A data company has found a way to keep public swimming pools open by recycling heat from its servers
Spotted: It is now well-understood that data centres consume vast amounts of energy. This is because the banks of servers in the data centres require a lot of cooling, which, in turn, uses a lot of energy. But one data centre has found a use for all the heat that it generates, a use that could also help public facilities such as swimming pools save money on their energy costs.
Deep Green, which runs data centres, has developed small edge data centres that can be installed locally and divert some of their excess heat to warm leisure centres and public swimming pools. The system, dubbed a “digital boiler”, involves immersing central processing unit (CPU) servers in special cooling tubs, which use oil to remove heat from the servers. This oil is then passed through a heat exchanger, which removes the heat and uses it to warm buildings or swimming pools.
The company says the heat donation from one of its digital boilers will cut a public swimming pool’s gas requirements by around 70 per cent, saving leisure centres thousands of pounds every year while also drastically reducing carbon emissions. Deep Green pays for the electricity it uses and donates the heat for free. This is a huge benefit, as Britain’s public swimming pools are facing massive increases in heating bills, which is causing many to close or restrict their hours.
The company hopes to install boilers in 20 swimming pools in 2023.
The issue of data centre energy use is moving to the fore, and is encouraging a host of new innovations. Recent ideas for more sustainable data centres that Springwise has spotted include a new server design that is much more energy-efficient, and the powering of data centres with hydrogen.
Written By: Lisa Magloff