‘Digital boiler’ tech offers free hot water

Fancy some free heat?

British start-up Deep Green has unveiled a UK-first technology that supplies free heat to local businesses and public swimming pools, reducing their energy bills and cutting their reliance on carbon-intensive fossil fuel boilers.

Deep Green’s ‘digital boiler’ technology is a cloud data center that efficiently transforms the heat from its servers into useful hot water for local businesses. It is installed on-site at swimming pools or businesses with consistent heat needs, such as bakeries, distilleries, laundrettes and blocks of flats.

Exmouth Leisure Centre in Devon is the first site in the country to benefit from heat-recapture by cloud data centers. The surplus heat donated to the leisure centre by Deep Green’s unit will reduce the pool’s gas requirements by 62%, saving over £20,000 a year and reducing their carbon emissions by 25.8 tonnes.

In England alone, over 1,500 pools could benefit. Energy costs for leisure facilities have increased 150% since 2019 and an estimated 79% face closure.

How it works

Using the latest ‘immersion cooling’ technology, Deep Green captures heat from the operating data center servers, transferring it into the site’s existing hot water system for free. Around 96% of the heat generated by a Deep Green ‘digital boiler’ is re-cycled.

The installation in Exmouth Leisure Centre contains 12 servers of the highest-grade computer equipment and is able to support a number of computing services such as cloud services, artificial intelligence, machine learning and video rendering.

Further installations are to follow in Bristol and Manchester in the coming weeks. Beyond pools, 30% of industrial and commercial heat needs could be provided by this technology.

Mark Bjornsgaard, CEO of Deep Green, explained: “Data is critical to modern society and demand for data centers is growing exponentially. However, this comes at a cost. Current data center 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 centers 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.”

Jane Nickerson, CEO of Swim England, added: “At a time when so many swimming pools are struggling with massively increased energy bills, it’s great to see pools embracing innovative solutions like this which have the potential to support facilities to operate more sustainably, both environmentally and economically.”

Peter Gilpin, CEO of LED Community Leisure, which operates Exmouth Leisure Centre, said: “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.”

About Deep Green

Deep Green is a 100% self-funded, British tech start-up. It was founded in 2016 by Mark Bjornsgaard, an entrepreneur with an interest in technology and energy. Deep Green uses the latest in ‘immersion cooling’ technology to extract heat from on-site “edge” data centers to provide free hot water for swimming pools and a range of other industries. 

More information at deepgreen.energy or linkedin.com/company/deep-green-energy.

At a glance

  Deep Green installs ‘mini’ data centers on site at local businesses that efficiently transform heat from the running computer servers into useful hot water for local businesses – for free.

Exmouth Leisure Centre is the first site in the country to benefit, cutting the amount of gas to heat the pool by over 62%, saving £20,000 a year and reducing their carbon emissions by 25.8 tonnes each year.

Over 1,500 pools in England could benefit as well as local businesses with consistent heat needs such as bakeries, distilleries, launderettes and blocks of flats.

Currently, data center servers account for ~3% of global emissions. Nearly all the energy they use is lost as heat into atmosphere.

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