASBIS insulating sheet from Panasonic.

Fig. 6 shows another example wherein the computer equipment 2 or high grade semiconductors 42 are placed inside a module or sealed enclosure 44 filled with an electrically non-conducting fluid. In an advantageous example the sealed enclosure 44 is a metal enclosure. The sealed enclosure 44 can slide at the bottom and be pressed to the radiator 18. The non-conducting fluid may be transformer oil or mineral oil; or may be a more advanced fluid like 3M™

Fluorinert™ FC-72, 3M™ Novec™ 7000, 3M™ Novec™ 7100, 3M™ Novec™ 649 or any mixture their off. The metal enclosure 44 may be attached to the radiator or be pressed to the radiator element 18 using a pressure mechanism (not show on picture). In this example the radiator might take the form of a flat plate or any other suitable form to easily press the sealed enclosure 44 to the radiator element 18. The main advantage of using a sealed enclosure 44 is the ability to better resist corrosion and to easily replace the computer server. When using a two phase emersion cooling fluid one has also the possibility of omitting moving parts to transfer fluids and as such to reduce audible noise and power consumption. In the example of the system in fig. 6, a sealed enclosure 44 is shown that can be sled beneath the radiator element 18. By using quick connect plugs at the back of the enclosure and slide unit, the heat producing computer can easily be placed or replaced by a skilled technician.

Alternatively, or additionally, drip free fluid and/or gas connectors can be employed to connect the fluid inside the sealed enclosure 44 to a piping system at the back of the vessel in case there is a need to transfer heat towards spirals 30,26, in such case there is a need to have a higher thermal output towards the vessel 4. The spirals may be filled directly with the cooling fluid (as mentioned above) or be filled with an intermediate cooling fluid, like for example distilled water. In case of using an intermediate cooling fluid an extra pump might be arranged for circulating the intermediate cooling fluid. The pump(s) for moving the fluid around might be installed in the enclosure or inside the sealed enclosure.

Fig. 7a shows a heating system 1 comprising a sealed two-phase immersion cooling enclosure. The computer equipment is immersed in a liquid, shown in fig. 7a by a liquid level 46. Inside the enclosure a heat pipe 8c is placed, attached to the top of the sealed enclosure. The bottom part of this heat pipe 8c has heat pipe fins 48 attached to improve heat transfer. The heat pipe 8c and fins 48 are placed above the liquid level 46. The main function of the heat pipe 8c is to cool the formed gas and to transfer the heat quickly toward the top of the enclosure where it can be transferred via the PGS sheet to the heat pipes 8 connected to the tank or container unit 4. When the gas cools it may become liquid and drip down making this a closed loop. In another example the heat pipe 8c inside the sealed enclosure is replaced by a folded PGS Graphite sheet, attached to the top inside of the sealed enclosure (not shown in figure). The connectors for power and network interface are placed above the liquid level to avoid leakage and preferably above the level of the heat pipe 8c, where the gas concentration is the lowest. The sealed enclosure may be slightly over or under pressurized to change the boiling point of the two-phase cooling liquid. When using a two-phase immersion fluid the CPU and/or GPU used can be treated with a microporous metallic boiling enhancement coating to improve the heat transfer towards the fluid and improve the boiling process.

Fig. 7b shows a heating system 1 comprising a sealed enclosure 44 using a heat pipe 8c to transfer the heat to a backplate 50. In an advantageous example the sealed enclosure 44 is a metal enclosure 44. In another example the heat pipe 8c in the sealed enclosure 44 may be brought to the outside of the sealed enclosure 44, penetrating the wall of the sealed enclosure 44. During installation the part of the heat pipe 8c outside the enclosure 44 may be inserted into the manifold of the backplate 50. The backplate 50, can be made of a metal alloy like for example aluminum or copper. The backplate 50 may be cooled by a heat transfer fluid (for example water). The heat transfer fluid may be pumped around by means of a pump 49 and may be cooled as disclosed above. Multiple heat pipes 8c may be used with a single backplate 50 if a single heat pipe 8c is not sufficient to cool the gas inside the sealed enclosure 44. It is possible also to add extra heat pipes 8c that are inside the enclosure 44, partially or completely below the liquid level 46 to cool the contained liquid, if necessary.

Fig. 7c shows a heating system 1 with a sealed enclosure 44 filled with a dielectric fluid. In this example the sealed enclosure 44 is filled with mineral oil, transformer oil or bio-based oil. The electronics of the processing unit is arranged below the liquid level 46 of the oil. At the bottom of a top lid of the sealed enclosure 44 a large radiator 52 is arranged comprising a plurality of fins which may partially be submerged into the oil. This radiator 52 may transfer the heat from the cooling oil towards the top of the sealed enclosure 44. In order to improve the heat transfer of the sealed enclosure 44 to the heat pipes 8 attached to the radiator 52, a PGS Graphite sheet can be used similarly as in above examples. Optionally, to improve heat transfer towards the vessel 4, the oil may be pumped outside of the sealed enclosure 44 by means of a pump 49, e.g. through drip-free plugs, transferring the oil e.g. to spirals or heat pipes 8 installed on the vessel. Heat sinks may be attached to the components producing more heat. Those heat sinks may allow the oil to pass through them, to transfer the heat produced by those components efficiently to the oil. Another way to cool the oil would be to use one or more heat pipes 8 penetrating the sealed enclosure 44 and cooled by the backplate 50 as described above.

Fig. 7d shows a heating system 1 with a sealed enclosure 44 filled with a fluid, such as a dielectric fluid. This fluid may for example be an oil. The fluid remains inside the sealed enclosure 44 and is pumped around using a pump 49 arranged inside the enclosure 44. The oil may pass through heat sinks attached or coupled to heat producing computer components of the processing unit. The order of transfer may be from those components with the least heat flux first towards those components with the highest heat flux last. The oil is then passed towards heat transfer elements 44h at the top of the sealed enclosure 44. Those heat transfer elements 44h, having fluid ports, are attached underneath or on the heat pipes 8i and 8j to efficiently transfer the heat onto the evaporator of the heat pipe. Two heat pipes are shown, but another number of heat pipes can be employed. The enclosure may also have a radiator 58 to improve heat from the oil towards the heat pipes 8i, 8j as explained in fig. 7c. The example shows the use of two heat pipes with different lengths. More or less heat pipes 8i, 8j could be used if needed. By using different lengths for the heat pipes 8i, 8j, different areas of the medium 10 inside the container 4 could be prioritized for heat delivery. It is envisioned that the longest heat pipes will deliver the most energy at the top part of the container 4 first, while the shortest heat pipes will deliver the remaining energy at the bottom part of the container 4 last. As such the order of delivery is best kept longest first - shortest last.

