UK startup uses data centres to heat swimming pools

A UK startup has revealed technology that can harness the excess heat generated by data centres to warm businesses and swimming pools. 

Deep Green, which was founded in 2016, has unveiled the use of its ‘digital boiler’ technology to heat a swimming pool at a leisure centre in Devon.

indoor swimming pool

‘Data centres have got a huge problem with heat, a lot of the money that it costs to run a data centre is taken up in getting rid of the heat. 

‘And so what we’ve done is taken a very small bit of a data centre to where the heat is useful and required.’ said Founder and CEO Mark Bjornsgaard when speaking to the BBC. 

The company, which charges other businesses to use its computing power for Artificial Intelligence training and machine learning, generates the heat from data centres surrounded by mineral oil which is then pumped into a heat exchanger that warm the swimming pool. 

Exmouth Leisure Centre benefits from the digital boiler for free whilst Deep Green also pays for any electricity used by the centre. 

The partnership comes during a period of turbulence for many leisure centres and swimming pools in the UK which have faced closures over rising energy costs with the manager of the Exmouth pool revealing that he had expected costs to rise to £100,000 this year. 

Deep Green’s technology was developed over five years and is able to heat the pool to around 30 degrees about 60% of the time, saving on energy costs and apparently cutting carbon emissions. 

The company reported that seven other pools in England have signed up the scheme already with the business aiming for 20 installations by the end of the year with any leisure centres welcomed to get in touch. 

Whilst digital boilers have been around for years, with one French firm even previously launching similar swimming pool heating tech in 2017, this is thought to be the first project of its kind in the UK. Deep Green also hopes to work with other businesses that require heat to operate in the future. 

Discovering new ways of saving energy and heating businesses has seen significant investment in recent years as both a cost saving measure and push towards net zero. One nightclub in Scotland recently installed tech that can draw natural energy generated by visitors moving on its dancefloor.

Photo by z pm


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