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Arts venue attendees dancing on dance floor
Photograph: Michael Hunter

Inside the Glasgow nightclub powered by dancers’ body heat

SWG3 trialled the system during the COP26 climate conference. Now it’s been switched on for good

Written by
Faima Bakar

We all know the feeling of being hot and sticky inside a club, but imagine if all that heat could be used for some good? That’s exactly what one Glasgow venue is doing. SWG3, a Scottish nightclub, has officially launched a new system that uses visitors’ body heat to power the whole venue.

The project, named BODYHEAT, was trialled during the COP26 climate conference. It captured the heat of all visitors and staff, then stored it in a series of shafts across the site.

And now it’s here for good after an official launch earlier this month. The venue will capture the heat from all of the venue’s visitors and the energy will then be stored across 12 underground boreholes, before being used to heat or cool the venue.

The heat is transported using a special carrier fluid that travels through network of pipes to heat pumps in the plant room, before going 200 metres underground to the boreholes to be stored.

When the energy is ready to be used, it travels back to the heat pumps where it is heated to a suitable temperature and channelled back into SWG3’s event spaces. 

Once fully operational, the system could save 70 tonnes of CO2 a year. What a time to be alive.

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