In the example shown in fig. 7d, the sealed enclosure 44 comprises a processing unit including a CPU unit and a GPU unit. Fluid (e.g. oil) is guided to the CPU unit for enabling heat transfer, and subsequently guided to the GPU unit. The power output of the GPU unit may be higher than the power output of the CPU unit, so that more heat can be generated by the GPU unit. As a result, the fluid may be first heated by the CPU unit and subsequently heated by the GPU unit to a higher temperature. It is envisaged that more stages can be employed for step-wise increasing the temperature of the fluid (e.g. oil or other dielectric fluid). It will be appreciated that other configurations are possible, e.g. wherein the fluid is first heated by a GPU unit and then downstream by a CPU unit.

Fig. 8 shows a heating system 1 according to a further example comprising (heat exchanging) spirals 26a, 30a arranged on an outside of the vessel 4. A top outer spiral 30a and a bottom outer spiral 26a is arranged. This may be advantageous in a domestic setting. The functionality is similar to using spirals inside the vessel. As seen above, it is possible to use one or two spirals. If using one, the spiral may cover the whole vessel, or a part of the vessel. Advantageously, a safer system can be obtained, especially when the medium inside the vessel 4 is water used as drinking water. In this case, no toxic substances can be released into the water as a result of leakage of the spiral(s).

Fig. 9 shows a heating system 1 according to a further example. The system 1 employs one or more heat pipes 8d inside the vessel 4. The outer spirals 26a and 30a can be replaced by heat pipes 8d inserted into the vessel 4. Those heat pipes 8d can have fluid ports and a heat transfer body at the outside of the vessel 4. The heat transfer body transfers the energy from the fluid flowing through the body onto the heat pipe 8d. The heat pipe 8d itself transfers the energy to the water 10.

Fig. 10 shows a heating system 1 according to a further example, the system 1 comprising a, e.g. pressureless, vessel 4 or container unit 4. Water, or another medium, can be provided to the vessel 4 comprising a medium at a higher temperature than the water provided. A heat exchanger 63 is arranged inside the vessel 4, at least partially surrounded by the medium 10 inside the vessel 4, through which heat exchanger 63 the water is guided so as to heat up the water by means of heat transfer between the medium 10 inside the vessel 4 and the water pumped through the heat exchanger 63 (e.g. spiral). The heated water can then be received at an outlet, for use. The vessel 4 itself may contain water 10 as the medium inside the vessel 4. The hot tap water can be stored in a large spiral inside the vessel where the cold water enters at the bottom of the spiral and leaves at the top. The advantage of this example is that the water contained in the vessel is used as a heat storage medium and never leaves the vessel. This prohibits calcification in the vessel and thus reduces the maintenance cost and durability of the installation. Another advantage is that because the hot tap water is inside the spirals 63, no formation of the legionella bacteria can occur. As such the maximum temperature that the vessel needs to reach does not have to be 60 degrees Celsius or more, but can be lowered to 55 degrees which may save on energy costs. The pressureless vessel may be filled with water during installation. When the vessel is filled the valve at the inlet is closed by the technician. In Figure 10 a pressureless vessel is shown using an optional heat pipe 8d as an auxiliary heating device. This could optionally also be one or more spirals if enough space is available inside the vessel.

Fig. 11 illustrates a heating system 1 according to a further example, the system 1 comprising a, e.g. pressureless, vessel 4 containing a phase change material (PCM) as the heat storage medium 10 inside the vessel 4. Paraffin based PCMs are known to be expensive and have under specific circumstances been identified as carcinogenic. Paraffin may be distilled form fossil oil and as such may contribute to climate change. Due to the recent breakthroughs in the field of vegetable based phase change materials, PCMs have become readily available at affordable prices. Melting points are now brought in the range where they can be used in household environments. Vegetable based PCMs are not carcinogenic and have no negative effect on human health nor the environment and can even be used in food sensitive environments. In an example, a vegetable based PCM 10 can be used with a sharp melting point of approximately 48 degrees Celsius. The PCM may be completely solid below 47 degrees Celsius and may be completely liquefied from 51 degrees and above. Another melting point of the PCM 10 could be used but this may need to be in the usable temperature range for its purpose, for example domestic hot water usage (35 to 60 degrees Celsius). During the phase change from solid to liquid the PCM 10 absorbs a high amount of energy without increasing its temperature. This is called latent heat. Only after the PCM 10 has completely melted, the temperature may steadily increase (sensible heat) when adding more energy. Because of this effect the PCM 10 is ideal for usage in a hot tap water vessel where a processing unit or a computer server is used as the heating device. As an alternative PCM an inorganic phase change material can be used, like for example a salt. Again a heat exchanger 63 in the form of a spiral is arranged inside the vessel 4 for allowing heat transfer between the PCM medium 10 inside the vessel 4 and the water pumped through the heat exchanger. In this way, the temperature of the water can be increased so as to obtain heated water, which can for example be used for domestic, commercial and/or industrial purposes.

The temperature of the computer servers can be kept at a more constant temperature due to the phase change effect of the PCM. Typically the CPU of a server is designed to safely operate at their junction at temperatures up to 70 degrees Celsius and a GPU up to 100 degrees. To cool those electronics efficiently, the cooling medium should not be more than 10 degrees below the components maximum junction temperature, preferably less. By using a PCM the temperature inside the sealed enclosure may not be above such limit as there is no need to stop the growth of bacteria inside the vessel by applying a high temperature. When the user uses hot water the temperature fluctuation inside the vessel may be temperate as the latent heat in the PCM may be used to heat up the water flowing through the heat exchanger 63 (spirals). Using a PCM the vessel may be able to absorb about 3 times as much energy than a comparable vessel containing water. This feature can be used to store energy during longer periods of time, up to days, which is important for balancing the electricity supply grid and charging of the vessel during specific moments like for example on sunny days.

