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Glasgow to trial renewable energy generating dancefloor


A Glasgow nightclub is set to trial technology that generates clean energy from dancers’ body heat.

Right now, Glasgow is taking center stage in the battle against climate change. COP26 is seeing world and business leaders trying to find the path to global net zero before it’s too late. 

Despite the focus being on the summit, it’s not the only source of innovation in the city. One Glasgow nightclub, SWG3, is in the process of trialling a method of generating renewable energy through body heat.

Anyone who's been clubbing will know that it’s hot and sweaty business. Naturally, a warm environment requires cooling down with air conditioning, which creates a large carbon footprint due to the amount of energy required to run it. 

SWG3 is planning to use pioneering technology to store heat energy generated by ecstatic revellers and use this to charge a thermal battery which in turn powers an air conditioning system.

If successful, the BODYHEAT system as it’s known, will not only make SWG3 more sustainable but hopefully provide a framework that can be used globally. There are also applications outside of the world of clubbing. Anywhere where large amounts of people congregate, similar technologies can be used to turn the excess heat into renewable energy.

BODYHEAT is being powered by TownRock Energy, a sustainable technologies company specialising in heat pumps. Dave Townsend, founder & managing director of TownRock Energy, said: “I came up with the idea when I first came clubbing here. We basically came up with a system whereby we store people’s body heat, but it was very much on a whim.

“I’ve done a lot of clubbing, I know how much energy there is, and by chance I was able to pitch ‘Why don’t we use this energy as a source of renewable energy?.”

Installation of the BODYHEAT system has already begun and SWG3 hopes to make the technology a permanent feature in 2022.

“A lot of environmental projects seem to be a little bit out of reach,” says Andrew Fleming-Brown, Director of SWG3,

“But literally by coming to the venue, coming to a club, coming to a gig, you are part of that project.”

This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard of dancers being used to generate sustainable energy. Coldplay, as part of plans to make their 2022 tour completely carbon neutral, have been in talks to create a dancefloor which uses kinetic energy to power lighting at the concert. The success of these trials could shape the future of clubbing, providing a sustainable way for people to let off steam on a Friday night.

Harry Pererra
Harry Pererra

Harry turns on his experience in journalism and programming to write about the latest news in the world of tech and the environemtn. When he isn’t writing for usave he is working towards his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and prefers dogs to cats.

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