Data centers can heat up your local swimming pool – Positive News
An innovation that captures heat from data centers and uses it to heat public pools is about to take off
Now here’s a new solution for cash-strapped councils: use data centers to heat public swimming pools.
It’s an idea that’s gaining traction in the UK thanks to tech firm, Deep Green. It takes the excess heat produced in its data centers and repurposes it for free to the community.
“About 45% of a traditional data center’s energy needs are just cooling – they generate a lot of heat,” Deep Green’s founder and CEO, Mark Bjornsgaard, told Positive News.
“The method we use to share the heat in swimming pools also cools the computers. So, the pool has free heating and the Deep Green has free cooling.
The company is already piloting the idea at Exmouth Leisure Center in Devon. The washing machine-sized data center there heats a reservoir of oil which is then pumped through a heat exchanger to heat the pool.
Deep Green is now scaling the concept thanks to Octopus Energy, a green energy provider, which this week invested £200m in the project – enough to see around 150 pools heated this way, although Deep Green is not yet will release the locations of those pools.
“The demand is there,” Bjornsgaard said. “I think almost every pool in the northern hemisphere is talking to us.”
Hot data: the Deep Green installation at Exmouth Leisure Center in Devon
Some data centers already share excess heat with communities, often through district heating networks. However, Deep Green’s approach is different because instead of having a large data center located in one location, as usual, it divides the data center into many smaller units, and spreads them throughout community to share their warmth for free.
While other pools across the UK have been forced to close due to high energy bills, Exmouth is able to heat the pool for free 60% of the time thanks to the data centre.
The UK government is warming to the idea of recycling heat. Last year, it provided £65m of funding for new heating solutions, including one in London that will recycle heat from data centers to heat 10,000 homes and a hospital in the boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Brent and Ealing.
Lord Callanan, minister for energy efficiency and green finance, said the project was “a glimpse into the future”.
Images: Deep Green
Support solutions in 2024
Our small, dedicated team is passionate about creating a better alternative to negative news media. And there is no greater urgency in our mission.
But to invest in creating all the journalism solutions the world dreams of, we need funding. And since we work for your interests – not for a rich media mogul or corporate owner – we ask readers like you to support our team, by making a regular contribution as a proponent of Positive News.
Give once from just £1, or join the 1,400+ others who contribute an average of £3 or more every month.
Join our community today, and together, we will change the news for good.
Support Positive News