In this example the computer server is contained in a sealed enclosure 44. Different examples, as described above can be used. The sealed enclosure 44 can be placed by the technician underneath the vessel 4 using sliding bars and be pressed against the radiator element 18 using a pressing mechanism. The radiator element 18, similar to the radiators described above, has a large contact surface with the sealed enclosure 44. The radiator may be enhanced using a PGS sheet, heat spreaders and/or heat pipes to enhance its thermal characteristics. The radiator is attached to one or more large vertical heat pipes 8 which brings the heat from the radiator 18 to the PCM 10. The one or more heat pipes 8 can be of the type thermosiphon (without a wick) because of its vertical position which reduces the overall cost and provides a higher level of protection for the electronics due to its single direction thermal path of operation. It is also possible to use other types of heat pipes 8 to improve the heat transfer properties, like heat pipes 8 with a wick , diode heat pipes 8 or variable conductance heat pipes 8. Each heat pipe 8 has a large contact surface with the PCM 10. PCMs can have a lower thermal

conductivity than water (usually about half or less). Therefore, a large surface area is needed to transfer enough energy to the PCM. Additionally, additives that improve the thermal conductivity of the PCM can be added to the PCM, like for example graphite foams or metal-micro structures. Other means of improving the heat transfer inside the PCM can be a thin metal structure that enhances the transfer of heat inside the vessel 4. For example a lightweight grid structure made of aluminum improves the heat transfer several times without reducing the effectiveness of the PCM. The aim of the structure is to have the PCM have a uniform temperature in the vessel 4, making the phase change occur smoothly. In case even a higher contact area with the PCM would be needed, a secondary heat exchanger, for example spiral inside vessel, spiral outside vessel and/or heat pipe, as described above, could be employed. In another example, the PCM 10 can be contained in (micro-)capsules immersed in a liquid, notably water.

The spiral 63 inside the vessel (heat exchanger) containing the water to be heated for domestic usage also can have a large contact area with the PCM 10 to ensure enough energy is transferred to the water. The vessel has a maintenance hatch 34 for filling the vessel 4 with the PCM 10. As most PCMs 10 expand considerably during their phase change from solid to liquid, the vessel 4 has an area for expansion 54. This area may be filled by the PCM 10 when the PCM 10 is in a liquid state. The area needed depends on the expansion coefficient of the PCM 10. A pressure valve 56 may safeguard the vessel from rupture in case a

malfunction would occur.

Fig. 12 shows an example with a processing unit 2 arranged in a two- phase (liquid to gas) sealed enclosure 44, which is being cooled by two

thermosiphon using a PCM as a heat storage medium 10 inside the container unit 4. Multiple heat pipes 8i, 8j, 8k are arranged between the processing unit 2 and the medium 10 (PCM) inside the container unit 4. The heat pipes 8i, 8j are arranged through a wall portion of the container unit 2 and a thermal isolation is placed between the container unit 4 and the processing unit 2, surrounding the heat pipes 8i, 8j, so as to reduce heat losses to the surroundings and/or improve the heat transfer of the generated heat by the processing unit 2 to the medium inside the container unit 4, as a result of performing one or more computational tasks.

Further, in the shown example, a third heat pipe 8k is used together with a Peltier element 20, as already described above. The radiator is improved with gas pockets 9a, 9b underneath the heat pipes 8i, 8j that may partially trap produced gas above the GPU and/or CPU, respectively. The gas may deliver its heat content more direct to the heat pipe above. When the gas pocket is full the gas overflows to the other parts of the radiator. The heat pipes 8i,8j are of different lengths, allow delivery of heat to different parts of the medium 10 where the electronic

components with the highest heat flux may be directed underneath the heat pipe to deliver its heat to the top part of the vessel 4. The sealed enclosure 44 may be connected to a back plate allowing power, network to pass into the enclosure. The liquid inside the enclosed container 44 may be in contact with a pressure sense tube 45. This tube may be partially made of a plastic or of glass. When the liquid in the sealed enclosure 44 partially transforms to gas, the created pressure by the expansion may push the liquid in the pressure sense tube outwards, moving the floating ball in the tube. A sensor may detect the movement. Advantageously, the processing unit 2 may change its power delivery based on the level detected in the pressure sense tube. A pressure valve is attached to the tube allowing build up pressure to be released. Please note that the drawing is schematic and simplified to retain clarity of the drawing; the reader will assume similar parts as show in Fig. 11 such as isolation, a surrounding container, expansion area and other parts.

According to another model, model B, the system can be used for heating in a building and/or facility. For purposes of heating a building a less high temperature is often required. The building that the user wants to warm up, can have a high thermal insulation so a low temperature heating system can be used. Because a higher amount of energy is needed to warm up a building more server equipment must be used. Often also a larger vessel 4 size may be used. While this is often between 100 and 300 liters for a warm tap water application, it is envisioned that for heating up buildings, such as single family homes, a vessel 4 between 150 and 1000 liters may be used. Fig. 13 shows an example of a system 1 for use in the second model B. The boiler is similar to model A described above. An important difference is that there is no need for the water (heat transfer fluid) to stand still during the warm- up phase. Often one spiral 57 is sufficient to transfer the heat from the enclosure to the water in the tank 4. However a plurality of spirals may be used. There is as such also only one closed loop using one or more pumps 24. The cold water in the loop after leaving the pump first enters into the water blocks of those elements of the one or more processing units 2 that generate less heat (CPU, hard drives, motherboard, etc.). After leaving these elements the water may enter into the water blocks of those elements that can handle higher temperatures and produce more heat, like GPUs. The system of fig. 13 comprises a plurality of processing units 2. In this example three computer servers are stacked on top of each other. Other numbers and/or arrangements are also possible. This could be more or less depending on the energy requirements of the building. As less high temperatures are needed to warm a building it could be envisioned that a server could have one or more CPUs, and little or no GPUs. This depends on the computational tasks that needs to be performed. It could be envisioned that inside the enclosure 12 other equipment could be installed that is needed to operate this cluster of computers, like for example a network switch and/or an uninterruptable power supply unit (UPS). The main principle of transferring the heat of the computer equipment of the at least one processing unit 2 into the vessel 4 remains the same, using one or more heat pipes 8, an optional Peltier element 20 and in this example a spiral 57.

The temperature of the cold water entering the vessel 4 can be expected to range between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius. The temperature of the warm water leaving the vessel 4 can be expected to range between 18 and 35 degrees Celsius.

Also model B can be designed using the examples as described for model A to support sealed enclosures or high grade temperature semiconductors.

An optional Peltier element 20 is shown which can be arranged for controlling and/or changing the heat flow towards the vessel 4, if needed.

Also here, at least one heat exchanging spiral in or on a vessel 4 is used so as to facilitate the heat exchange of specific computer components of the at least one processing unit 2 to the medium 10 inside the vessel 4 (e.g. water). The at least one processing unit 2 can have an enclosure which is arranged to be sled underneath the vessel 4, the enclosure containing the computer equipment to be cooled. The equipment inside the sealed enclosure can be water cooled, cooled by a two-phase immersive fluid or by mineral or transformer oil. Other solutions can be envisaged. A phase change material can be used to store the heat of the at least one processing unit 2 (e.g. computer server(s)).

