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Glasgow club SWG3 starts using dancers' body heat to power venue

It's hoped that the new energy system will help the venue to reduce its carbon emissions by about 70 tonnes of CO2 a year

Glasgow club SWG3 starts using dancers' body heat to power venue

Glasgow warehouse venue SWG3 has installed a new energy system that recycles dancers' body heat to power the space.

With the new system, BODYHEAT, set up, the heat generated by dancers inside the club is piped via a carrier fluid to 200m bore holes that can be charged like a thermal battery. The energy is then transported back to the heat pumps, where it's recycled at a suitable temperature and emitted back into SWG3.

The team at the venue say this new system will allow them to completely disconnect the venue's gas boilers, which is welcome news amid soaring energy prices in the UK and further afield. From an environmental perspective, the use of renewable energy will also allow SWG3 to reduce its carbon emissions by about 70 tonnes of CO2 a year. 

Speaking to BBC News, David Townsend, who is part of the team behind the development of the BODYHEAT system, said: "When you start dancing, medium pace, to the Rolling Stones or something, you might be generating 250W. But if you've got a big DJ, absolutely slamming basslines and making everyone jump up and down, you could be generating 500-600W of thermal energy."

The installation of BODYHEAT is part of SWG3's aim to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2025. The venue's managing director, Andrew Fleming-Brown, told BBC News that investing £600,000 in it was "a leap of faith", but added that "someone has to be that first investment".

The team at the venue hope to recover the money spent on the system's installation over the coming five years with heavy savings expected on energy bills.

"If we can make it work here in this environment, there's no reason why we can't take it to other venues, not just here in Scotland and the UK, across Europe and further afield," Fleming-Brown told BBC News.

For more information on BODYHEAT, which SWG3 first trialled in 2021, read DJ Mag's February 2022 feature here.