Excess Computer Heat Could Fuel Homes

Excess heat emanating from computers is usually seen as a bad sign. It’s a good sign, however, for Dutch startup Nerdalize, which plans to use this heat for home energy.

In August, Nerdalize plans to heat 42 Dutch homes using excess energy from in-home computer servers. Customers can pay Nerdalize to install a server in their home and use the server’s excess heat to warm the home for free—all while Nerdalize makes money selling server space to other companies. This approach, the company says, will save people $336 a year and will cut company costs for data services by 50 percent. Environmental perks are also included, as each installation removes three tons of carbon dioxide from a household’s carbon footprint. The startup calls this heat-harnessing project a “win-win-win” scenario.

Nerdalize’s crowdfunding campaign hit its initial goal of 250,000 euros ($285,704) and is now aiming to raise half a million euros. Questions still remain for Nerdalize’s approach: How will companies react to having their data sitting in people’s homes? Will customers be OK with allowing an engineer in their home for server repairs? Experts are watching for the solutions as Nerdalize spreads its technology into more homes.

Source: “Dutch households will use servers to heat their showers for free,” The Verge (June 2, 2017)

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