Fig. 14 shows an example for model B using a PCM 10 as the medium inside the vessel 4. A backplate 50 is arranged containing one or more manifolds where the heat pipes can make contact with the cooling medium (in case of a two- phase immersion model). The cooling medium may be pumped to a spiral 57 inside the vessel 4. In case the sealed enclosures is of the oil containing type, the backplate 50 may also be arranged with drip free connectors to directly use the oil as cooling medium in the spiral 57. Advantageously, in this example the melting point of the PCM 10 can be chosen depending on the storage capacity and the heating delivery system of the building. The water to be heated flows through a dedicated heat exchanger 63 (e.g. spiral) to absorb the heat from the medium 10 (e.g. PCM).

A plurality of sealed enclosures may be placed next to each other, each containing a computer server or similar electronics. All of those may make contact with the radiator attached to the heat pipe 8. The sealed enclosures 44 may be placed on their side to save on space such that enough room remains underneath the vessel 4 to place multiple pieces.

Fig. 15 shows an example usable as model A or B, using a PCM 10 as the medium 10 inside the vessel 4, similar to the example of Fig. 14. The container unit 4 comprises a sub-tank 62 within an outer tank. A heat pipe 8 is thermally coupled with the medium 10 within the container unit 4 and with the water in the sub-tank 62 of the container unit 4. The water tank 62 is surrounded by the PCM 10. The heat pipe 8 may also be in thermal contact with the sub-tank 62, so as to transfer heat efficiently to the water. A plurality of sub-tanks may be enclosed by an outer tank of the container unit 4. Additionally or alternatively, the heat pipe may also be coupled with a wall portion of one or more sub-tanks of the container unit so as to improve heat transfer. The water inside the tank 62 is ready for immediate use. The sub-tank may be connected to a heat exchanger 63 to be able to heat up the water flowing through more easily. The cooling medium of the sealed enclosure 44 may be pumped through a spiral 57 to enhance heat transfer. The principles as explained before can be applied also to this model.

Fig. 16 shows a system 1 according to a further example. The heating system 1 comprises a module holder 58 which is arranged for holding a plurality of, here four, processing units 2. The module holder is thermally coupled with the container unit 4 by means of one or more, here two, heat pipes 8. A plurality of processing units are received in the module holder 58. A processing unit 2 can be detachably connected with the module holder 58, so that it can be removed and/or replaced, automatically by means of actuation means or manually by a user. In this example, the module holder 58 comprises four receiving slots 60 arranged on a stack, each adapted for receiving a processing unit 2. In an example, the processing unit 2 is arranged to be sled in a receiving slot 60 of the module holder 58. The module holder 58 is arranged underneath/below the container unit 4. The module holder is adapted to provide a thermal coupling, by defining one or more a thermal paths, between at least one processing unit 2 inserted in a receiving slot 60 and a portion of the container unit 4 or vessel 4.

The receiving slots 60 of the module holder 58 are arranged horizontally on top of each other. However, other configurations are also envisaged. For example, the receiving slots may be arranged to be vertical. The receiving slots 60 of the module holder 58 may also be angled. Further, the receiving slots 60 may also be arranged next to each other rather than on top of each other. Many variants are possible.

Fig. 17a shows a frontal cross section of an example where the usable drinking water 10 is stored in an inner tank 62. The inner tank 62 can be pressurized, e.g. up to 8 bar; as such a rounded form can be beneficial. The sides of the inner tank 62 may be curved to allow for easy expansion and contraction of the vessel during thermal changes. The inner tank 62 is filled with drinkable water 10 and has an inlet 16 for cold drinking water, and outlet 14 for warm drinking water and a retour 17. The inner tank 62 is submerged in an outer containing tank 4. The inner tank 62 protects the contained drinkable water 10 inside from the

(potentially) undrinkable water 10a of the outer tank 4. The outer tank 4 could also be filled with an alternative heating fluid, such as glycol. The outer tank 4 can be slightly pressurized, e.g. up to 2 bar. In this example the outer containing tank 4 is rectangular, but a round form could be used.

The outer tank 4 has an inlet 64 and an outlet 66 to be connected to an external heating device (not shown in the figure), like for example a heat pump. The heat pump can heat up the water 10a in the outer tank 4 to indirectly heat up the water 10 inside the inner tank 62. In this example, inside the outer tank 4 are compartments, here four compartments, or chambers 72 which contain a phase change material (PCM) 10b. The phase change material can act as a secondary heat source during the time that a large amount of water is extracted from the inner tank. Due to the modest heat production capability of the computer server, the PCM will assist the computer server in quickly heating up the water 10 inside the inner tank. Another benefit of the PCM is that due to its latent heat capacity, the computer server will not overheat as quickly as the PCM will absorb the extraneous energy output from the computer server; here the PCM acting as a heat sink while e.g. the PCM goes from a solid to a liquid state; as a result the sensible heat will remain within a safe limit for the server equipment. Another number than four PCM chambers could be applied, but four fits the amount of corners of the outer rectangular vessel 4. The chambers 72 could have another shape. The phase change material could also be in a separate shell around the outer vessel 4. However, to reduce space here they are placed inside the tank 4. The phase change material contained inside the chambers 72 in this example is an inorganic salt with a melting point of about 58 degrees Celsius, but could be any other suitable phase change material. The compartments 72 are sealed and protect the PCM 10b from the medium 10a, here water, inside the outer tank 4. Each chamber can store the same type of PCM 10b, or different types of PCM 10b could be used in each separate chamber 72. A chamber 72 could also be subdivided containing different PCMs 10b for each thermal layer of the boiler 1. Fins or other heat conducting elements could be added to or on the chambers to improve thermal conductivity.

