A revolutionary new radiator design offers Dutch home-owners the chance to get free heating. The e-Radiator is a computer server modified so that the heat it generates can warm a room inside a house. Jim Drury has more.
The e-Radiator offers free energy to householders....and there's no catch, insist its designers. It's a dual function computer server installed in family homes. Computing firms get free storage for their server, instead of having to use large data centres....while the heat generated from number crunching can warm a room. Boaz Leupe is CEO of Dutch start-up Nerdalize. SOUNDBITE (English), NERDALIZE CEO, BOAZ LEUPE, SAYING: "The people's benefit is actually quite simple, what we do is we reimburse the electricity the server uses, and that we can do because of the compute clients on the other side, and in that way home owners actually get heating for free and compute users don't have to pay for the overhead of the data centre, so it's pretty much a win-win situation." Along with energy firm Eneco, Nerdalize have installed e-Radiators in five homes in the town of Nieuwpoort. Each device will be monitored to see if enough heat is generated to justify extending the scheme. Data firms save additional money by no longer needing to use extra energy to cool down their servers. Leupe says there are environmental benefits too. SOUNDBITE (English), NERDALIZE CEO, BOAZ LEUPE, SAYING: "We don't actually have to build the data centre, which saves a lot of costs in infrastructure and we don't have the cooling overhead, plus that you have the environmental benefit, that the Kilowatt hour you are using is used twice, once to heat the home and once to compute the clients task without the cooling overhead." The idea came about after a Nerdalize worker stood over a laptop to get some heat after a thermostat broke. And while having a commercial server stuck on the wall might not be to everyone's taste, Nerdalize hope the prospect of free heating will ensure customers warm to the idea.