Glasgow Club SWG3 Uses Dancers’ Energy to Heat Venue

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Glasgow club SWG3 uses dancers' energy to heat venueLeading up to COP26 a legendary Glasgow nightclub SWG3 decided to undergo a green renovation, rethinking its entire energy consumption and pledging to go net zero by 2025.

SWG23 welcomes over 250,000 people every year, and the space can hold up to 6,000 people per night. Its pledge sets a high standard for all other nightclubs to follow suit.

Their most exciting green-tervention is dance energy. This state-of-the-art heating/cooling system takes the heat emanating from dancing bodies and transforms into a source of energy. It manages to heat the entire venue even throughout Scotland’s winter. The best part of it? The energy can be stored for months after the party ends. The pilot event using this energy will launch during COP26 this November.

“Heat is essentially thermal energy, and if you’ve ever found yourself in the middle of a packed out club night then you’ll be well aware of just how much energy could be kicking around that room. [Traditionally, [w]hen you look to cool down those spaces using either air-conditioning or ventilation systems, you’re pretty much pulling the heat out of a space and releasing it into the atmosphere.”

So how on earth does dance energy work?

SWG3 is piloting BODYHEAT by TownRock Energy

TownRock Energy is a company that produces geothermal heat pumps.

Geothermal heat pumps are either ground-source or water-source. This SWG3 is a ground-source heat pump. This works by transferring heat between the event space and the ground where it can stored into into boreholes in the rock to use at a later time. In winter, colder air from a building gets pumped down and warmer air is circulated into the building. In order to convert the cold air to hot air or vice versa heat pumps use a refrigerant.

Studies show that geothermal heat pumps use 70% less energy and are 45% more energy-efficient than standard options.

BODYHEAT explained

  1. An idle human body radiates about 100 watts of excess heat, people dancing at clubs or gigs generate a lot more heat which is generally ejected into the atmosphere as waste.
  2. BODYHEAT will  utilise that warmth
  3. Through air collectors in SWG3’s ceilings will capture the hot air and send it to ground-coupled heat pumps that capture and store the waste heat—at 650 feet into the Earth.
  4. The heat is drawn back out of the ground to heat the venue at different times
  5. This allows SWG3 to use 70% less electricity and to completely avoid gas boilers to heat the space in the winter
  6. It will save 70 tonnes of CO2 annually

“The thing I love most about BODYHEAT is that it’s all existing technology, Innovations aren’t limited to inventing something new, and with so many conversations on a more sustainable future already happening in the city, I’m excited to see what else we’ll be able to get off the ground by the end of it.”

Leading by example: SWG3’s NET-ZERO plan by 2025

Over the next 12 months:

  • Remove single-use plastic from events
  • Implement BODYHEAT: first major sustainability-focused capital project
  • Design and cultivate two acres of garden space, including community growing space, beehives and native and biodiverse planting
  • Carry out energy, waste and water audits, establishing a register of energy efficiency projects
  • Establish an SWG3 Green Team to measure, manage and advocate change from within
  • Implement a sustainable travel plan
  • Implement sustainable sourcing policies for food, beverages, supplies and partnerships
  • Develop a company vision and strategy to integrate UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Publish a first yearly sustainability report, detailing our strategy for reductions and progress thus far

Between 2022-2026:

  • Become a circular business, adopting innovative ways to go further than just avoiding waste
  • Radically reduce our carbon emissions through energy efficiency projects, going beyond net zero and aiming for carbon positive status by generating more energy than we use
  • Advocate change and share what we’ve learnt with transparency and optimism

“We want to keep dancing, keep working, keep creating, keep inspiring ― but we also want to do this in a responsible, innovative way,” the pledge said. “We know this won’t be easy, but we know we have to try — and we’re mad up for the challenge.”


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