In this example the sealed, e.g. metal, enclosure 44 is placed underneath the outer tank 4 and is in direct thermal contact therewith. The sealed enclosure 44 is in this example mostly filled with a mineral oil 70. Here heat pipes 81 inside the sealed enclosure 44 are attached to specific heat generating parts like the CPU/GPU and transfer the thermal energy to the top of the sealed container 44. Here, the heat pipes 81 are with their top part connected to a central place of the top plate of the sealed container 44. This will allow for a higher energy flux to the heat pipes 8m inside the outer tank 4, which have their evaporators placed above or in close vicinity of the condensers of heat pipes 81. By reducing the distance between the condensers of heat pipes 81 and the evaporators of heat pipes 8m a low thermal resistance can be achieved. The heat pipes 8m (in this embodiment four, but any number could do) transfer the heat from the bottom of the tank 4 to a higher level inside the tank, closer to the top of the tank. In this example the heat pipes 8m are partially connected to the bottom of the tank 4 (evaporator part of the heat pipe) and are connected for the remaining part to the wall of the PCM container 72. The wall of the PCM container 72 may act as a heat spreader. Here, the heat pipes 8m stretch completely to the top of the tank 4, where they can deliver their energy most efficient to the medium 10a inside the outer tank 4. Beneficially, by using heat pipes 8m of the type thermosiphon the energy of the warm water at the top of the tank 4 will not transfer downwards to the bottom of the tank 4 where there is often more cold water 10a, thus avoiding mixing of energy layers. This is a large benefit making the system overall more efficient. Thermal sensitive electronics 68, like e.g. hard drives are best placed outside hot areas, like in this example in a separate area underneath.

Fig. 17b shows a top view of the example of Fig. 17a. Here, each thermosiphon heat pipe 8m is attached to a wall part of the PCM container 72. Optionally a thermal connection between the top part of the inner vessel 62 could be made with the heat pipes 8m to further improve the thermal transfer.

Fig. 18a shows another example more suitable to be connected to a, e.g. gas, furnace instead of to a heat pump. A gas furnace has a higher energy output than a heat pump, as such the electronics in the sealed enclosure need to be protected extra. Here, this is done by placing a thermal isolation 22 between the sealed enclosure 44 and the outer tank 4. To allow heat to travel from the sealed enclosure 44 to the tank 4 but not the other way around, here thermosiphon heat pipes 8n are used. It is also possible to use a loop heat pipe with valves. The heat pipes 8n will act as thermal diodes, allowing thermal energy to be transferred in a single, often upward, direction only, protecting the electronics from thermal shock. Fig. 18b show the top view of the example as explained for Fig 18a. It will be clear to the knowledgeable engineer that a combination can be made between what is disclosed in Fig. 18a/Fig. 18b and Fig. 17a/Fig. 17b.

The heating system 1 can employ different modes of operation. Advantageously, the at least one processing unit, e.g. computer server(s), can be able to provide services to the home users and to provide batch like computational services to a central server (distributed computing). The computer server can be configured to adapt its computational tasks based on the priorities linked to certain operational modes. Three modes can be identified: an exclusive user mode (for example for gaming), a shared user mode (multi-media applications), and a shared batch mode (distributed computing).

In the exclusive user mode the computer server may operate with all or most of its computing resources allocated to the user process so as to provide the best possible experience. The server may be acting as a game console to provide a gaming experience to one or more users. This can be in the form of streaming the video output to a remote screen (television) or to one or more mobile devices. The game output may be streamed over the local area network (LAN), or other network technology to the output devices (TV/smartphone/tablet or others) using cable or wireless (e.g. Wi-Fi). Standardized equipment can be used, like HDMI,

DisplayPort, Miracast, Chromecast or others. It is also possible to stream the gaming content over the internet to remote users or to have multiple users participate in the same game. The game can be controlled by a remote control, a joystick, joypad or mobile device (like smartphone or tablet). The power output of the computer server may fluctuate based on the input from the users and the games at hand and as such may heat up the vessel in an accelerated pace. The system 1 can be arranged to guard the temperature in the vessel 4 so as to protect from overheating the electronic computer equipment of the at least one processing unit 2. Two temperature barriers can be identified: warning and danger. When the temperature in the vessel 4 exceeds a certain temperature, the user(s) who is/are playing the game may be warned that the temperature is already quite high and that a limited time is remaining before ending the game. It is possible to present the user with an estimated time remaining before the danger threshold may be reached. The time remaining can be calculated based on the current temperature, the maximum temperature allowed, the average power output while running the game and the properties of the storage medium (water or PCM). While playing LED lighting on the heating system 1 may change from color to indicate the remaining time available for gameplay until the maximum allowed temperature is reached. In one example it is possible that when a temperature threshold is reached the game being played may continue on another computer server streamed over the internet to the output device(s) of the user(s). It is also possible that during the time the game is played the grid power quality becomes deteriorated. This may be indicated by a very low voltage and/or a very low grid frequency in relation to the grid standard in that area or a signal from a local grid operator. In such occasion the user(s) may be warned about this event and may be given the choice to halt the game or not. In such case the user(s) decides to halt the game, the computer server may consume less electricity and aid in the recovery of the grid power quality. The server may reduce also its computational resources to the game to reduce energy consumption. The user may have the possibility to request (schedule) the server to temporarily reduce its target temperature during one or more specific timeslots (plan ahead), with the intent to build up a thermal reserve for gaming. This may insure the user(s) may have enough time to play their game during that timeslot without reaching the maximum temperature too quickly in the vessel 4. The user may choose to disallow other computational resources to be used during gameplay or to assign a percentage. In such case the heating system 1 can be attached to a heat consuming device, such as a dishwasher and/or washing machine, via its retour system 17, the heating system 1 may send a start signal to these respective devices and/or the retour pump, to start consuming warm water from the heating system 1. Advantageously this will reduce the temperature inside the vessel 4 and prolong the duration until the maximum temperature is reached inside the tank 4.

Another identified mode is the shared user mode. This could be used for providing the user(s) with a multimedia experience. In this mode less

computational resources of the computer server are needed to provide content to the user. As such this mode can be shared with other non-exclusive modes depending on the available compute resources remaining. Media in the form of music, movies or other content may be streamed directly to one or more screens and/or media receivers by using technologies like DLNA, Chromecast, Miracast or other over wireless (e.g. Wi-Fi) or cable. In this mode the computer server is able to provide content also via file sharing and web serving to local users on the local area network (LAN) or to user(s) on the internet. It is possible to control the playback of the content via an app on a mobile device, a web browser, an application on a PC, a remote joystick, controller, keyboard or other. The amount of compute resources needed highly influences the rate at which the temperature in the vessel may increase and is difficult to predict. In this mode the power output of the computer equipment may most often not suffice to keep the vessel up to temperature or to bring the vessel to the requested temperature on a specific time of the day.

Therefore this mode is often shared with the batch computing mode.

