UK data centre startup Deep Green is using servers submerged in mineral oil as “digital boilers” to turn server heat into free heating for hot-water for swimming pool owners, distilleries, and large apartment blocks.
Harnessing the heat from decentralised data centre models is one of the new ideas that several companies are adopting to offer data centre capacity without having to build and run costly data centres, plus offer free (or cheap) energy while reducing the environmental cost/impact by making use of existing heat and enabling users to cut their overheads and carbon emissions.
How It Works
Unlike other businesses like Heata (who offer to provide free hot water using the heat from a cloud business server installed onto the side of domestic hot water tanks in homes), Deep Green is focusing on business customers in industries using large volumes of hot water, e.g. swimming pools. Deep green uses ‘immersion cooling’ technology, i.e. immersing servers in mineral oil to capture the operating data server heat and transfer it into a site’s existing hot water system, for free. Deep Green supplies these Green “digital boilers” (a server and heat transfer system) for free, pays the business where it’s installed for the energy the digital boiler uses and, in return, asks for space for containers and sufficient grid and internet connection.
In this way, Deep Green gets to expand its data centre server capacity and network and the business where the server is installed gets to dramatically reduce its energy costs while providing the same service to its customers, reduces its businesses carbon emissions, and improves its ESG credentials.
In what’s been described as a “UK first” in technology heating solutions, Exmouth Swimming Pool ‘took the plunge’ by having a Deep Green ‘digital boiler’ installed. It’s been reported that this has reduced the pool’s gas requirements by a massive 62 per cent, thereby saving LED Community Leisure, who manage the centre for East Devon District Council (EDDC), over £30,000 a year and reducing carbon emissions by 25.8 tonnes.
Peter Gilpin, CEO of LED Community Leisure, said of the new technology: “Deep Green’s innovative technology will dramatically reduce our energy bills and carbon footprint, meaning we will continue to be a key asset for the local community. We are already seeing the benefit. I’m certain this will transform leisure centres up and down the country for the better.”
Pools Are Just The Start
Although there are 1,500 pools in England that could all benefit from reduced energy costs, Mark Bjornsgaard, CEO of Deep Green, plans to focus on any businesses needing large amounts of hot water saying, “Pools are just the start.” Bjornsgaard says: “By moving data centres from industrial warehouses into the hearts of communities, our ‘digital boilers’ put waste heat to good use, saving local businesses thousands of pounds on energy bills and reducing their carbon footprint.”
What Does This Mean For Your Organisation?
This technology could solve several problems at once, namely increasing data centre capacity in a more environmentally friendly way, reducing data centre carbon footprints, reducing business energy costs and carbon footprints, plus tackling server heating problems in a productive and mutually beneficial way. Immersing servers in liquid to cool them down and installing servers and using their heat to heat water is already being done by other companies, however Deep Green’s model is different in that it combines the two and focuses on businesses (with major hot water requirements) rather than homes. At a time when electricity and gas prices are sky-high and swimming pools are struggling to ‘stay afloat’ as a result, this type of service is likely to be very attractive.