Dutch startup Nerdalize is continuing work on a project to use excess heat from data servers to heat residential homes. In 2015, the company introduced their first product, a standalone wall heater powered by a single server, and has now launched a crowdfunding campaign to expand a new project.

Nerdalize CloudBox server heater. Image credit: NerdalizeNerdalize CloudBox server heater. Image credit: NerdalizeNerdalize is planning to install servers to heat water supplies in 42 Dutch households beginning in August. According to a business description provided by the company, these installations will save companies 30-50 percent on data services and provide customers with free heat. The document also says the arrangement will save 3 metric tons of CO2 per year.

The company's previous product, the eRadiator, was introduced in 2015 and installed in five households as a pilot program. The eRadiator was slightly larger than a standard double radiator and produced about half the output. The product cost 400-500 euros to set up, then operated free of charge.

While Nerdalize is the first company to attempt server heating on a large scale, they were not first to try the idea. Microsoft published a paper in 2011 proposing the installation of servers in homes and office buildings. The company called the idea a "data furnace" and noted that it could reduce total cost of server ownership and carbon footprint, and bring data into closer proximity with the user.