In the batch computing mode the computer server may execute pre- assigned tasks. The computer server may keep a list of tasks to be executed. When the list is empty or the list is below a certain threshold the computer server may request more tasks from a central server which holds all the tasks to be assigned among all instances available to the central server, i.e. distributed computing. In another example the database is itself distributed among different servers, or a blockchain database could be used. The computer server may execute tasks sequentially or may execute multiple tasks simultaneously (parallel execution). The tasks can be of any suitable type, for example scientific, financial or medical applications, crypto-currency calculations, 2D/3D animation rendering and more. When the result of a batch process has been calculated it is sent to the central server immediately over the internet or at a later time. In case of usage of a blockchain database the result may be placed on the blockchain itself. In the batch computing mode the resources of the computer server can be shared with the shared multi-media mode, where the multi-media tasks have a higher precedence than the batch related tasks. A major difference compared to the other modes is that the pace of execution of the batch tasks depends not on the interaction with the user(s) but on the energy required to heat up the vessel and/or the grid power quality.

For the purpose of power to mode/process assignment, the system 1 can be equipped with a power meter. The meter can be configured to measure power (W), voltage to neutral (V), and grid frequency (Hz). Other parameters can also be read if the meter is capable to do so, like current (I), line voltage (V), cos-φ and more. By relating the measured power (W) to the power counters inside the CPU, the process information in the operating system and the performance counters of the GPU it is possible to clearly assign the power consumption to each mode or task. This allows reporting to the user about the energy used for gaming, multi- media streaming and batch computing, instantaneously or cumulative over a certain period. By using information from the operating system it is possible to assign the consumed power to the level of the process. The latter can be used for billing purposes.

Furthermore, power quality is becoming a major issue as more distributed energy production is installed on low voltage lines. The main

parameters to regulate are the voltage and grid frequency. To achieve this the boiler heating system 1 may behave differently compared to a classic approach. A prior art boiler would heat up the vessel during the night or when the low temperature threshold has been crossed. A boiler heating system 1 according to the current disclosure can be arranged to spread its power consumption over the day. Power consumption is best performed when the local grid has a very low load and/or when the distributed renewable energy is available in sufficient quantities. By measuring line voltage and grid frequency this can be achieved.

In first instance the power budget needs to be determined. This is the amount of thermal energy the processing unit 2 (e.g. computer server) needs to output to heat up the vessel 4 to the desired temperature at the destined point in time (e.g. as specified by the user preferences). To be able to determine this budget a naive linear statistical implementation does not cope with the variability in heat extraction from the vessel 4, the changes in the water temperature at the inlet port, and in such case a phase change material 10 is used as the thermal storage medium 10, to cope with the changes in material state. Therefore a feedforward neural network can be employed to predict the needed power budget for the next timeslot (for example 24 hours). The neural network can be trained with one or more (e.g. all) of the following input parameters: current vessel temperature, target temperature, available time until target temperature needs to be reached, weekday and length of the daytime. Other input parameters may be used in different settings, for example in different geographical regions. The output parameter is the amount of energy needed expressed in Wh for the following consecutive period. The neural network may be configured to correct/train itself at the premises of the user when the target temperature is not reached (over or undershoot) at the destined period of time with a temperature deviation of more than a given percentage, for example 5%. The cost function of the neural network is the temperature difference between the target temperature and the real temperature. During factory time a pre-trained neural net may already be installed on the computer server to reduce the time needed for the neural net to converge to a good solution. By using a self- adapting feedforward neural net any changes applied to the boiler heating system 1 after installation, as well as any changes in user water consumption patterns can be modelled by the used algorithm.

In a second stage a long- short term memory (LSTM) neural network, a special form of recurrent neural network, is used to predict the voltage pattern. A gated recurrent unit (GRU) neural network can also be used. This network may be trained with the following input parameters: voltage to neutral, voltage parameters over the last sample period (e.g. 10 minutes) like min, max, average and average absolute deviation, line voltage and line voltage parameters, if available, length of the daytime, current solar production as indicated by a grid operator, solar production prediction of the day ahead as available from the grid operator, current outside temperature and outside temperature prediction. Solar information can be gathered over the internet from the central server or from a website of the grid operator. Temperature information is readily available on the internet as commonly known. The output of the LSTM neural network are the expected minimum, maximum, average and average absolute deviation for each sample period until the target time. Often the neural network may predict the voltage pattern up to 24 hours ahead with 10 minute timeslots. This predicted pattern is used in the following step. The advantage of using a recurrent neural network is that summer/winter patterns, solar patterns and changes in the voltage tap regulator at the grid operators side can be captured in the model.

In the following step the power budget as predicted by the first feed forward neural network is spread over the predicted voltage pattern. For each sample period the energy (Wh) is determined that needs to be consumed per volt deviation from nominal grid voltage, possibly with a spread around the average, for achieving the power budget and improving grid power quality as much as possible. As a result, the computer server may consume a maximum amount of energy when the real measured voltage is the highest within that timeslot, and the least amount of energy when the real voltage is minimal within that timeslot. By this way of predicting the computer server is able to consume the most energy when the renewable energy from the sun is pushing the line voltage upward and/or when the local grid is underutilized, often during night times.

As a last step the computer server may execute the predicted pattern by executing its batch jobs, controlling its power consumption based on the predicted schedule. It is important to note that the actual measured voltage may be used as a control value instead of the predicted voltage. The predicted voltage range is used to calculate the spread of the energy over the sample period. As still irregular voltage patterns may happen that are not or cannot be modelled during each sample period, the algorithm can be extended with a controller, e.g. a

proportional/integration controller (PI-controller). This controller may correct the power usage to the desired value, as known to the knowledgeable expert. The PI- controller is able to incorporate the grid frequency in its parameters allowing the power usage of the computer server also to respond in some degree, temporarily, to changes in the grid frequency. The recurrent neural network may be pre-trained at the factory but may need to be updated at a regular interval to keep up with changes in the patterns.

The computer server can be arranged to contact a central server to report on the performance of the neural networks, its parameters and to download new models of any such neural net when such model becomes available.

Further, the heating system 1 can be smart grid ready. In a smart grid not only generators may adapt to changing electricity demand but also household devices like washing machines, dryers and HVAC systems could be used. Those should modulate their energy consumption based on the availability of electricity in the grid. By means of smart meters household devices may be able to respond to more or less electricity being produced by sun and wind. The system 1 can be arranged so that not only its computing behavior can be changed based on the user requested tasks or on demand of heat (for domestic hot tap water / heating up a building), but also based on external factors like the availability of sun and wind. The communication and behavior expected of a Smart Appliance is under investigation of the standard organization CENELEC. The system 1 is

advantageously arranged to respond to requests coming from a smart meter, under control of the grid operator, to increase or decrease its power consumption. In this way, the system 1 is able to behave like a smart heating device, dependent or completely independent from the grid operator, not only being very efficient in its usage of resources, but also adding to the stability of the electricity grid.

