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By creating computers that deliberately run hot and integrating them into our buildings we can all reduce energy wastage and save on energy costs.

• New York engineers reveal radical new ‘home heating’ computer
• Linking computers over the cloud could create energy revolution
• Home networked super-heating computers replace data centres
• Kickstarter campaign launched aiming for $2m investment

[NOTE TO EDS: This release is distributed in follow-up to a two-page interview featured in this week’s edition of New Scientist. Project leader Lawrence Orsini is available for interview on request.]


Imagine heating your home by streaming TV and movies on your computer - well it could be possible if a revolutionary new kickstarter project launched this week gains momentum.

Project Exergy, created by New York based visionary Lawrence Orsini, takes a new approach to energy usage that aims to turn computers into primary heat sources rather than energy wasters.

Computers create huge amounts of wasted energy, with giant modern data centres - which power ‘the cloud’ and run everything from cell texts to live TV streaming – using up to 60 percent of the input energy on cooling.

Orsini’s radical computer, nicknamed Henry, swaps cooling fans for an ultra efficient heat exchanger and feeds the energy that would otherwise have been wasted straight into his home heating system.

The harder the computer works, the more heat it can create – and Orsini believes that by connecting computers like Henry around the world together they can be used to heat buildings while processing data at the same time.

“Around 60 percent of peoples’ home energy usage goes into heating water and living space while at the same time our computers are pumping out tremendous amounts of wasted heat,” said Orsini.

“By designing a computer to work hard all the time and to get its processors hot while doing so, we have created an extremely efficient source of heat and have significantly reduced energy wastage and energy bills.”

Millions of people are now turning to the internet for their entertainment, using computers more and more in everyday lives for streaming everything from live sport to TV and movies and the computation needed to manage data movement around the world is fast increasing.

That is putting increasing pressure on data centres but comes at significant cost – in fact data centres made up of millions of ground-based servers use two to three percent of the electricity used in the US every year.

It burns the equivalent of one charcoal briquette simply to run the computers that enable us to send one megabyte of data, so the energy cost of streaming a movie would go well into the hundreds of millions.

The increasing demand for data processing is becoming a significant drain on the Earth’s already limited natural resources – which is why Orsini’s concept could be the start of a new energy revolution.

“Things like live streaming, text messaging and twitter is great, but for every live stream there are millions of kWh of energy going up into the air as wasted heat,” says Orsini.

“Henry is, in a way, the energy equivalent of recycling. By creating computers that deliberately run hot and integrating them into our buildings we can all reduce energy wastage and save on energy costs.

“If we can get the people who operate data centres to buy into this, they can effectively become power stations (in the form of heat) and we would be making our energy consumption do two things for the price of one.”

The kickstarter campaign aims to raise up to US$2 million to help build the next prototype and develop the software required to integrate it into peoples’ homes and offices.

ENDS

For more information contact

Will Gray
will@wg-media.com
Direct: +44 7950213064

John Lilic
jlilic@lo3energy.com
Direct: +1 7185171673

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