Nerdalize Wants to Heat Homes for Free With Cloud Servers

©. Nerdalize

A Dutch startup offers a high-performance server that doubles as a radiator, using the excess heat generated from computing to heat homes.

We rely on data centers for just about everything we do online, even if we have no idea what they are. These centers are full of computer servers that perform the virtual magic of our digital infrastructure, doing everything from hosting websites to handling complex computing tasks. But operating these data centers comes at a price, and not just the direct costs of building them and paying for the massive amounts of electricity needed to power them, but also the indirect costs of keeping the servers cool. The conventional approach to keeping the servers from overheating in data centers is to use large industrial cooling systems, which remove heat from the buildings and cool the servers.

However, that heat doesn't have to be a waste, as it can be put to work just as it is, providing warmth to buildings and the people who work or live in them, and a startup out of the Netherlands aims to do just that.

Nerdalize has a unique approach to the server waste heat issue, in that not only does the company want to use the heat directly for warmth, but it also wants to put individual servers in homes, where the machines can provide free heat to the residents. The servers from Nerdalize don't look like just another computer, because they've been designed as a combination server and radiator, and would look right at home on the wall of a house.

The company's "eRadiators" are said to not only heat the homes they're installed in, but to also provide lower cost computing in the distributed cloud, because the company bypasses the conventional costs of a centralized data center. In fact, Nerdalize says that when using their servers, the cost-per-job "is up to 55% lower" than other cloud solutions, and the company touts their service as being sustainable because the waste heat isn't being wasted, but is instead being used as-is at the installed location.

"The Nerdalize heater contains high-performance servers in the form of a radiator and allows for them to be placed in your home safely and secure. As Nerdalize covers the cost of electricity, the heat generated by computations, such as medical research, heat your home for free."

The first of the Nerdalize eRadiator servers are currently being trialled in select homes in the Netherlands through a partnership with Eneco, one of the largest energy suppliers in that country, and will be monitored and tested through the end of the year.