Certain members of most examples of the present invention can be made in multiple parts designed for modular assembly of different sizes and shapes and for easy removal and, if necessary replacement of some members or parts of members without disassembly of the entire assembly. Next to the processing unit 2, module holder 58, heat pipe 8, container unit 4, the removable parts may include for example one or more sensors, controllers, actuating means, controlling unit, etc. Other parts can also be removable.

Herein, the invention is described with reference to specific examples of embodiments of the invention. It will, however, be evident that various

modifications and changes may be made therein, without departing from the essence of the invention. For the purpose of clarity and a concise description features are described herein as part of the same or separate embodiments, however, alternative embodiments having combinations of all or some of the features described in these separate embodiments are also envisaged.

However, other modifications, variations, and alternatives are also possible. The specifications, drawings and examples are, accordingly, to be regarded in an illustrative sense rather than in a restrictive sense.

For the purpose of clarity and a concise description features are described herein as part of the same or separate embodiments, however, it will be appreciated that the scope of the invention may include embodiments having combinations of all or some of the features described.

In the claims, any reference signs placed between parentheses shall not be construed as limiting the claim. The word 'comprising' does not exclude the presence of other features or steps than those listed in a claim. Furthermore, the words 'a' and 'an' shall not be construed as limited to 'only one', but instead are used to mean 'at least one', and do not exclude a plurality. The mere fact that certain measures are recited in mutually different claims does not indicate that a combination of these measures cannot be used to an advantage.

