DareHenry - power your home & make money by crunching data
DareHenry - power your home & make money by crunching data
In the not too distant future you could be paid to heat & cool your house, power your refrigerator and take hot showers. Interested?
In the not too distant future you could be paid to heat & cool your house, power your refrigerator and take hot showers. Interested? Read more
About this project
Our mission is to promote the concept of exergy – energy productivity – by maximizing energy and its co-benefits. Some of these co-benefits are: economic productivity, resource efficiency, and adaptability.
Cloud service providers are selling computation today - a significant portion of their overhead is the energy consumed to run and cool their servers. Imagine a future where you could get paid to provide the same computation and use the heat generated to power your home. In this future you also have access to this powerful machine designed to fuel your digital life.
Where Do We Stand?
The Current Prototype
This is Henry - he is a high-performance prototype computer that captures and thermally stores the heat he generates … enough heat to keep a 1000 square foot apartment warm and cozy while he crunches data to help support cancer researchers at Stanford’s Folding@Home project.
The Next Prototype
Henry works great for us but he’s not quite ready to work for you. He consistently hits the temperatures we need to make domestic hot water, space heating, and desiccant-driven air conditioning. Built with off-the-shelf parts, he’s running at the extremes of what he can reliably do on a daily basis. We need your help to build the next generation prototype, “DareHenry,” who can live in your homes as well to provide heating and computational needs. Check out the animated clips of DareHenry in action feeding your home with the heat he generates by crunching numbers and performing computation.
Future generations of “DareHenry” will be super energy efficient and energy productive by capturing and storing up to 95% of the heat generated by the internal components. DareHenry will also be modular, easy to maintain and program so that we can customize performance to suit your needs.
We need funding to pay for the development, fabrication, and testing that needs to be done before DareHenry can live inside your home too. Just as important as the money - we need your collective knowledge, experience and collaboration to build the kind of community-driven momentum that Solar Roadways and Local Motors used to have measurable impact in a short period of time.
Everything is impossible until it’s possible - we want your help to make this a reality. We've taken Project Exergy as far as we can on our own funds, with a handful of dedicated people and a notion that together we can change the way the world thinks about energy. Now we are asking you to take the next big step with us.
We have designed some unique perks that reflect the ethos of the project and should serve as great conversation starters to help get the word out! We are looking for long term project individual, business and corporate sponsors as well. We will engage with these project sponsors to explore the concept of Exergy and ways in which it can be of benefit for the business models of the future. We believe that business is good, especially when it is focus on increasing benefits for consumers and the economy while increasing the beneficial products of the resources being consumed.
The Goal $100,000
A successful $100k fundraiser will cover the material costs and initial design work for developing the next generation, fluid-submerged DareHenry prototype. These material costs include 1) computer components selected based on their tolerance to withstand longer exposure to high heat, 2) the casing that houses the computer and heat exchange coils, and 3) interconnection parts needed for transferring data and transporting heat in and out of DareHenry to a building’s space heating and water heating systems. Important design considerations include determining component sizing, enhancing heat transfer, and optimizing operating strategy for various heat loads.
More about the Project
Project Exergy is about harnessing the power of computers and turning them into primary heat sources. How does Project Exergy do this? By designing computers to run as hot as possible and then using the heat and computation produced for our benefit.
Computers create a lot of heat when in heavy use. Manufacturers traditionally created ways to prevent potential over-heating by cooling processors using fans to neutralize the heat generated. Project Exergy flips this concept by creating computers that are meant to run as hot as possible, and then store that heat for use in your home and/or office. It's a radical, yet simple concept - and when it gains momentum, it will be the biggest energy revolution in a generation!
How is energy most used in American homes? As of today, almost 60% of energy used in American homes heats our water and living space. This tells us that we need efficient heat, and even more of it. So, what if we could make better use of the heat generated from our rapidly increasing global use of computers? This made us look at the most effective heat generation method using our already in place computation processes. We named it “combined heat and computation” and built a prototype.
Is It Really Possible?
The technology we’re using isn’t new - this isn’t a futuristic Star Trek-ish fantasy. We built the first prototype with existing, off the shelf components that you can pick up at most computer and hardware stores. The real innovation came from looking at this from a different perspective. Our perspective: Instead of trying to keep computers as cool as possible, why don’t we run them as hot as possible (up to their maximum tolerance levels) and then capture, store, and re-use the heat they generate!
Do you know that 30-50% of the energy that goes into data centers is used to cool down the servers? What if instead of using all that energy to keep the servers cool we focused on the heat benefits from the servers? We can achieve this if we move those servers, or rather the computation loads they support, to places where that heat is needed, like your home or business.
How do I donate?
Meet the Project Exergy Team
With 15 years of experience in all aspects of commercial energy efficiency programs – design, management, implementation and marketing – as well as a strong understanding of the Energy Efficiency policy and regulatory environment, Lawrence Orsini is well versed in the inner workings of the efficiency industry. Lawrence’s broad industry experience runs the gamut, from field auditing to managing relationships with Fortune 100 utility and corporate clients, affording him a unique ability to draw connections between policy driven utility energy efficiency program requirements and bottom line driven business spending.
Julianna Wei is a mechanical engineer with experience in building energy and policy research and project management. She has led extensive outreach and advocacy activities with industry stakeholders, regulatory agencies and building science researchers. Julianna also dabbled in renewables and worked for a utility-scaled solar PV manufacturer and developer. Julianna is enthralled by the core concept of combining and aligning to important issues of our times – energy and computation, and she's ready to connect the dots between technologies and people through the project.
