Heating Homes with Computing Power

Instead of deploying computer servers in data centers here they require cooling, Nerdalize distributes servers in existing buildings to heat homes.

By placing high-performance servers in homes instead of in data centers, Nerdalize creates a distributed computing cloud. The solution provides cost savings compared to the conventional cloud and co-location solutions and delivers heating to people’s homes from the excess heat from the servers. By making use of existing buildings, Nerdalize eliminates the usual costs and energy spent on cooling in server warehouses, which cuts the cost for users of cloud computing services by 30% to 50%, while heating houses for free.

The heating device containing powerful computing servers is installed in the home, connected to the Internet and a power source, after which the servers are added to the cloud, ready to receive computing jobs. A security system detects if a device is tampered with, ensuring data is stored safely. Homeowners pay approximately $335 for installation and maintenance of the heating device, after which heating is delivered to them for free. The solution is installed in several homes, and plans for scaling have been made with a leading Dutch heating provider.

Relevance of solution

If cloud computing was a country it would rank 5th globally in terms of electricity consumption.1 At the same time, 68% of an average household’s energy use goes to space heating.2 By combining the seemingly unconnected markets for cloud computing and heating, heat from useful computations is no longer a problem, and instead benefits homeowners and the environment.

Triple Bottom Line

Environmental

Each house equipped with a Nerdalize server-based heating system contributes to about 3 metric tons of CO2 savings, which represents 40% of a Dutch home’s CO2 emissions, according to the company.

Social

Current versions of the heater can produce 1 kW of free heat once installed.

Economic

By deploying servers in homes instead of in data centers, Nerdalize claims to provide cloud computing power that is 30% to 50% cheaper than its competitors.


Sources

  1. Greenpeace. “How Clean is Your Cloud?” (2012)
  2. European Environment Agency. “Energy Efficiency and Energy Consumption in the Household Sector.” (2012)