Claims

Claims
1. A heating system for heating by means of a processing unit, the system comprising at least one processing unit having at least one processor for performing computational tasks, and a container unit for holding a medium, wherein the at least one processing unit is thermally coupled with at least a portion of the container unit by means of at least one heat pipe, wherein the at least one heat pipe is arranged for transferring thermal energy produced by the at least one processing unit to the at least one portion of the container unit for heating the medium inside the container unit.
2. The heating system according to claim 1, wherein the at least one processing unit is arranged below the container unit.
3. A heating system for heating by means of a processing unit, the system comprising at least one processing unit having at least one processor for performing computational tasks, and a container unit for holding a medium, wherein the at least one processing unit is arranged below the container unit, preferably by means of at least one heat pipe arranged for transferring thermal energy produced by the at least one processing unit to the portion of the container unit for heating the medium inside the container unit.
4. The heating system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the at least one heat pipe includes at least one thermosiphon heat pipe.
5. The heating system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the at least one processing unit is directly thermally coupled with a wall portion of the container unit by means of the at least one heat pipe.
6. The heating system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the at least one processing unit is directly thermally coupled with the medium inside the container unit by means of the at least one heat pipe.
7. The heating system according to claim 6, wherein the system further comprises a thermal coupling member arranged for forming a thermal coupling between the at least one processing unit and a portion of the container unit.
8. The heating system according to claim 7, wherein the thermal coupling member comprises a heat pump arranged for transferring thermal energy from the at least one processing unit towards the container unit.
9. The heating system according to claims 7 or 8, wherein the thermal coupling member comprises a thermoelectric cooler for adjusting a rate of thermal energy transfer to the container unit.
10. The heating system according to any one of the claims 7-9, wherein the thermal coupling member comprises means for coupling the at least one processing unit to a heat exchanger arranged within the container unit.
11. The heating system according to any one of the claims 7-10, wherein the thermal coupling member comprises means for coupling the at least one processing unit to a heat exchanger arranged outside around the container unit.
12. The heating system according to claims 10 or 11, wherein the heat exchanger is a spiral heat exchanger.
13. The heating system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein at least two processing units are arranged, wherein a first processing unit of the at least two processing units is thermally coupled to a first location at or in the container unit by means of a first heat pipe, and a second processing unit of the at least two processing units is thermally coupled to a second location at or in the container unit by means of a second heat pipe, wherein the first location is different from the second location.
14. The heating system according to claim 13, wherein the first processing unit is coupled with a first heat exchanger positioned at the first location at or in the container unit and the second processing unit is coupled with a second heat exchanger positioned at the second location at or in the container unit, wherein the first heat exchanger and the second heat exchanger are offset with respect to each other in a longitudinal direction of the container unit.
15. The heating system according to claim 14, wherein, in use, the first processing unit has a higher thermal energy output capacity than that of the second processing unit, wherein the first heat exchanger is arranged closer to an upper end of the container unit than the second heat exchanger.
16. The heating system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the at least one processing unit comprises a plurality of components, wherein at least a first component is thermally coupled to a third location at or in the container unit by means of a third heat pipe and at least a second component is thermally coupled to a fourth location at or in the container unit by a fourth heat pipe, the third location being different from the fourth location.
17. The heating system according to claim 16, wherein at least the first component is coupled with a first heat exchanger positioned at the third location at or in the container unit and/or at least the second component is coupled with a second heat exchanger positioned at the fourth location at or in the container unit, wherein the first heat exchanger and the second heat exchanger are offset with respect to each other in a longitudinal direction of the container unit.
18. The heating system according to claim 17, wherein, in use, the at least one first component has a higher thermal energy output capacity than the at least one second component, wherein the first heat exchanger is arranged closer to an upper end of the container unit than the second heat exchanger.
19. The heating system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the at least one processing unit is arranged on a bottom side of the container unit and is coupled to a bottom portion of the container unit.
20. The heating system according to any one of the preceding claims, further comprising a module holder arranged for holding at least one processing unit, wherein the module holder is thermally coupled with the container unit by means of at least one heat pipe.
21. The heating system according to claim 20, wherein a plurality of processing units are received in the module holder.
22. The heating system according to claims 20 or 21, wherein at least one processing unit is detachably connected with the module holder.
23. The heating system according to any one of the claims 20-22, wherein the module holder comprises at least one receiving slot arranged for receiving a processing unit, wherein a processing unit of the at least one processing unit is arranged to be sled in a receiving slot of the module holder, e.g. in a position underneath the container unit, wherein the module holder is arranged for providing a thermal coupling between the at least one processing unit inserted in the at least one receiving slot and a portion of the container unit.
24. The heating system according to claim 23, wherein the module holder comprises a plurality of receiving slots each configured for receiving a processing unit.
25. The heating system according to any one of the claims 20-24, wherein the at least one processing unit in the module holder is cooled by means of a cooling arrangement arranged for transferring heat from the at least one processing unit in the module holder to the medium in the container unit.
26. The heating system according to any one of the claims, wherein the at least one processing unit is cooled by means of immersion cooling.
27. The heating system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the container unit comprises an inlet opening for receiving a fluid and an outlet opening for releasing a fluid, wherein the heating system is arranged for increasing the temperature of fluid received at the inlet opening before releasing the fluid at the outlet opening.
28. The heating system according to claim 27, wherein the inlet opening and outlet opening are the same.
29. The heating system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the medium inside the container unit is water and the container unit includes a warm water tank arranged for storing warm water.
30. The heating system according to claim 29, wherein the container unit is a warm water tank arranged for storing warm water.
31. The heating system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the container unit includes an inner tank contained inside an outer containing tank.
32. The heating system according to claim 31, wherein the inner tank comprises an inlet opening for receiving a fluid and an outlet opening for releasing the fluid.
33. The heating system according to claim 31 or 32, wherein the outer containing tank includes a heating fluid at least partially surrounding the inner tank.
34. The heating system according to claim 31, 32 or 33, wherein the outer containing tank includes at least one compartment containing a phase change material.
35. The heating system according to any one of claims 31-34, wherein the outer containing tank includes at least one heat pipe arranged for transporting heat from a bottom of the outer containing tank upwards.
36. The heating system according to any one of the preceding claims, including a thermal isolation positioned between at least one processing unit and the container unit, and at least one thermal diode allowing thermal energy to be transferred in a single direction only, from the at least one processing unit to the container unit.
37. The heating system according to any one of the claims 1-36, wherein the medium inside the container unit is an oil.
38. The heating system according to any one of the claims 1-37, wherein the medium inside the container unit is phase-change material.
39. The heating system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the system further comprises a controlling unit arranged for:
determining a need for thermal energy output for heating the medium inside the container unit,
selecting one or more computational tasks to be carried out by the at least one processing unit depending on the needed thermal energy output,
operating the at least one processing unit to carry out the one or more computational tasks for obtaining a resulting thermal energy output substantially corresponding to the needed thermal energy output.
40. The heating system according to claim 39, wherein the resulting thermal energy output is increased by selecting more computational tasks.
41. The heating system according to claim 39 or 40, wherein the resulting thermal energy output is increased by reducing an interval between successive tasks.
42. The heating system according to any one of the claims 39-41, wherein the thermal energy output is increased by selecting a more computational intensive task.
43. The heating system according to any one of the claims 39-42, wherein the at least one processing unit is connected to an electric power source, wherein the controlling unit is configured for obtaining data representative of a parameter of electricity of the power source and for allocating the one or more computational calculation tasks over time on the basis of the parameter.
44. The heating system according to claim 43, wherein the power source is at least one of a power grid, a local photovoltaic solar unit, or a rechargeable battery.
45. The heating system according to claim 43 or 44, wherein the parameter is one or more of a voltage of the electricity of the power grid, a cost per unit of the electricity of the power grid, an availability of renewable energy, or a frequency of electricity of the power source.
46. The heating system according to any one of the claims 43-45, wherein the data representative of the parameter is based on a prediction.
47. The heating system according to any one of the claims 43-46, wherein the controlling unit is configured for:
determining data representative of a quantity of thermal energy needed within a time frame for heating the medium inside the container unit to a desired temperature,
determining a prediction of the parameter of electricity of the power source for at least a part of the time frame, and
allocating the one or more computational calculation tasks over the time frame on the basis of the prediction of the parameter and the data representative of the quantity of thermal energy needed.
48. The heating system of claim 47, wherein the data representative of the quantity of thermal energy needed is based on a prediction.
49. The heating system according to claim 47 or 48, wherein the prediction of the parameter and/or the prediction of the quantity of thermal energy needed is an ongoing prediction.
50. The heating system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the container unit is thermally insulated so as to store thermal energy in the medium inside the container unit.
51. The heating system according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the container unit is an upstanding vessel.
52. The heating system according to any one of the preceding claims, arranged to guard the temperature in the vessel so as to protect from overheating the electronic computer equipment of the at least one processing unit.
53. The heating system according to claim 52, arranged to, when the temperature in the vessel exceeds a first temperature threshold, indicate to a that a limited time is remaining before the processing unit will be slowed down and/or halted, and/or, when the temperature in the vessel exceeds a second temperature threshold, slowing down and/or halting the processing unit.
54. The heating system according to claim 53, arranged to present the user with an estimated time remaining before the second temperature threshold may be reached.
55. A heating system for heating a medium by means of a processing unit, the system comprising at least one processing unit having at least one processor for performing computational tasks, and a container unit for holding the medium, wherein the at least one processing unit is thermally coupled for transferring thermal energy produced by the at least one processing unit to the medium, wherein the at least one processing unit is connectable to an electric power source, wherein the controlling unit is configured for obtaining data representative of a parameter of electricity of the power source and for allocating one or more computational calculation tasks over time on the basis of the parameter, wherein the data representative of the parameter is based on a prediction of said
parameter.
56. The heating system according to claim 55, wherein the controlling unit is configured for determining data representative of a quantity of thermal energy needed within a time frame for heating the medium to a desired temperature, determining the prediction of the parameter of electricity of the power source for at least a part of the time frame, and allocating the one or more computational calculation tasks over the time frame on the basis of the prediction of the parameter and the data representative of the quantity of thermal energy needed.
57. The heating system of claim 56, wherein the data representative of the quantity of thermal energy needed is based on a prediction.
58. The heating system according to any one of claims 43-57, wherein the electric power source is at least one of a power grid, a local photovoltaic solar unit, or a rechargeable battery.
59. The heating system according to claim 43-58, wherein the parameter of electricity of the power source is one or more of a voltage of the electricity of the power grid, a cost per unit of the electricity of the power grid, an availability of renewable energy, or a frequency of electricity of the power source.
60. Container unit for use in the heating system according to claims 1-59.
61. Processing unit for use in the heating system according to claims 1-59.
62. Module holder for use in the heating system according to claims 20-54.
63. Method for heating by means of a processing unit, the method comprising providing at least one processing unit having at least one processor for performing computational tasks, and a container unit holding a medium inside, thermally coupling the at least one processing unit with at least a portion of the container unit by means of at least one heat pipe arranged transferring thermal energy produced by the at least one processing unit to the at least one portion of the container unit so as to heat the medium inside the container unit.
64. Method according to claim 63, wherein a controlling unit is employed for: determining a need for thermal energy output for heating the medium inside the container unit,
selecting one or more computational tasks to be carried out by the at least one processing unit depending on the needed thermal energy output,
operating the at least one processing unit to carry out the one or more computational tasks for obtaining a resulting thermal energy output substantially corresponding to the needed thermal energy output.
PCT/EP2018/050704 2017-01-16 2018-01-12 A heating system and a heating method WO2018130627A1 (en)

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