John Lilic is a crypto-economic advocate, having been an early Bitcoin adopter inspired by block chain technology and a proponent of distributed, decentralized, cryptographically secured peer to peer networks. The synergy between combined heating and computation and distributed computing is of particular interest. John considers it a privilege to work on this project.
Bill Collins is a Finance professional with decades of experience in investment banking, structured finance, and environmental markets. Working as a derivatives specialist in Asia, Bill used his creativity and knowledge of financial markets to spot unique and innovative ways to help his customers (large government, state and private counterparties) identify and manage complex financial risks. This knowledge and skill set was subsequently leveraged in the international carbon markets. For seven years, Bill led a team at EcoSecurities tasked with sales, trading and risk management of the largest private sector carbon project portfolio. Bill serves on OneEnergy Renewables’ Advisory Board.
Chris Paulsen is a master tradesman with 25 years of prototyping, manufacturing and tooling experience in advance composites. His work provides support for experimental, aviation, marine, recreational, infrastructure, educational and defense applications. A few example projects from his diverse repertoire include carbon fiber masts for Americas Cup racing yachts, wing parts for Boeing 787s in maintenance repair operations, faux architectural elements for thematic effects, and molds for composites and urethane foams for energy efficient homes. As a master mold maker, Chris will channel his creative and maker energy to build functional yet aesthetically pleasing prototypes.
With years of experience in the energy industry solving technical problems, Sri Puranam has a strong understanding of the physics of energy generation and storage. Over the last decade, Sri has worked with aircraft and automobile engines improving their efficiency, developed detailed models for electrochemical and battery systems and used facial recognition software to study fluid motion. As Project Exergy starts making inroads with its distributed generation model, Sri will be helping develop the technical backbone for the project.
A cinema lover, producer, shooter, director and editor with a hands-on approach, Sasha Santiago is a film-maker who’s consistently evolving with the times. He explores the connected world we live in, quickly prototypes ideas and moves in turn with its digital media consumption changes and preferences. To be part of a team that’s on the forefront of a game changing concept that would affect the way the world consumes energy, Sasha sees Project Exergy as an vast and immersive canvas that will inspire and ignite many discoveries, including distributed generation.
Friends and Partners
This project has been so much fun - we’ve learned a whole heck of a lot and made many friends along the way. We’re very thankful for the help and support our friends (and strangers) have provided us. In particular, we’d like to send a very warm thank you to the Clark County Skills Center and their pre-engineering students who have helped design high temperature, custom parts for Henry. The students have also given us great feedback and tips along the way too.
We also have to give our friend Shaul, Daniella and the family at Dick’s Hardware in Manhattan a big thank you. He and his team have helped us find and build so many of the little and big parts and pieces we needed for the first prototype. Shaul was a little skeptical at first but I think it’s safe to say he is now one of our biggest fans. And, no Shaul - we’re still not going on the shark tank!
A big thank you to Demian and Scott from Ryder's Alley! These two have given us free reign to use their motorcycle shop, tools and machinery to build our high temperature computer in the heart of Manhattan. As you can imagine, it’s a little tricky to find a place to turn a wrench in the city... it’s even harder to find a place to fabricate a computer powered water heater!
Finally, Scott and Julie at Solar Roadways have shown us that people ARE willing to vote with their dollars for the future they want to see. All the way to the White House and a mention in the President’s recent State of the Union speech is proof that the little guys can still have a big impact, thanks for being a force for change and a serious inspiration Scott and Julie! Check out this video from Scott Brusaw at Solar Roadways about why we need your help!
Kids from the future:
Sam Poon - Grey shirt
Sofia Roma Rubino - pink shirt
Mitchell Tobin - blue shirt
Sasha Santiago http://www.sashasantiago.com/
Jonah Friedman http://www.jonahfriedman.com/
Music - the Exergy Theme:
Giacomo Lamparelli https://soundcloud.com/giacomo-lamparelli
Arin Crumley https://arincrumley.wordpress.com/
Risks and challenges
We've learned a tremendous amount over the last two years about the challenges and obstacles we face going forward. Our team has grown and gained thousands of hours of experience developing, fabricating, testing and communicating.
Crowdfunding is an ideal way to start a project because traditional private equity funding options are not nearly as collaborative and community centric. We believe it’s very important that this idea gets into the hands of as many people as possible.
There will be engineering challenges that need to be overcome in order to build the the next prototype - we have the experience, the team, partners, and the prototype alpha to build from. We have carefully studied the engineering and fabricating hurdles we face and are prepared to build out the hardware and software components for the second prototype. In order to deliver a safe and reliable product we will need to conduct extensive lab and field testing which introduce uncertainty in our schedule. As with any research and development work - it can be difficult to accurately predict time frame and cost however our team will be diligent in planning, iterating and coordinating with laboratories and testing facilities in order to plan as concise of a research and development strategy as possible.
Very few people have purposely tried to run computers as hot as possible - this creates a unique challenge because there is limited data available on how to optimally run computers super hot. We expect to continue to discover new challenges very few have encountered before as we purposely attempt to run future Henry prototype’s as hot as possible. We are prepared to deal with these challenges by using thermal mapping aided by simulation tools to determine the heat signature of various components in a cost effective and time efficient manner - reducing the expensive methodology of trial and error.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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