Scottish Nightclub Powered by Heat from Dancers: Moving the Venue with Thermal Energy

As the UK government is turning to fossil fuels in the wake of a global energy crisis, this nightclub in Glasgow found a way to dance away the emissions and high costs. 

The iconic venue known as SWG3 started using its new system called the BODYHEAT. This system uses the energy from dancers to heat and cool the place.

A Major Step in an Energy-Saving Direction: The BODYHEAT System 

According to the managing director of the club, Andrew Fleming-Brown, they’re happy that after three years of planning, construction, and consultations, the system is now turned on. 

This is also a part of their commitment to becoming zero emissions. They also hope to inspire others from their industry to follow a similar or the same practice and work together in tackling climate change.

This new system was celebrated with a dance. The club visitors were invited to take a part in a line dance known as the Slosh. 

The system works in the following way: the carrier fluid transfers the body heat from the dancers to 12 boreholes located 200 meters below ground. 

They’re charged with a thermal battery. Then, the energy goes to the heat pumps. The pumps translate the energy to an adequate temperature to cool or heat the club.

The dancing of the visitors generates sufficient energy for the system to work. Namely, according to the system designer and founder of TownRock Energy, David Townsend, when one dances at a medium pace, they’re generating around 250W. 

However, a DJ, strong basslines, and jumping up and down could produce 600W of thermal energy. 

The chair in geo-energy, carbon capture, and storage at Durham University, Dr. Jon Gluyas explains that storing heat in the liquid underground is helpful because the heated liquid requires a while to cool down and will be properly insulated.

The storage of the heat and playing it back can be a positive effect on the energy crisis in the UK and better energy security. 

What Are the Other Benefits of the BODYHEAT System?

Thanks to this system, the club can turn off their gas boilers and reduce their CO2 emissions by 70 tonnes per year.

This means they will decrease half of their annual CO2 emissions which were 138.5 tonnes. 

This venue has pledged to go carbon neutral by 2025. So, they’ve taken the needed steps towards this goal, including the switch to 100 percent renewable energy.

They’re also working to stop using single-use plastic and use the empty lot behind the club for a community garden.

The cost of this system is more than 600,000 pounds. 

On the other hand, a conventional AC system would’ve required the venue to spend around 60,000 pounds. But, the sustainable system could pay for itself in approximately five years through bill reductions. 

The system was founded with grants and was supported by the government. According to Fleming-Brown, if they made it work in this environment, there’s no reason why it can’t be transferred to other venues and throughout Europe.

Already, a Berlin nightclub, The SchwuZ, has shown interest in the BODYHEAT system.