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Start-up uses data centre to heat public swimming pool

Mark Bjonsgaard, CEO of Deep Green, at Exmouth Leisure Centre. Credit: Deep Green

British start-up Deep Green is using waste heat produced by a small, on-site edge data centre to provide free heat to a public swimming pool.

Deep Green’s ‘digital boiler’ is a cloud data centre that uses immersion cooling technology to capture the heat produced by its servers and transfer it into a site’s existing hot water system, free of charge.

According to Deep Green, around 96% of the heat generated by its digital boiler is recycled.

Exmouth Leisure Centre in Devon is the first swimming pool in the UK to make use of the technology, with the heat supplied by Deep Green predicted to reduce the pool’s gas requirements by 62% and lower its carbon emissions by 25.8 tonnes.

The installation at Exmouth Leisure Centre contains 12 servers and has the capacity to support cloud services, artificial intelligence, machine learning and video rendering.

Deep Green said there are potentially over 1,500 pools in England alone that could benefit from the tech, with energy costs for leisure facilities increasing 150% since 2019. However the technology could be also be utilised by other small businesses with constant heat needs, such as bakeries and launderettes.

Mark Bjornsgaard, CEO of Deep Green, said, “Data is critical to modern society and demand for data centres is growing exponentially. However, this comes at a cost. Current data centre infrastructure is inefficient, using a huge amount of energy and generating a vast amount of waste heat. Yet, at the same time, there are many businesses that need heat and face increasing energy bills.

“By moving data centres from industrial warehouses into the hearts of communities, our ‘digital boilers’ put waste heat to good use, saving local businesses thousands of pounds on energy bills and reducing their carbon footprint. Pools are just the start and around 30% of all industrial and commercial heat needs could be provided by this technology.

“Organisations that are serious about supporting society and reducing their carbon emissions should not forget the massive impact of their computing needs. Deep Green now provides an answer.”

Peter Gilpin, CEO of LED Community Leisure (operator of Exmouth Leisure Centre), added, “Deep Green’s innovative technology will dramatically reduce our energy bills and carbon footprint, meaning we will continue to be a key asset for the local community. We are already seeing the benefit.  I’m certain this will transform leisure centres up and down the country for the better.”

The project in Exmouth will be followed by similar installations in Bristol and Manchester in the coming weeks.

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