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Can Computer Servers Be Used to Heat Water?

Nerdalize Is Trying It Out

If you’ve ever owned a laptop, you know they can get pretty hot (even to the point of overheating, if your laptop is an older one). Chances are you’ve never thought twice about it, but Dutch company Nerdalize has its sights set on using that heat for something more.

Many companies use massive data centers with dozens of computers for things like cloud storage, cybersecurity, telecommunications, and more, but with so much heat coming from each computer, it can end up being a problem. Some have tried to fix the issue by moving their centers to cold locations (like the arctic) or investing in giant air conditioners, but what if we actually used all of that heat?

This summer, Nerdalize has plans to install computer servers in 42 Dutch homes and harness the heat produced by them. The heat would go towards the water supply in order to wash dishes, take baths or showers, and do laundry. The idea comes from past experiments by Nerdalize – the company has tested out the idea of turning servers into wall heaters. While the experiment was successful, it took the heaters a long time to heat up.

If the home servers prove to be an efficient use of heat, the idea could save homeowners around $340 a year in heating costs. In addition, it could reduce the energy needed to cool down servers and overall, create a smaller carbon footprint.

Perhaps a more creative water heater is in the making… our water heater company is optimistic!