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3 Jun, 2017 16:42

Dutch households to trial using data servers to heat water for free

Dutch households to trial using data servers to heat water for free

Dutch company ‘Nerdalize’ is launching a pilot scheme that uses the energy from computer servers to heat water, allowing citizens to take showers for free as part of a wider plan to distribute free ‘server heat’ to everyone in the Netherlands.

The innovative start-up is hoping to capitalize on the excess heat from computer servers and data centers and there’s a lot of it - data centers currently emit more CO2 than the global airline industry.

So far, 3,500 people have expressed an interest in the system.

The company has already exceeded their crowdfunding target of €250,000, raising almost €330,000 so far. It has now set the even more ambitious target of raising half a million euros.

“If we reach our target amount in a month, we can start equipping the first houses with our server-heater from August onwards!” Nerdalize co-founder Boaz Leupe said.

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There has long been a big problem with ‘waste’ energy coming from computer servers. To keep servers cool, companies have experimented with moving facilities near the arctic circle and even submerged some under water.

If Nerdalize have their way, this energy waste could soon be a thing of the past. Using the proceeds of the crowdfunding campaign, which has so far garnered over 300 investors, the company wants to equip an initial 42 households with their new heating system.

The company has already successfully trialed their system.

In 2015, in conjunction with a large Dutch utility company, Nerdalize installed servers in five households, the waste heat from which was directly transformed via a radiator.

In the latest version, customers will pay a one-time fee of about 300-400 euros for the installation of the server-heating. Servers will then be directly connected to the central heating system, to heat water throughout the year.

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The company said the project will save money for households, companies and researchers essentially halving heating costs, with each installation removing three tons of CO2 from an average household's carbon footprint.