A start-up has been the first in the UK to come up with a solution to rising energy bills: data center heat.
The company, called Deep Green, installs tiny cloud data centers at local businesses. The system then converts the heat from the servers into hot water for the host site.
Deep Green provides the devices free of charge and reimburses the electricity costs. This allows the customer to reduce their CO2 emissions and energy costs.
In return, Deep Green gets a home for the data center that provides customers with computing power for AI and machine learning.
The computers in the washing machine-sized data center are surrounded by oil. Photo credit: Deep Green.
The “digital boilers” are now also being used in public swimming pools, which are struggling with rising energy costs.
Across the UK, 85 swimming pools have been closed since 2019, the Guardian revealed last week. According to trade association UK Active, 31% of local government areas in England could lose or cut back their leisure centers after the current energy support scheme expires on April 1st.
Deep Green announced today that a fitness club in Devon is already using the digital boiler. Seven other pools in England have also signed up for the scheme.
To warm them up, the data center’s computers are immersed in mineral oil, which absorbs the heat from the machines. The output is then processed through a heat exchanger and into the water.
The temperature is only refilled when necessary. According to Deep Green, the system can reduce a pool’s gas requirements by over 62%, save £20,000 a year and reduce annual CO2 emissions by 25.8 tonnes.
says Deep Green It can heat the pool to 30℃ 60% of the time. Photo credit: Deep Green.
Deep Green’s technology is unusual, but it’s far from the first company to recycle data center heat.
The concept is particularly popular in the Nordic region. In Finland e.g. Plans are underway Using waste heat from two new Microsoft data centers to heat homes and businesses in and around Helsinki.
However, the project relies on extensive public infrastructure. The data centers will be connected to a 900km network of underground lines to reach users in the region.
Deep Green takes a very different approach.
“Instead of building a data center and then finding ways to connect it to local communities, Deep Green installs the data centers right where the heat is needed,” said Mark Bjornsgaard, CEO of Deep Green, TNW via email.
“By using a modular approach and building our data centers Within the “fabric of society” we bring the heat to the consumer, reduce energy loss during transport and increase the efficiency of energy recovery.”
According to Bjornsgaard, around 30% of industrial and commercial heating needs could be covered by Deep Green’s technology.
Just don’t tell the crypto bros — or your local pool may soon be home to a bitcoin mining rig.