Energy company Eneco is heating homes with computer servers

The installers expect their symbiotic arrangement to reduce server maintenance costs by 30 to 55 percent.

By Brooks Hays

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, March 24 (UPI) -- Dutch energy company Eneco is installing computer servers in a select few homes in an effort to curb energy costs. The radiator-sized servers were developed by a small start-up company called Nerdalize.

As most computer users know, the machines give off energy in the form of heat. This is true of small laptops, and it is true of supercomputers. Computer servers, which offer computing power remotely, give off a considerable amount of heat while performing their hundreds of thousands of daily calculations.


Officials with Eneco and Nerdalize believe that heat can be used to warm up living rooms during cold months. As part of a field study, the companies recently installed five of their radiator servers in family homes. They expect each server to shave as much as $440 off the families' annual heating bills. The study will last through the end of 2015. Afterwards, officials with the companies will decide whether the venture is successful enough to expand.

"This is the first time the design radiator with built-in server is installed in ordinary households," Eneco officials wrote in a press release. "The servers shall perform complex calculations for a variety of companies and knowledge institutes, such as new medicine-related research for Leiden University Medical Center."


As the server provides data, information or any hardware and software resources to its various clients, its radiated heat will warm the room and diminish the home's reliance on traditional heating systems.

Eneco will cover the additional electricity costs. But the two companies don't believe they'll be at a loss. They expect their arrangement to reduce server maintenance costs by 30 to 55 percent.

The servers will heat a closed water system. A knob will control how much heat is released and distributed throughout the room while a pipe leading outside will allow the system to spill excess heat -- an essential component for the summer months.

The business model will negate the need for a central location, and eliminate the cost of cooling required by multi-server datacenters.

Entrepreneurs in France and Germany are also attempting to house cloud computing services in private homes.

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