(CBS Newspath) — A nightclub in Scotland is harnessing an unusual kind of natural energy — using body heat from dancers to power the venue.
“That’s what’s great about BODYHEAT is our audience participates in the system,” says Andrew Fleming-Brown, managing director of WG3 Studio Warehouse in Glasgow. Dancers work up a sweat, not just to party but to help power the club. The faster they move, the more heat they generate. “Where does the heat go? Thankfully, we’re able to capture it through this system,” says Fleming-Brown.
The BODYHEAT system traps warmth from people packed on the dance floor and pipes it underground where the energy gets stored in rocks that act like a thermal battery. “Then when we need the heating for something else, a different time of day or a different part of the venue, we can transfer the heat from the rocks back into the venue,” says David Walls, a geothermal geologist with TownRock Energy.
Owners of the club have now ditched their gas boilers and hope to eventually reduce carbon emissions by up to 70%, and they say the climate-conscious concept is striking a chord with club-goers. “So, just by coming to an event, coming to a gig or a club or anything, you’re part of that kind of low carbon solution to the venue,” says Fleming-Brown.
Club owners say dancing the night away can generate around 500 watts of energy – about five times what you give off sitting on the couch – meaning getting down to the beat may have the power to help energize not just the body but the planet too.
Using spectators to generate eco-friendly energy is growing in popularity. Earlier this year, the British band Coldplay rolled out kinetic dance floors and stationary bikes for fans to help power the show.