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What we do in summer?

In my customer-facing role at Nerdalize I have explained our concept to hundreds of people in the year that I have been working here. I often talk about my work to potential customers, on network events and at fairs. And being someone that tends to take some work home, it often passes conversations with friends or family at birthday parties.

The responses are always very enthusiastic, but our solution also often triggers a lot of questions. One of the first things that often comes to mind: “but since you guys are producing heat, what do you do when there is no need for this heat? What about summer?”

Let me be clear on one thing: as a cloud customer you can keep running computations in summer. But how do we manage this heat production?

There are a number of measures we took to make sure we can compute and produce heat throughout every day of the year:

  1. Hot water buffer – One of the reasons we switched to heating water instead of air is that it is easier to create a thermal buffer. This way the water can be used in the kitchen or bathroom whenever the heat is needed. And people shower and wash dishes throughout the year anyhow!

  2. Distribution of heat – An advantage of our distributed system is that we can distribute the computations and thereby distribute the heat production based on the need for heat per household. If the maximum temperature is reached in one home, but not in another we can easily transfer a computation to a different CloudBox to make sure the heat is produced where it is still needed.

  3. Heat dump – In case we do have an overproduction of heat we designed the system to dispose of the heat. This is of course our last option and we will always try to make efficient use of all the produced heat.

  4. Future integrations – We are always looking at future integrations with different systems such as underfloor heating and heat pumps to make even more and more efficient use of all the produced heat from computations.

I am very happy to be working on a solution that gets both great responses, but also triggers a lot of questions with people! Is there anything you want to know from us? Please write us at hello@nerdalize.com

About our heater
Maaike Stoops
posted this June 19

Comparing our energy efficiency to datacenters using PUE and SPUE

At Nerdalize, we want our energy consumption to be as low as possible, which means it is essential to use our energy efficiently. In order to do so, we find it important to be able to calculate our energy efficiency as accurate as possible. In this blog, you can read about how we are able to calculate our energy efficiency, using the PUE and SPUE score, and how this allows us to compare our own efficiency with other datacenters.

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About our CO2 savingsheater
Liesanne Wieleman
posted this June 1

Nerdalize — Providing cloud services that are almost CO2-neutral

Current datacenters are huge energy wasters. Not only is a lot of energy is spent on the building and infrastructure, computer servers produce a lot of heat, therefore a lot of energy is needed to cool down all the servers in the datacenter. Although datacenters are getting more efficient in their energy use, the increasing cloud market makes that the datacenter industry now emits more CO2 than the aviation industry and this share is only getting larger. That is why we at Nerdalize are working hard on a sustainable alternative to current cloud solutions.

That all sounds pretty great, but what is the actual effect of our approach on the environment? That is what we asked Bas Minnema. During his graduation project for Science, Business & Innovation at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, he made an assessment of the total CO2 emissions in the life cycle of a Nerdalize server-heater.

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About our CO2 savingsheater
Liesanne Wieleman
posted this May 15

Heating houses even more efficiently with computing power

Together with students Computer Science from Delft University of Technology (DUT), Nerdalize has developed a way to save even more energy!

Computer servers produce a lot of heat. In data centers, where a lot of servers are stacked together, it additionally costs a lot of energy to cool all these servers. In order to solve this, Nerdalize doesn’t place the computer servers in data centers, but in houses. Therefore the heat that comes off the server can be used to heat these houses. This way homeowners save up to 300 euros a year on heating and 3 tons of CO2 is saved per household per year. Additionally, companies save up 30 to 50% on cloud costs, because they do not have to pay for the overhead costs of building a data center.

This approach already causes a huge decrease in the energy usage. But it could be done even more efficient, is what DUT students Robert Carosi and Boris Mattijssen thought. For their bachelor final project in Computer Science, Robert and Boris found a way to utilize the heat that comes off the computer servers. Instead of using just any server to do a computation, they developed a way to always use the computer server in the house that needs the heat the most. For example in a place where it is a bit colder that day.

How does this work? Instead of doing one complete computation on one heater, this computation is cut up into smaller pieces. This way the computation can be divided over multiple houses. The pieces can then be computed in the house where the temperature is the lowest. When the wanted temperature is reached, the computation can be transferred to a house where the heat is still desired. This makes that the energy will always be used to its full potential.

Last Friday, the first of July 2016, Robert and Boris presented their project to family and friends. For their solution, they made smart use of Kubernetes, an open source system initiated by Google. This makes that not only energy can be saved, but our computer servers can run even faster and more efficient. A smart technological solution with a positive impact on the environment, that is what we love at Nerdalize!

About our heaterteam
Maaike Stoops
posted this July 1, 2016