Glasgow events venue SWG3 ditched gas boilers and introduced a system that transforms the dance floor’s heat into renewable energy. Called Bodyheat, the system captures the heat emanating from gig-goers’ bodies and stores it across 12 boreholes, which are charged like a thermal battery.
The energy is sent back to the heat pumps, upgraded to a suitable temperature, and used later to heat or cool down the venue.
SWG3’s owners say that the scheme will allow them to reduce carbon emissions by about 70 ton of CO2 per year. The venue’s managing director Andrew Fleming-Brown noted that incorporating the system into SWG3’s blueprint was “a leap of faith” – but a move towards its “net-zero” carbon emissions by 2023 mission.
Bodyheat system’s designer David told BBC that when you dance at a medium pace, your body is 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.”
After three years of development, Bodyheat debuted across three separate spaces within the Glasgow venue – a 1,250-capacity event space, a slightly smaller 1,000-person area, and the main foyer entrance.
The thermal heating and cooling system cost just over £600,000 to install. But the savings on energy bills will make the investment recoverable in about five years, according to Mr. Fleming-Brown.
“To put in perspective, if we were to go down a more conventional route with typical air conditioning, then your costs would probably be about 10% of that – so £60,000.”